Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wyndham Lewis - BLAST 1 and the Vorticist Movement (Black Sparrow reprint)

Wyndham Lewis is an artistic and literary figure from the early 20th century and the co-founder of the Vorticist movement in England. I discovered BLAST through my love of Black Sparrow Press-- they've made a number of reprints of the Vorticist literary magazine in a large-format paperback. It's a fascinating journal and includes contributions from Ezra Pound and a pre-pen-named Ford Maddox Ford ("The Saddest Story" by Ford Maddox Heuffer).

First published in 1914, BLAST deals predominantly with shaking 19th-century Victorian ideals and pushing England towards a socially evolved future. The Vorticists take this attitude and inject it into both their literature and visual art. BLAST is the physical emblem of that injection; it combines wildly typographic manifestos and futurist paintings into a dizzying political art journal.

Currently Reading:
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (trans. by Pevear and Volokhnosky)
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Currently listening to:
The Veils, "Troubles of the Brain"
Robyn Hitchcock, "A Bad Case of History (live)"

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