Wyndham Lewis and the avant-garde [electronic resource] : the politics of the intellect /
Toby Avard Foshay.
Montreal ; Buffalo : McGill-Queen's University Press, c1992.
x, 177 p. ; 24 cm.
077350916X (acid-free paper)
More Details
Montreal ; Buffalo : McGill-Queen's University Press, c1992.
077350916X (acid-free paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [165]-173) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-05:
Based on Peter B"urger's thesis of the avant garde, this reworked dissertation traces the interdependence between Lewis's criticism and fiction. Establishing the early The Caliph's Design (1919) as Lewis's call for socially and politically aware art, Foshay analyzes Enemy of the Stars (1932), "Physics of the Not-Self," and Tarr (1918) as Lewis's response to his own call. Foshay claims Nietzsche as "the silent protagonist of Lewis's thought," then touches on The Apes of God (1930) and Time and Western Man (1927), among others, before analyzing The Revenge for Love (1937); this analysis ends with a discussion of Lewis's exploration of ressentiment. The concluding chapter discusses Lewis's increasingly autobiographical works, including the idealistic Blasting and Bombadering (1937) and Self Condemned (1954). Foshay concludes that Lewis's "politics of the intellect" led him to an art far more radical than politics could be. Recommended for undergraduate and graduate libraries, especially those interested in the avant-garde and modernism. Bibliography. J. C. Kohl; Dutchess Community College
Review Quotes
"This book, which illuminates Lewis's art and his importance, is most welcome. Foshay has a good grasp of philosophical ideas, has mastered the extensive and difficult material, provides sound and valuable readings, and throws new light on Lewis's most opaque work." Jeffrey Meyers, Department of English, University of Colorado. "The book is intent on and succeeds in finding a way of producing a coherent thread of analysis in Lewis's fictional writing, from the work of the 1910s to the work of the 1950s." Paul Tiessen, Department of English, Wilfrid Laurier University.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1993
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Main Description
Toby Foshay's penetrating study of Lewis presents a two-pronged argument that will help to lift Lewis from this obscurity. First, he reveals that Lewis is less interested in stylistic and formal innovation than he is committed to artistic, philosophical, and political transformations. As such, Lewis is not a modernist but, in the sense of the term as employed by theoretician Peter Burger, an avant-gardiste. Second, Foshay demonstrates that Lewis's development as an artist is inextricably linked to his avant-garde commitments -- commitments that find their roots in Lewis's reading of Nietzsche. Lewis's fiction and criticism must thus be read, Foshay maintains, as developing interdependently throughout his career and in relation to his evolving interpretation of Nietzsche. Foshay's insightful critique of Lewis's relation to the Modernist movement on the one hand, and of his development as an artist and critic on the other, offers a revised reading not only of Modernism itself but of what Lewis can teach us about the relation of thought to the practice of art in modernity.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
Where is Your Vortex?: The Caliph's Designp. 6
Agon of the Intellect: Enemy of the Starsp. 21
Harmonious and Sane Duality: Tarrp. 44
The Will to Satire: The Revenge for Lovep. 79
The Logic of Representation: Self Condemnedp. 122
Notesp. 149
Bibliographyp. 165
Indexp. 175
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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