Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Wild Body

Wyndham Lewis's 1929 collection of essays, 'The Wild Body', is another one that I'm reading for the MA. Initially I found it rather dry, but further delving makes me think that George Orwell must surely have been heavily influenced by it for his classic 1933 book, 'Down and Out in Paris and London', which I read with relish a few years back... while feeling that life was getting me considerably down in London (Vauxhall, to be precise... before the rennovation that saw the likes of 'stars' such as , ahem, Lee Ryan from Blue move in).

Presumably Lewis's book is autobiographical, of his time as a soldier in the inter-war era, travelling though Europe under the psuedonym Kerr-Orr. Staying in boarding houses of various degrees of ill repute and commenting on the assorted characters he meets there, it never ceases to amaze me how - despite his travels across the continent - Kerr-Orr meets so many people he already knows. Maybe the world really is a small place?

While I understand that it is undoubtedly interesting to read accounts like this of a time that is gone for good, I am also left a little perplexed as to why this has stood the test of time so well and remains such a classic. However, I'm still two weeks shy of starting the much-hyped MA and maybe once I've got my teeth stuck into that, I shall cease making such naive comments and actually start to know a little bit about what I'm talking about. Here's hoping.

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