Sunday, November 25, 2012

Clouds of Witness Ch 7

“Scenes which make emotional history,” said Miss Heath-Warburton, “should ideally be expressed in a series of animal squeals.”
                “The D. H. Lawrence formula,” said the other.

David Herbert Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.

Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his "savage pilgrimage." At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, "The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation."[3] Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical "great tradition" of the English novel. Lawrence is now valued by many as a visionary thinker and significant representative of modernism in English literature.    
 “Or even Dada,” said the authoress.
Dada  or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early twentieth century. It began in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916, spreading to Berlin shortly thereafter.[1] To quote Dona Budd's The Language of Art Knowledge,

    Dada was born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I. This international movement was begun by a group of artists and poets associated with the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition. The origin of the name Dada is unclear; some believe that it is a nonsensical word. Others maintain that it originates from the Romanian artists Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco's frequent use of the words da, da, meaning yes, yes in the Romanian language. Another theory says that the name "Dada" came during a meeting of the group when a paper knife stuck into a French-German dictionary happened to point to 'dada', a French word for 'hobbyhorse'.

The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature, poetry, art manifestoes, art theory, theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. In addition to being anti-war, Dada was also anti-bourgeois and had political affinities with the radical left.

Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media. Key figures in the movement included Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Johannes Baader, Tristan Tzara, Francis Picabia, Richard Huelsenbeck, Georg Grosz, John Heartfield, Marcel Duchamp, Beatrice Wood, Kurt Schwitters, and Hans Richter, among others. The movement influenced later styles like the avant-garde and downtown music movements, and groups including surrealism, Nouveau réalisme, pop art and Fluxus.

    Dada is the groundwork to abstract art and sound poetry, a starting point for performance art, a prelude to postmodernism, an influence on pop art, a celebration of antiart to be later embraced for anarcho-political uses in the 1960s and the movement that lay the foundation for Surrealism             

“We need a new notation,” said the curly-haired man, putting both elbows on the table and knocking Wimsey's bread on to the floor. “Have you heard Robert Snoates recite his own verse to the tom-tom and the penny whistle?”

A made up character

                Lord Peter with difficulty detached his attention from this fascinating discussion to find that Miss Tarrant was saying something about Mary.
                “One misses your sister very much,” she said. “Her wonderful enthusiasm. She spoke so well at meetings. She had such a real sympathy with the worker.”
                “It seems astonishing to me,” said Wimsey, “seeing Mary's never had to do a stroke of work in her life.”
                “Oh,” cried Miss Tarrant, “but she did work. She worked for us. Wonderfully! She was secretary to our Propaganda Society for nearly six months. And then she worked so hard for Mr. Goyles. To say nothing of her nursing in the war. Of course, I don't approve of England's attitude in the war, but nobody would say the work wasn't hard.”
                “Who is Mr. Goyles?”
                “Oh, one of our leading speakers—quite young, but the Government are really afraid of him. I expect he'll be here to-night. He has been lecturing in the North, but I believe he's back now.”
                “I say, do look out,” said Peter. “Your beads are in your plate again.”
                “Are they? Well, perhaps they'll flavor the mutton. I'm afraid the cooking isn't very good here, but the subscription's so small, you see. I wonder Mary never told you about Mr. Goyles. They were so very friendly, you know, some time ago. Everybody thought she was going to marry him—but it seemed to fall through. And then your sister left town. Do you know about it?”
                “That was the fellow, was it? Yes—well, my people didn't altogether see it, you know. Thought Mr. Goyles wasn't quite the son-in-law they'd take to. Family row and so on. Wasn't there myself; besides, Mary'd never listen to me. Still, that's what I gathered.”
                “Another instance of the absurd, old-fashioned tyranny of parents,” said Miss Tarrant warmly. “You wouldn't think it could still be possible—in post-war times.”
                “I don't know,” said Wimsey, “that you could exactly call it that. Not parents exactly. My mother's a remarkable woman. I don't think she interfered. Fact, I fancy she wanted to ask Mr. Goyles to Denver. But my brother put his foot down.”
                “Oh well, what can you expect?” said Miss Tarrant scornfully. “But I don't see what business it was of his.”
                “Oh, none,” agreed Wimsey. “Only, owin' to my late father's circumscribed ideas of what was owin' to women, my brother has the handlin' of Mary's money till she marries with his consent. I don't say it's a good plan—I think it's a rotten plan. But there it is.”
                “Monstrous!” said Miss Tarrant, shaking her head so angrily that she looked like shock-headed Peter. “Barbarous! Simply feudal, you know. But, after all, what's money?”
                “Nothing, of course,” said Peter. “But if you've been brought up to havin' it it's a bit awkward to drop it suddenly. Like baths, you know.”

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