Wyndham Lewis

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Wyndham Lewis, (1882–1957), artist and writer, is perhaps best known for forming a group of artists and writers known as the vorticists (a term created by poet Ezra Pound in early 1914). 

Ezra Pound arranged for Tarr , Lewis’s first novel, to be published in serial form in The Egoist magazine (1916-1917) while Lewis was serving in WWI.  The 1918 edition digitized here is the first English edition, which was published by the Egoist Press shortly after the first American edition was published that same year.  The copy of the 1918 edition in Special Collections is signed on the flyleaf by Gladys Anne Hoskyns, Wyndham Lewis's wife.  The 1928 edition, published by Chatto and Windus, is the revised and final version. 

C.J. Fox donated both the 1918 and 1928 editions to Special Collections.  For more information about C.J. Fox’s Wyndham Lewis Collection please see the exhibition catalogue The Lion and the Fox: Art and Literary Works by Wyndham Lewis from the C.J. Fox Collection and finding aid for the C.J. Fox Collection.

Lewis founded and edited Blast, a magazine featuring writing and artwork by artists affiliated with the vorticist movement, including Edward Alexander Wadsworth (1889-1949), Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915), William Patrick Roberts (1895-1980), and Ezra Pound (1885-1972).  Lewis also contributed his own artwork and writing to the magazine.  The first issue of Blast appeared in July 1914 and the second issue, the “War Number,” came out in 1915 at the advent of the First World War.  The movement largely lost momentum during the war. 

During his career Lewis published several volumes of literary criticism and satire, including The Art of Being Ruled (1926), Time and Western Man (1927), The Apes of God (1930), and Men without Art (1934).  During the political tensions leading up to, and during, WWII, Lewis published Hitler (1931), Left Wings over Europe (1936), and Count Your Dead: They Are Alive! (1937). Later novels include The Revenge for Love (1937) and Self Condemned (1954).  Lewis published two autobiographies: Blasting and Bombardiering (1937), based on his experiences during WWI, and Rude Assignment (1950).

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