counting for all the allusions to Lewis, his works, and his attacksnon Joyce. Eliot called Lewis “the only writer among myncontemporaries to create a new, an original prose style . . . thenmost fascinating personality of our time.” Pound communicatednwith Lewis during five decades and placed him in thenCantos more than once. W. B. Yeats admired Time and WesternnMan, The Childermass, and The Apes of God, and rightlyncompared Lewis to Jonathan Swift. Such was but some of thenesteem accorded to the visionary who honored, and who erected,nmonuments of unaging intellect.nWyndham Lewis expected “the herd”—that is to say, ourselves—tonrespond gratefully to his heroic demands andnscathing representations. His view of humanity—icy, abstract,nHobbesian, and removed from the liberal tradition—has beennseen as Fascist, inhuman, and cruel. To some degree, he acknowledgednthat himself. The trouble is, of course, that sentimentalitynand vanity keep us from acknowledging the truthnof an impersonal contempt. Small-minded Lilliput, coarsenBrobdingnag, and preposterous Laputa (complete with itsnacademy) have been and remain valid models of our world.nDean Swift’s wisdom is so uncomfortable that it is relegatednto children—and professors.nThe saeva indignatio of Wyndham Lewis made him thenhistorical counterfoil of Joyce, the opposite of D. H. Lawrence,nand the male chauvinist nightmare of Virginia Woolf. As thenself-styled “Enemy” of modern dissolution, he was the championnof objectivity, space, reason, and order. He was the poetnof the outside of things, and stood against all mush andngush, rejecting mediocrity, romanticism, and regression. ModernnBritish literature is inconceivable without him, but he hasnnot any more than Swift receded into the purely historical mu­nseum world to become only a relic of his day.nWyndham Lewis comes to mind often these days, and notnonly when we remember such characters as Tarr, Pulley andnSatters, Horace Zagreus, Vincent Penhale, and Rene Harding.nHe comes to mind when we consider that until recently Pee-nWee Herman was thought to be just the person to instruct thennation’s youth. He comes to mind when we consider apes ofnGod like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Julian Schnabel.nHe comes to mind when we routinely slip-slide in the slop ofnsmarm that passes for public discourse today. He comes tonmind when we consider the brave new world of interactiventelevision, “virtual reality,” and the multiculturalism promotednby the powers that be.nAbove all, he comes to mind when we recall some of the illusionsnof Modernism itself—particularly the thought that angreat work of art has the power to change the world. Thenreactionary modernist certainly had something to reactnagainst—not only the seizure of his charisma by phonies andnbureaucracies, but also the departure of the “herd” for thenexit marked “easy way out.” Just as Pound’s Imagism degeneratedninto “Amygism,” so did “modern art” and Vorticismnturn into the smiley faces finger painted by the Gartsides ofnthis world. “Art” became “self-expression”; “poetry” can ben”taught”; “the personal is the political.” In a “democracy,” thencustodial engineer gets to write the curriculum.nGonsidering the drone of the media, the complacency ofnthe established powers, and the cud-chewing indifference ofnthe citizenry, we have today better reason than ever before tonappreciate not only Wyndham Lewis’s prophetic exasperationnbut also why he considered his fellow creatures a herd.n<^nThe Wife Beater’s Punishment (With Commentary)nby Richard MoorenWhen he knocked out her toothn(a beautiful incisor)nhe lost his wife—plain truth:nhe didn’t recognize her.nThose verses sad and gory,nfeminists brash and clubby,nbegan with a true story:na wife thus bashed her hubby.nBut woman in a crazenbeats up her man in talesnlacks credence nowadays.nIn fiction, thugs are males.nIn life—I’ll make a sonnetnand add—don’t depend on it.nnnAUGUST 1992/27n