Editor: Andrew Frayn, English and American Studies, Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester,
Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL. UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Editor: David Wilkinson, 2B Bedford Road, St. Ives, Cornwall.
TR26 1SP. UK. E-mail: email@example.com
RA and H.D. Website: http://imagists.org/
Correspondent and website editor: Paul Hernandez firstname.lastname@example.org
Correspondents: Michael Copp, Simon Hewett, Stephen Steele, F.-J. Temple, Caroline Zilboorg.
Bibliographer: Shelley Cox. Biographers: Charles Doyle, Vivien Whelpton.
Editor Andrew Frayn notes that RA’s short
story ‘Deserter’, from Roads to Glory, is included in the recent
collection British Literature of World War I, general editors Andrew
Maunder and Angela K. Smith (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011). Volume one
of the series, edited by Andrew Maunder, is dedicated to The Short Story and
the Novella, and features primarily wartime short stories; Aldington’s is one
of only four in the collection which post-dates the war. Other writers
featured include Ford Madox Ford, Frank Richards, Jessie Pope, John Galsworthy,
and Herbert Read. Each story has a short biographical and contextual
introduction. Maunder’s introduction to ‘Deserter’ is unsympathetic to
Aldington, describing him as ‘highly strung and cynical’. The observation that
he ‘had no enthusiasm for the forthcoming conflict’ (both p. 267) overlooks the
fact that according to Life for Life’s Sake, which is cited, Aldington
attempted to enlist on the first day of the war. While he was not
enthusiastic, he certainly did not shy away from the prospect of ‘doing his
bit’, as is insinuated.
This is an extensive and
expensive (£450) set of works, aimed at the academic library market. Three
full novels are featured as vols. 2 – 4, and the fifth and final volume
contains dramas about the war. While there are some niggling errors – the
introduction to ‘Deserter’ mentions ‘Walter Lowenfalls’, for example – it is a
valuable piece of work in making available again many ‘lost’, non-canonical
Correspondent Caroline Zilboorg’s edition
of H.D.’s Bid Me to Live (Gainesville: University Press of Florida,
2011) was published in late September, just as our last newsletter went to
press. Zilboorg provides a substantial critical introduction, based on her
extensive previous critical and editorial work on RA and H.D., and fully
annotates the text, which is reset for this edition. The University Press of
Florida has a growing series of critical editions of H.D.’s work, edited by
leading scholars in the field and offering definitive, usable texts. While the
volume is available only in hardback at the moment, Zilboorg hopes that it will
become available in paperback and as e-book in due course.
Our associate editor David Wilkinson
reported [NCLSN, Vol. 34, No. 2. Summer 2006] that Booth Books were offering a
copy of The Art of Lydia Lopokova by Cyril W. Beaumont with
hand-coloured illustrations by RA's Padworth companion, Arabella Yorke (C.W.
Beaumont, 1920) for £400.00. Another copy has turned up recently. In October J.
& J. Lubrano Music of Lloyd Harbor, New York were asking £880 for their
Correspondent Caroline Zilboorg’s novel Transgressions
is available now on Kindle. The novel is about the early stages of the
relationship between RA and H.D., from their meeting into the war years. A
paperback edition will be available in the near future; if you are able to
access the internet you can buy Kindle books to read on screen – you do not
need to buy the device itself to be able to read Caroline’s work. The novel
will be reviewed in a subsequent issue of the NCLSN.
Transgressions on Amazon
Correspondent Caroline Zilboorg notes that
the new Cambridge Companion to H.D., edited by Nephie J. Christodoulides
and Polina Mackay (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), has no mention
in its chronology of her marriage to or divorce from RA. The neglect in H.D.
studies of this profoundly important relationship – for both parties – remains
a problematic lacuna.
Composer Gabriel Jackson has recently set
the series of RA poems ‘Images’ to music. The piece was premiered at the
Leeds Lieder Festival in early October, sung by the soprano Dame Felicity Lott,
accompanied by pianist Malcolm Martineau. The performance was reviewed
favourably in the Yorkshire Post. The prospect of further
performances looks unlikely, unfortunately, due to permissions issues; Gabriel
is hopeful that these might be resolved amicably, as many audience members were
coming across RA for the first time and were inspired to read further.
Michael Copp draws our attention to a review of his Imagist Dialogues.
It is a lengthy article-cum-review by C.D. Blanton in the Journal of
Historical Biography, Vol. 8, Fall 2010, published by the University
of the Fraser Valley, Canada. Blanton's essay is full of interesting and
thought-provoking insights into the legacy of Imagism. Here are some selected
'. . . few of
[Imagism's] most distinctive efforts have lasted as anything more than
modernism's juvenilia. And yet, from The Cantos to The Waste Land,
the period's later and larger poetic projects remain ambiguously predicated on
some version of its basic insight.'
'. . .
Aldington and Flint provided much of Imagism's recognizable style and most of
its critical coherence throughout the 1910s, as well as the better part of the
labour that secured it a modest place in English letters (reception was always
better across the Atlantic).'
'. . . in the
largest sense, it was the war that ended Imagism. The effect is clearly
discernible in Aldington's war poetry, more subtly perhaps in the language of shells
and poppies that infiltrates and deepens H.D.'s Sea Garden (1916);
the pristine equanimity of the Imagist lyric could not withstand the pressure
of events or the destruction of the pre-war social order that produced it.'
mid-decade [1920s], Flint's own voice had faded almost entirely, while
Aldington's had lost the ethereal detachment on which it once traded.
this respect, what seems most at stake in the correspondence is not Imagism but
its aftermath, including the construction of a literary history that ultimately
consigned both poets to a lesser place. It is difficult to avoid the impression
of Flint and Aldington as modernism's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, minor
characters without whom the play cannot proceed.'
never been suited to produce dominating & outstanding figures in the first
place, but merely to clear the ground on which they might emerge. Its force
depended too much on its collaborative aspect, its capacity for understatement,
and its distrust of large abstractions. . . . If Imagism was in some sense
the opening through which twentieth-century poetry moved, it was also the last
cultural gasp of an imperial era eclipsed in the process.'
Editor Andrew Frayn also reviewed Imagist
Dialogues favourably in the most recent issue (vol. 6, no. 2) of the
Edinburgh University Press journal Modernist Cultures.
Editor Andrew Frayn wrote a piece for the Guardian
newspaper on the Armistice Day weekend on the mythologising of the First World
War and the growing compulsion to remember. The full version is available
online at their ‘Comment is Free’ site, and an edited version was included
in the main Remembrance Day feature (Saturday 12th November 2011, p.
Correspondent Michael Copp notes that a
photograph in the Guardian, 6 December 2011, shows the installation
of a slab in Poets' Corner Westminster Abbey to commemorate Ted Hughes. Next to
it can be seen the stone commemorating 16 First World War Poets, headed by RA's
name. Also visible, close by, are Edward Lear, Anthony Trollope, T.S. Eliot,
and Tennyson. RA is in good company.
Biographer Vivien Whelpton was shortlisted
Biographers’ Club Tony Lothian Prize, and attended the awards ceremony in
London. While the prize went to another entrant, it must be seen as a boost
for the project to achieve such recognition.
The promised piece on correspondence with
the Fallases by Biographer Whelpton will be held over to the next issue for
reasons of space.
VII INTERNATIONAL ALDINGTON SOCIETY
III INTERNATIONAL IMAGISM CONFERENCE
In June 2012 the biennial International
Richard Aldington Society Conference will be held in the historic and
celebrated pilgrimage town of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer--seaside location on
the Mediterranean coast of the Camargue in the South of France--where the first
five IRAS conferences were held. The opening reception of the conference will
be on the first of June at the Saintes-Maries home of Catherine Aldington
(1938-2011), the first president of the IRAS, to whom the conference is
After the remarkable success of the last
IRAS conference, held at Brunnenburg Castle in Italy in June 2010, IRAS
officers and the conference directors have again decided on a joint conference,
with a focus on Richard Aldington and his colleagues and contemporaries or on
Imagism. Thus we invite conference papers that deal with any aspect of the life
and work of Aldington, or with any aspect of the "Imagist Movement."
Possible topics include Aldington and the Great War, Aldington and Imagism,
Aldington and Ezra Pound (or other contemporaries), Imagism and Aldington (or
Ezra Pound, Lawrence Durrell, T. S. Eliot, F. S. Flint, Ford Madox Ford, H.D.,
Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Amy Lowell, Elizabeth Madox Roberts et al—in
particular, their connections with Aldington or Imagism).
Send your title and brief abstract
(approximately 150 words) before the January 15, 2012 deadline to BOTH
conference co-directors: Daniel Kempton <email@example.com> and H. R.
Stoneback <firstname.lastname@example.org>. At the bottom of the abstract include
your name, academic affiliation, and e-mail address. (Please put IRAS ALDINGTON
CONFERENCE in the subject line of your e-mail.)
If you submit your abstract by January 15,
or if you indicate interest (by e-mailing the conference directors) in
attending the conference without presenting a paper, you will receive by
February 1, 2012 an e-mailed announcement concerning lodging, registration, and
Please remember to send all conference
inquiries and communications to BOTH conference directors.
We look forward to seeing you this coming
June by the sea in Les-Saintes-Maries--one of the most extraordinary conference
venues in the world.