I recently read the letters of Wyndham Lewis. This passage (page 42) by the book’s editor, W.K. Rose, provides as good a quick summary of the man’s approach to his art and public persona as any:
“His angry rupture with Roger Fry confirmed in him a lifelong opposition to the Bloomsbury group and what it signified for him: art as the province of the socially and financially established, dilettantism, the effete versus the vital. His casual connection with Marinetti taught him techniques of propaganda – brash statement, aggressive mien – that gradually became integrated in his public personality.”
This past weekend we made the trip between William Kennedy’s Albany, NY and Binghamton, and then on to Ithaca. Along the way we stopped into the Book Barn (good selection that serves its community well) in Latham, and Catnap Books
(more interesting selection, at least for the collector) in Oneonta.
On page 43 of Lewis’s Letters there’s reference to the Lewis collection at Cornell, this was our final destination, the Kroch Rare Book Library
After saying goodbye to these boys
in Binghamton, we settled into a pleasant drive through the red and orange treed countryside. In addition to Cornell, we made a point of stopping in at Ithaca’s Tompkin County Used Book Sale.
After signing in at Kroch we selected boxes in the collection that contained handwritten manuscripts and graphic images. The friendly
staff was very helpful.
And it was fascinating to see early drafts of Blast magazine in Lewis’s own hand
along with posters,
and original dust jacket