Page in front of him, testify to his final, triumphant burst of creativity, for what precisely it would be remarkably difficult to say. Painter and draughtsman, novelist, satirist, pamphleteer and critic, Lewis' multifarious activities defy easy categorisation. He launched the only twentieth-century English avant garde movement, Vorticism, in 1914. His first novel, "Tarr", was published in 1918. During the intervening World War, as an artillery officer at the third battle of Ypres, he gained his 'political education under fire'. Anti-war books of the 1930s argued against what he regarded as a war-mongering left-wing orthodoxy, and presented the case for the right. This placed him in the position somewhere between an advocate of appeasement and what looked uncomfortably like a Nazi sympathizer. Despite an admission, in 1939, that he had been wrong about Hitler, his reputation never recovered from the stigma of Fascism. After the Second World War, spent in penniless and bitter exile in Canada, he returned to London and, in the last decade of his life, received some measure of the success and recognition he had been denied for so long.
It coincided, tragically, with the realisation that he was going blind. Visual expression denied him, he devoted all his remaining energies to writing. Seven books in as many years, written in laborious longhand when he was unable to see.
Buy Some Sort of Genius book by Paul O'Keeffe from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(234mm x 156mm x 29mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Paul O'Keeffe
Paul O'Keeffe is a freelance lecturer and writer based in Liverpool. He gained his Ph. D. with a scholarly edition of Wyndham Lewis's Tarr.