Thursday, 6 December 2012
BRITISH MODERNISM AT WINCHESTER
On Tuesday I travelled to Winchester and stayed the night at the Wykeham Arms very near the Cathedral. This post box is on the building and the old baker's sign (below) is along Canon Street nearby. On Wednesday I took part in the British Modernism Seminar: Three Poets on British Modernism at Winchester University, my first visit to Winchester, what a beautiful city that seems to have escaped WW2 bombing. Mark Rutter gave a paper 'David Jones: In Parenthesis and the Modern Illustrated Book'. Julian Stannard's paper was 'Basil Bunting: Chomei at Toyama, Redaction and Prefiguration'. Mine was 'Lee Harwood and Harry Guest: The Orient in Later Modernist English Poetry'. I had heard Julian's paper on Bunting at the Basil Bunting and Friends conference in Durham, but it was well worth hearing again. The account of Bunting's translation of an Italian source for Chomei, picking up on Buddhist ideas and connecting with Bunting's Quaker background and Pound's translation practice in Cathay was excellent. Mark Rutter's paper about David Jones started with a brief account of Blake's hand-printed word and image books, and looked in detail at Jones' illustrated manuscripts for In Parenthesis. None of the drawings from Jones' manuscript make it into the published book and indeed it would have been another kind of book if they had. The material is rich and the meaning of the book is certainly made differently and complemented by taking the manuscript pages into account. This is an obvious publishing project for someone who wants to develop the understanding and reception of Jones' work. We had a good discussion about the idea of Modernism in British poetry. I've recently had a proof of my paper from UNO Press, so I hope to see it published early in 2013.