Parnassus, and patria

Tumuli at Revesby in Lincolnshire Sunken Island: An Anthology of British Poetry Various authors, edited by Alexander Adams, foreword by William Clouston, London: Bournbrook Press, 2022, pb, 55pps, £12.50 Bournbrook Press is an offshoot of Bournbrook Magazine, founded in 2019 to offer a “primarily British audience with traditionalist, socially conservative argument and entertainment”. This venture’s…

High treasures of the Low Countries

KMSKA: The Finest Museum The Holy Family by Rubens. KMSKA Patrick De Rynck (ed.), KMSKA, 2022, hardback, 256pp, fully illus., €45 KMSKA: The Finest Hundred Patrick De Rynck (ed.),KMSKA,2022, hardback, 288pp, fully illus., €45 Bruegel and Beyond: Netherlandish Drawings in the Royal Library of Belgium, 1500-1800 Daan van Heesch, Sarah Van Ooteghem, Joris Van Grieken…

Art-icles of war

Photo: Ivan Radic. Wikimedia Commons Artivism – The Battle for Museums in the Era of Postmodernism Alexander Adams, Societas – Imprint Academic, pp 215, £14.95 GUY WALKER welcomes a spirited sortie onto the cultural battlefield One function of placing fine paintings in ornate gold frames or sculptures on marble plinths is to demonstrate the special…

Kafka: oracle and artist

Franz Kafka, Der Denker The Aphorisms of Franz Kafka Franz Kafka, Reiner Stach (ed.), Shelley Frisch (trans.), Princeton University Press, 2022, hb, 230pp + XXII, 9 mono illus., £20/$24.95 Franz Kafka: The Drawings Pavel Schmidt, Andreas Kilcher (ed.), Kurt Beals (trans.), Yale University Press, 2022, hb, 368pp, 240 col. illus., £35/$50 ALEXANDER ADAMS sees different…

The epistolary Eliot

The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 8: 1936-1938 T.S. Eliot, Valerie Eliot, John Haffenden (eds.), Faber & Faber, 2019, 1,100pp + li, illus., £50 The Letters of T.S. Eliot. Volume 9: 1939-1941 T.S. Eliot, Valerie Eliot, John Haffenden (eds.), Faber & Faber, 2021, 1,072pp + lxix, illus., £60 ALEXANDER ADAMS loses himself in a great…

Images of Bacon

Francis Bacon, by Reginald Gray. Wikimedia Commons After/Après Francis Bacon Alexander Adams, Bristol: Golconda Fine Art Books, 2022, 60 pages, £10. English and French (French translation by Peggy Pancini) LIAM GUILAR follows an influential artist’s flamboyant trajectory through verse Some years ago, the Canadian critic, Hugh Kenner, in conversation with Charles Tomlinson, lamented the disappearance…

Modernism seen now

RICHARD GERSTL (1883–1908), Self-Portrait in front of a Stove, 1907. Oil on canvas on board. Neue Galerie New York Modern Worlds: Austrian and German Art, 1890-1940 Renée Price (ed.), Prestel/Neue Galerie, 2021, 656pp, $75/£55 ALEXANDER ADAMS is transported to a thrilling time of artistic experimentation The Neue Galerie in New York holds one of the world’s…

John Wyndham, genius and prophet

The Wyndham Collection John Wyndham, three vols. (Day of the Triffids, The Midwich Cuckoos, The Chrysalids), Folio Society, 2022, 704 pps, £125 ALEXANDER ADAMS finds 1950s classics have troublingly modern messages The publication of a clothbound boxset containing the classic novels Day of the Triffids, The Midwich Cuckoos and The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (1903-1969)…

Dreaming of utopias past

Henry Wrong, first administrator of the Barbican Centre, overlooking the build. Credit: Barbican Archive Building Utopia: The Barbican Centre Nicholas Kenyon et al, Batsford, 2022, 288pp, fully illus., £40 ALEXANDER ADAMS acknowledges a modernist monument’s coming of age My first exposure to the Barbican Centre came obliquely. In the children’s science-fiction drama The Tripods, when…