Binckes, F (2016) ‘I am for this particular ghost’: the medium and the editor in Wyndham Lewis’s later art writings. In: Editing Modernism/Modernist Editing, 12-13 May 2016, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK.


The subject of this paper is Volume 20 of the OUP Collected Works of Wyndham Lewis, which I am currently preparing. This volume will collect the very substantial writings on art Lewis produced between 1930 and his death in 1957. As a visual artist, critic and editor throughout this period, Lewis was highly conscious of the relationship between processes of production and reception. This awareness played a vital role in shaping his work during this period. Thus, the artistic ‘modernism’ that he scrutinised, defended, and on occasion resurrected during this period was tailored to suit diverse print contexts, and referred to works either unseen or illustrated only in reproduction. Despite the considerable consistency in Lewis’s theories of artistic modernism, each of these distinctive contexts haunts the edition. An editor must register the traces of these absent media but, like Lewis himself, can only do so within the constraints of their own material context. This paper will explore the productive tensions generated by this editorial problem. It will argue that the editorial process brings to light questions of absence, memorialisation and loss that play as large a role in Lewis’s writing of his own—and modernism’s—art history as his assertive, stable, and self-canonising texts.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2016 12:18
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2016 12:18
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