David Jones was a visionary who wrote, in 1937:
That our culture has accelerated every line of advance into the territory of physical science is well appreciated – but not so well understood are the unforeseen, subsidiary effects of this achievement. We stroke cats, pluck flowers, tie ribands, assist at the manual acts of religion, make some kind of love, write poems, paint pictures, are generally at one with that creaturely world inherited from our remote beginnings. Our perception of many things is heightened and clarified. Yet must we do the gas-drill, be attuned to many newfangled technicalities, respond to increasingly exacting mechanical devices; some fascinating and compelling, others sinister in the extreme; all requiring a new and strange direction of the mind, a new sensitivity certainly, but at a considerable cost.
David Jones, In Parenthesis (1937; rpt. London: Faber, 1963), p. xiv.
In Parenthesis (1937) was David Jones’s first and perhaps greatest book, it made his name as a writer: a hard-to-classify modernist prose-poem distilling and mythologising his experiences during the First World War.
Continue reading “Journey Can Hero: David Jones – the artist-poet of the ‘ever-present past’”