Category Archives: Essays

On Music, c.t.d – Colin Wilson

from ‘Modern Music – The Problem’ (Part Two) Stravinsky is more difficult to discuss than Schoenberg and Hindemith because his character seems to be more intricate. Moreover, there has been so much learned discussion of his stature and place in … Continue reading

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Surrealist Resurgence; Nouveau’s Midnight Sun

(ed. John Thomas Allen) The poet John Thomas Allen is on a mission. From reading the introduction to this short but powerful anthology; Nouveau’s Midnight Sun, comes an urgency very unique to 21st Century English language poetry, is it something … Continue reading

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The New Isaiah: A Forgotten English Poem of the 1930s – Niall McDevitt

Flicking through the fine hardback New Collected Poems of David Gascoyne (Enitharmon, 2014), I finally saw in the contents list the name of a poem I’d always wanted to read. All I’d ever known of it was the title, The … Continue reading

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On Music – Colin Wilson

from ‘Modern Music – The Problem’ (Part One) The essence of the ‘Modernist’ controversy was stated in the 1880s by Max Nordau in his book Degeneration; since then it has turned up in various forms, sometimes modestly, as in Haggin’s … Continue reading

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David Gascoyne: 2012 – Niall McDevitt

Is it possible for a 20th century poet to be a contemporary? David Gascoyne, who died in 2001—just managing to dip his toes into the third millenium—is a special case. A first biography of the cultic but widely overlooked poet … Continue reading

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In Defence of Pound’s Propertius – Mark Wilson

Although Ezra Pound’s Homage to Sextus Propertius was written in 1917 it would not appear in print until the publication of his Quia Pauper Amavi in 1919 where it elicited, in the main, negative reviews and controversy. Classical scholars scornfully … Continue reading

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The Coming Trauma of Materialism – Owen Barfield

The Fiend is making available a pdf version of Barfield’s essay The Coming Trauma of Materialism with the permission of The Literary Estate of Owen Barfield. It was first published in The Denver Quarterly in 1976, and collected the following … Continue reading

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Two More Prose Pieces – George Barker

Poem in an Orange Wig ‘Personally I feel as though I was drowning in a sea of boiling water.’ This is the sentence uttered by Schoenberg when he was invited to describe his life as a composer. He went on: … Continue reading

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These High Contingencies – Mark Wilson’s ‘Passio’ and ‘The Angel of History’

Mark Wilson has been very busy. In the same number of years three collections of poetry have appeared (details of which can be found below this review) the most recent two; Passio and The Angel of History are the subject of … Continue reading

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The Shaman of Subversion: Jerome Rothenberg’s Radical Deconstructions – Mark Wilson

Triptych (Poland/1931, Khurbn, The Burning Babe) 2007 There is much to celebrate in this recent collage-compendium of Jerome Rothenberg’s multi-various ‘Jewish’/’Poland’ poems. Triptych brings together perhaps his finest two works: the radically irreverent Poland/1931 and the brilliant holocaust memorial Khurbn. … Continue reading

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