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RICHARD ALDINGTON A BIOGRAPHY
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Also by Charles Doyle,JAMES K BAXTER,WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS THE CRITICAL HERITAGE. WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS AND THE AMERICAN POEM,WALLACE STEVENS THE CRITICAL HERITAGE editor. Also published by Palgrave Macmillan,Richard Aldington. A Biography,CHARLES DOYLE,Charles Doyle 1989, Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition 1989. All rights reserved No reproduction copy or transmission. of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced copied. or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance. with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1956 as amended. or under the terns of any license permitting limited copying. issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency 33 4 Alfred Place. London WC1E 7DP, Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to.
this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and. civil claims for damages,First published in 1989,Published by. THE MACMILLAN PRESS LTD,Houndmills Basingstoke Hampshire RG21 2XS. and London,Companies and representatives,throughout the world. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data,Doyle Charles 1928. Richard Aldington a biography,1 English literature Aldington Richard.
ISI3N 978 1 349 10226 6 ISBN 978 1 349 10224 2 eBook. DOI 10 1007 978 1 349 10224 2,To Alister Kershaw,Listof Illustrations ix. Acknowledgements Xl,Introduction xiii,1 Chrysalis 1892 1911 1. 2 Pound and H D 1912 13 13,3 Egoists 1914 26,4 Images Lost and Found 1915 16 38. 5 War 1916 18 54,6 Aftermaths 1919 20 68,7 Malthouse Cottage Working at the Writer s Trade. 1921 25 77,8 Malthouse Cottage Eliot 1919 27 90,9 Malthouse Cottage The Late 1920s 1926 28 106.
10 Port Cros and After 1928 29 119,11 A Career as a Novelist 1929 31 138. 12 1931 33 151,13 1933 36 164,14 1937 38 177,15 Farewell to Europe 1939 40 191. 16 1941 42 206,17 1943 46 215,18 1946 50 230,19 1950 54 245. 20 TheT E Lawrence Affair 1950 55 261,21 1954 57 275. viii Contents,22 Maison Salle 1957 59 289,23 1959 61 300.
24 1962 313,Bibliography 355,List of Illustrations. 1 Richard Aldington in 1905 Estate of Margery Lyon Gilbert. 2 Richard Aldington aged 19 1911 Morris Library Southern. Illinois University, 3 Hilda Doolittle H D in 1913 Beinecke Library Yale. University, 4 A group of fellow poets visit Wilfred Scawen Blunt January. 1914 Courtesy of the Rt Hon Earl of Lytton aBE, 5 A multiple photograph of Dorothy Arabella Yorke Estate of. Professor Alfred Satterthwaite, 6 Richard Aldington as an army officer 1918 Beinecke.
7 D H Lawrence s portrait painting of Dorothy Yorke. Beinecke Library, 8 Brigit Patmore as a young woman Estate of Professor Alfred. Satterthwaite, 9 Osbert Sitwell and Richard Aldington in the gardens at. Montegufoni Morris Library, 10 Richard Aldington by Man Ray late 1920s Beinecke. 11 Richard Aldington photograph taken for a Harrod s window. display in the late 1920s Vaughan and Freeman photo Estate. of Margery Lyon Gilbert,12 Richard Aldington photograph by Madam Yevonde. According to Brigit Patmore this was taken shortly after. publication of Death of a Hero in 1929, 13 Aldington and Brigit Patmore in the South of France early.
1930s From Brigit Patmore s My Friends When Young, 14 Richard and Netta Aldington in the late 1930s Courtesy of. Catherine Aldington Guillaume, 15 Richard and Netta Aldington in the early 1940s Beinecke. 16 Henry Williamson and Alister Kershaw 1949 Courtesy of. Alister Kershaw, 17 Aldington in Montpellier 1955 Courtesy of F J Temple. 18 H D in 1956 Beinecke Library, 19 Richard Aldington Lawrence Durrell Henry Miller and. Jacques Temple Courtesy of F J Temple, 20 Aldington with his daughter Catherine in Leningrad late June.
1962 Courtesy of Catherine Aldington Guillaume, 21 Aldington and Catherine in the gardens of Petrodvorets 1962. Courtesy of Catherine Aldington Guillaume, 22 Aldington broadcasting in Russia 1962 Courtesy of Cather. ine Aldington Guillaume, 23 At Valentin Kataev s dacha at Peredelkino near Moscow. Kataev is on the left Aldington next to him Catherine in the. centre Courtesy of Catherine Aldington Guillaume, 24 Aldington with a group of his Maison Salle neighbours 1962. Courtesy of Catherine Aldington Guillaume,Acknowledgements.
Special thanks to Alister Kershaw Literary Executor of the Estate of. Richard Aldington for his assistance and for giving me the. opportunity to write this book Particular thanks for their assistance. to Dr Norman T Gates most devoted of Aldington scholars and to. Mr David Wilkinson author of a valuable unpublished study of the. context of Aldington s life in Berkshire in the 1920s. Grateful acknowledgements to the Morris Library Southern. Illinois University at Carbondale Mr Donald Gallup former. curator Mr Louis Silverstein and Miss Marjorie Wynne Research. Librarian of the American Literature Collection Beinecke Library. Yale University the McPherson Library University of Victoria the. Manuscript Division the British Library Mrs Ellen Dunlap andthe. Humanities Research Center University of Texas Dr Lola Szladits. Curator and the Henry W and Albert A Berg Collection New York. Public Library the Houghton Library Harvard University the. National Library of Australia Canberra the Newberry Library. Chicago the University of Chicago Library Dergenstein Collec. tion University of Arkansas Library Library of the University of. California Los Angeles University of Illinois Library University. of Iowa Libraries University of London Library University of. Toronto Library The All Union State Library of Foreign Literature. Moscow The Foreign Commission Soviet Writers Un ion. Moscow Copyright Agency of the USSR Moscow Lockwood. Memorial Library State University of New York at Buffalo. Dartmouth College Library University of Reading Library the. Huntington Library San Marino California Boston University. Library Cornell University Library Temple University Library. Princeton University Library India University Library New York. University Library Mr Roger Smith and William Heinemann Ltd. Mr Mark Bonham Carter and William Collins Sons Chatto. Windus Ltd New Directions Publishing Corporation the Viking. Press Antony Alpers the late Mrs Netta Aldington John Arlott. Robin Ancrum Professor Helen Bacon the late Dr Miriam. Benkovitz Professor Peter Buitenhuis Professor Fred D Crawford. the late W Denison Deasey Lawrence Durrell Mrs T S Eliot. Constantine Fitzgibbon C J Fox Mrs Catherine Aldington. Guillaume Mrs Eunice Gluckman James Hanley the late Dr. xii Acknowledgements, Selwyn Kittredge Lady Kathleen Liddell Hart the late Mrs. Margery Lyon Gilbert Professor Frank McShane Lawrence Miller. the late Professor Harry T Moore Malcolm Muggeridge Michael. Patmore Dr Lawrence Clark Powell Benedict Read the late. Professor Alfred W Satterthwaite Mrs Perdita Schaffner the late C. P Snow Lord Snow Philip Snow the late Vernon Sternberg M. F J Temple Professor Mikhail Urnov and Mr Eric Warman Special. thanks are due to Sue Mitchell for typing the manuscript. Introduction, A writer of great gifts thus Richard Aldington poet editor. translator critic novelist and biographer was adjudged by C P. Snow in the late 1930s 1 No one can read him for ten minutes. without feeling a glow of power and vitality A quarter of a century. later after Aldington s death and not long before his own T S Eliot. told a correspondent that something more permanent and. extensive should be written about Richard Aldington whose place. in the literary world of my time in London is or ought to be secure. Shortly thereafter in an obituary notice on Aldington Eliot said. We were on the same side for a long time and I was the first to give. offence although unintentionally 3 Snow too had more to say. about Aldington in the middle of a 1966 essay on Stalin There was. a break in our friendship because without doing anything at all or. saying a word I found that I was part of a conspiracy against him. We were I am glad to say reconciled before he died. At different times Eliot and Snow were good even close friends. of Aldington Both are on record as perceiving in him a brilliant but. difficult individual From the m id 1950s until recently Aldington. has been almost forgotten in the United States while in Britain a not. clearly deserved reputation for making virulent and intemperate ad. hominem attacks has largely overborne any sense of his considerable. literary merits But there are signs of a revival of interest in. Aldington s life and work In 1975 the New York Public Library. published his letters to the scholar Alan Bird which focus largely on. the research done for Aldington s biography of Lawrence of. Arabia in 1981 the Viking Press published his correspondence. with Lawrence Durrell At present a Selected letters is in. preparation and a volume of Aldington s correspondence with. Aldington s earliest literary avocation was as a poet By the time. he was 19 he had experimented successfully with free verse He. deserves an honourable place as an innovator in this medium. Besides being one of the official founders of Imagism in 1912 once. the Poundian phase of the Imagist movement got under way. Aldington was the most effective English Imagist Through his. work as apologist and editor he was instrumental in sustaining the. English end of the movement during its short life and was the prime. xiv Introduction, mover behind the 1930 anthology which was the movement s. summing up As he saw it the aim of Imagism was to correct. certain tendencies and to foster others by which he meant. banishing Victorian moralisms and poetical flourishes Signifi. cantly part of his own purpose was to circumvent those kinds of. artist who of necessity write think and paint only for each other. since there is no one else to understand them But perhaps his. chief service to Imagism was his early recognition of the greatness. of Hilda Doolittle s talent and his encouragement of her. Along with F S Flint and a little later T S Eliot Aldington was. largely responsible for infusing the influence of contemporary. French poetry into English As literary editor of the Egoist one of his. aims was a revolt against our intellectual provincialism v In. practice this revolt became a concentration on French literature. and an awareness of international consciousness acknowledged. by Eliot as editorial successor to Aldington at the EgoistY. Aldington sustained his role as cultural good European and. proponent of cross fertilisation throughout the 1920s in the pages. of the Times Literary Supplement the Criterion and elsewhere. All this occurred during a period when Aldington saw himself as. recuperating psychologically from experiences in the First World. War There are two kinds of men those who have been to the front. and those who haven t he wrote in his memoir Life for Life s. SakeP His first literary response was in poems Images of War t3. charged by Bernard Bergonzi with expressing a purely personal. revulsion from the scenes of war 14 a judgement which might. equally well characterise the poetry of Wilfred Owen But. Aldington broke away from the conservatism of his life and writing. in the 1920s with a larger statement about the war and an individual. contribution in another medium Death of a Hero which he called a. jazz novel claims the musical form Eliot and Pound linked with. poetry and is one of the most powerful works of fiction dealing. with the First World War Since its first publication in 1929 it has. been in print almost continuously most recently in the 1984. Hogarth Press edition, I would never have thought that the English would produce a. book like it Maxim Gorky wrote in 1932 15 The Russians. immediate response to Aldington s bitter realism quickly. expanded into intense interest in his work in general Confirmation. that this engagement continues was provided recently by the. participation of a member of the Soviet Writers Union Professor. Introduction xv, Mikhail Urnov of the Moscow Institute of Printing Arts at the.
University of Reading s Aldington Symposium in July 1986 Since. the appearance of Evgeny Lann s review of Death of a Hero in Navy. Mir in September 1931, Richard Aldington has always been accepted in Russia and still. is as a many sided figure a rounded personality Articles have. been written about him as a poet and a novelist a translator and a. critic a man and a writer articles studies reviews and notices. about him have appeared in works published in Moscow and. Leningrad in journals and in newspapers published in other. cities His books have reached every part of the country. A 1930s English critic A C Ward saw that the novel proclaimed. that the war had been fatal to a whole generation of youth by. inflicting death either morally or spiritually or both even when it. had spared the fighters bodies 17 For Aldington the causes of this. mass fatality were Victorian materialism humbug and philistin. ism which he attacked here and in his later fiction As an aesthete. he felt that the arts should be a life giving alternative to destructive. bourgeois social values but from Death of a Hero on the social. snobbery and artificiality of the London literary world were among. his prime targets Much of the opprobrium which Aldington has. suffered derives from the perception that many of his bitter and. angry assaults were directed with personal venom against. individuals As to that his friend Alister Kershaw once observed. There s no denying that Richard had an impressive muster of. aversions ranging from left wing bigots to the Catholic church. but as Roy Campbell says his hatreds were jovial and so to. speak generous they were never spiteful or vicious Besides he. rather enjoyed his own tirades and had a lot of fun making his. hatreds seem more ferocious than they were IS, The question of the quality of Aldington s personal animus. comes up with redoubled force in relation to his biographies In. that genre he exhibited great range from his succinct and still. valued study of Voltaire in the 1920s to his sketch of Norman. Douglas which he hoped would provide material for others. engaged in full scale biographies of Douglas to his rigorously. documented biographical enquiry into the life of Lawrence of. xvi Introduction, Arabia What Aldington added to the art of biography particularly. in the 1950s is an unusual amalgam of substantiated objective fact. with a subjective element which often enlivens the portrait he is. making Although he set out to give a full scale acount of the Duke. of Wellington he soon abandoned the idea of writing definitive or. exhaustive biographies in favour of what he termed portraits. Portrait of a Genius But his study of D H Lawrence is one of. the best works on its subject and remains in print If Aldington s. reputation finally foundered because of his enquiry into the life of. the other Lawrence the desert soldier no one has yet demons. trated that its major assertions are in any important particular at. variance with the truth,Early in his career Ald ington observed that. This question of criticism is of the very essence of our literature It. needs constant discussion A man of parts who could really work. out an original sincere criticism could determine the literary. taste of the next twenty years l, The man of parts turned out to be Eliot but Aldington also wrote a.
great deal of effective literary criticism ranging from numerous. book reviews in the Sunday Referee and Vogue to the Times Literary. Supplement Poetry the Dial and the Criterion Some of his best. criticism is to be found in the introductions to various anthologies. Perhaps the most useful remark on Aldington s competence in this. medium is Selwyn Kittredge s, How refreshing it is to be able to cast aside both the ponderous. scholarly study and the falsifying popularization and find a. critical commentary such as Aldington s introduction to the. Portable Oscar Wilde 20 which is lucid informed and gracefully. written yet full of balanced critical insights such as only a. lifetime of reading for pleasure can unfold P, Aldington had the instincts of a scholar even if he was strictly and. determinedly amateur and he read deeply and seriously through a. lifetime intensely preoccupied with literature but he also said in. his in troduction to The Religion of Beauty Selections from the. Aesthetes If we cannot take Art and Literature with a certain. lightness among the many pleasures of life let us take to.


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