Making a strong case for a revaluation of Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), this collection argues that significant aspects of Lewis's writing, painting, and thinking have not yet received the attention they deserve. The contributors explore Lewis's contributions to the production and circulation of modernism and assess the links between Lewis's writing and painting and the work of other key contemporary figures, to position Lewis not only as one of the first twentieth-century cultural critics but also as one who anticipated the work of the Frankfurt School and other social theorists. Familiar topics and themes such as Vorticism receive fresh appraisals, and Lewis's significance as a philosopher-critic, novelist, and artist becomes fully realized in the context of his associations with important figures such as John Rodker, Charlie Chaplin, Evelyn Waugh, Naomi Mitchison, and Rebecca West. Lewis emerges as a figure whose writings on politics, corporate patronage, shell shock, anthropology, art, and cinema extend their influence into the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
'These dozen essays bring insight and original scholarship to an examination of the complex duality of Lewis’s project and persona in action, both in the familiar arenas of Vorticism and Blast and in his later engagement with philosophy, politics, cinema, radio, the youth cult, and the cultural ramifications of shell-shock. Lewis emerges from his determination to take on the world as a powerful defender of the artist’s role as relentless satirist, himself exemplar and critic of the contradictory forces shaping twentieth-century modernity'. Peter Brooker, University of Nottingham, UK 'Completed by a 16-page bibliography and an index, this thoroughly-researched and carefully-documented volume proves very stimulating… the book as a whole is a very useful contribution to the study of Wyndham Lewis's complex work and, more broadly, to the exploration of twentieth-century modernity viewed through the prism of culture.' Cercles 'This is a broad and enterprising collection, and is justified both by the variety of Lewis’s creative and critical activity and of his associations… These essays will be of benefit to the growing number of undergraduates and postgraduates who are electing to work on Lewis; they also have much that is new to offer both the browsing generalist and the Lewis scholar.' Modernism/modernity
Contents: Introduction, Andrzej Gasiorek, Alice Reeve-Tucker and Nathan Waddell; Part I Friends and Enemies: 'Quotation', Alan Munton; Vorticism denied: Wyndham Lewis and the English Cubists, Dominika Buchowska; In the 'enemy' camp: Wyndham Lewis, Naomi Mitchison and Rebecca West, Michael Hallam; The crisis of the system: Blast's reception, Jodie Greenwood; John Rodker, Julius Ratner and Wyndham Lewis: the split-man writes back, Ian Patterson. Part II Media and Mass Society: Sound and the cultural politics of time in the avant-garde: Wyndham Lewis's critique of Bergsonism, James G. Mansell; Modern times against western man: Wyndham Lewis, Charlie Chaplin and cinema, Scott W. Klein; 'The best in the worst of all possible worlds': corporate patronage in Wyndham Lewis's late work, Alexander Ruch; Wyndham Lewis, Evelyn Waugh and inter-war British youth: conflict and infantilism, Alice Reeve-Tucker and Nathan Waddell. Part III Culture and Modernity: The culture theories of Wyndham Lewis and T.S, Eliot, Victor Barac; Wyndham Lewis on art, culture and politics in the 1930s, Andrzej Gasiorek; Wyndham Lewis and the uses of shellshock: meat and postmodernism, Paul Edwards; Bibliography; Index.