Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rebecca West, or, How Far May I Digress?

The Vorticists at the Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel: Spring, 1915
 I am going to get back to our meeting soon, I promise. But as Maria Buckley, under one of her various noms de plume, mentioned a post or so ago that Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticists were featured in a show she saw in Venice recently, I read with great interest that there is an exhibit coming to the Tate soon as well. Not that I'm any more likely to get to the Tate to see it than I am to Venice, but it's interesting that just as we are discussing Joyce and Lewis right now. Vorticism is apparently in the air.

Here's the not very complimentary Guardian article on the movement. The  way I came across it, though, was through another article on one of my all time favorite writers, Rebecca West and her own brief dabbling in Vorticism. She apparently didn't stay for long--as the article says, she wasn't much of a joiner. But her first short story, called "Indissoluble Matrimony" and written when she was only 22, appeared in the first issue of the movement's magazine, Blast. The article takes you to a site where you can download a facsimile copy. I have done so, mainly to read her early story (though if you don't know her, you would probably want to start with her more mature work, like The Meaning of Treason or her magnum opus, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.  But Blast has a very period feel which is enjoyable on its own account.

Rebecca West, 1923

Yeah, Joyce doesn't figure into this at all.

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