THE MODERNISTS: WERE THEY ANTI-SEMITES?

Lewis

A unique literary walk in Kensington is set to debate the vexed question of whether or not the giants of literary modernism in England were anti-semitic.

Since their heyday in the 10’s, 20’s and 30’s, and especially following WWII, various accusations have been hurled at poets Ezra Pound and TS Eliot and at novelist and essayist Wyndham Lewis. Even Virginia Woolf has faced criticism despite her successful marriage to a Jewish husband.

Eliot was criticised for republishing poems ‘after Auschwitz’ that seemed less than flattering to Jewry.

Was James Joyce antisemitic or philosemitic in his characterisation of Leopold
Bloom?

All this and more will be discussed along the ‘Modernist Mile’ of Kensington where
all of the major figures of the movement lived at different points in their lives.

Poets Niall McDevitt and Alexis Thompson will share their knowledge on the subject
and invite all participants to have their say (in a friendly and constructive manner).

Niall McDevitt is the author of poetry collections b/w and Porterloo.
Alexis Thompson is author of the essay Suburban Prejudice: Pound, Eliot and the Culture of Anti-Semitism.

Sun 28 February meeting at Queens Gate, Kensington Gardens at 2pm.
(High St Kensington or Gloucester Road tubes) £5

Further info: 07722163823

(Lewis’s book-title shocks modern sensibilities who condemn the book unread, but it is a detournement of the title below, as The Modernists: Were They Anti-Semites? is a detournement of Lewis’s title. It’s worth bearing in mind that Lewis’s book was praised by The Jewish Chronicle. )

English

 

 

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About Niall McDevitt

Niall McDevitt > poet > author of b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010) and Porterloo (International Times, 2012) > urban explorer > radical pedestrian who leads Shakespeare/Blake/Rimbaud /Yeats walks, among others.
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