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“Time and Western Man”: Wyndham Lewis’s Modernist Critique

Prof Paul Edwards takes us into the life and work of painter and writer Wyndham Lewis.

  • 27th February 2024 - 27th February 2024
  • 7:30 pm - 8:45 pm

Wyndham Lewis (1882–1957) was a major British Modernist painter and writer. He is best known for his leadership of the Vorticist movement, his editorship of their magazine Blast, and for painting some of the first abstract paintings in Europe.

However, Lewis’s lasting legacy is a complicated one, and his political and creative opinions often put him at odds with his artistic contemporaries. In his 1927 book, Time and Western Man, Lewis delivered scathing critiques of fellow-modernist writers Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein, and attacked post-Kantian philosophies for having eroded the power of the human mind and handed it to the temporal process of nature.

Oxford University Press are now publishing Lewis’s ‘Collected Works’, which will span over 40 volumes. In this talk at the Intellectual Forum, series editor Paul Edwards will give a brief survey of Lewis’s visual and written work, then focus on his own edition of Time and Western Man, the first in the series to be published. He will discuss some of the issues that arise in editing Lewis’s books and essays.

About the speaker

Paul Edwards read English at Jesus and is Emeritus Professor of English and History of Art at Bath Spa University. He has curated several exhibitions of Wyndham Lewis’s paintings, edited books by Lewis, and written extensively about him. He is the author of the only study of Lewis to treat all sides of his work (Wyndham Lewis: Painter and Writer, Yale University Press, 2000) and he is the General Editor of the Oxford University Press ‘Collected Works of Wyndham Lewis’.

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