Read David Jones: A Biography by Thomas Dilworth Online

david-jones-a-biography

As a poet, visual artist and essayist, David Jones is one of the great Modernists. The variety of his gifts reminds us of Blake – though he is a better poet and a greater all-round artist. Jones was an extraordinary engraver, painter and creator of painted inscriptions, but he also belongs in the first rank of twentieth-century poets.Though he was admired by some of the fiAs a poet, visual artist and essayist, David Jones is one of the great Modernists. The variety of his gifts reminds us of Blake – though he is a better poet and a greater all-round artist. Jones was an extraordinary engraver, painter and creator of painted inscriptions, but he also belongs in the first rank of twentieth-century poets.Though he was admired by some of the finest cultural figures of the twentieth century, David Jones is not known or celebrated in the way that Eliot, Beckett or Joyce have been. His work was occasionally as difficult as theirs, but it is just as rewarding – and more various. He is overlooked because his best writing is imbedded in two book-length prose-poems – In Parenthesis and The Anathemata, making it difficult to anthologise; the work is informed by his Catholic faith and so may feel unfashionable in this secular age; he was a shy, reclusive man, psychologically damaged by his time in the trenches, and loathed any kind of self-promotion. Mostly, though, he was a complete and original poet-artist – sui generis, impossible to pigeon-hole – and that has led to the neglect of David Jones: a true genius and the great lost Modernist....

Title : David Jones: A Biography
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780224044608
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

David Jones: A Biography Reviews

  • Joel Zartman
    2018-11-19 08:21

    It is not easy to write a good biography about an artist. Not only do you have to understand the artist, be absorbed in his life, do the history and be sensitive. You still have to put together a good book.What a good book this is! How refreshing to read a good telling of an important artist’s life. Dilworth illuminates the man and his work, and does it all with good prose, with interesting paragraphs, with an approach devoid of tediousness. The great interesting thing, David Jones, is always properly displayed. Dilworth has done outstandingly.David Jones was wounded in the battle of the Somme. He was an artist who made important engravings, metaphysical watercolors and ambitious poetry. He was a difficult poet. Considering the manuscript of The Anathemata, T. S. Eliot remarked that one had to read it three times to understand it. I’ve read elsewhere that Auden kept reading it without really understanding it. It is not an incomprehensible work, but it is ambitious in what it seeks to accomplish. If you have seen any of his paintings you’ll understand. They seem scribbly. You have to keep looking at them. They need explication, actually, and Dilworth provides it. One of the things difficult genuine art requires is a critic who can guide the non-specialist in appreciation. Dilworth provide this.One learns about the people who befriended Jones (Christopher Dawson and Kenneth Clark), about the books he read and re-read (Finnegan’s Wake and Morte d’Arthur), about his poverty and financial difficulties, and many other useful bits. One of the best things about this book does is the lavishly illustrations (you get some very generously large reproductions of Jones’ best works), with the reproduction usually on or facing the section of the text discussing it. Indeed, the size of the margins, the typesetting, the colors used, all these are part of the enjoyment of this book. It is properly bound, not just glued, weighs nicely, and only has one peculiarity: a bad, rubbery smell. This last may seem odd, but when you spend so much time in close proximity to an object so otherwise enjoyable, it stands out. It is an intriguing failure.Which can easily be forgiven. David Jones is as worth investing yourself in as T. S. Eliot is. Dilworth has drawn him nigh to you in his excellent biography. I urge you, draw nigh to David Jones.