situation by more than half a century. His disassembly of thenprogressive mind-set is still instructive today, as when he notesn’ that “[male inversion] is as an integral part of feminism propernthat it should be considered a phase of the sex war. Then’homo’ is the legitimate child of the ‘suffragette.'” Such observations,nhowever, constituted only a part of Lewis’s reactionnto what he called a “moronic inferno of insipidity and decay.”nTime and Western Man (1927) shows how the cults of infantilism,nsentimentality, nostalgia, “democracy,” “time,”nmodern physics, relativism, advertising, mechanization, Bergsoniannflux, Spenglerian dialectic, and subjectivity are expressednin and through such characters as Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein,nChadie Chaplin, James Joyce, and various philosophers of thenone-way song of the modern progressive mentality. Lewis prescribesnas a potent antidote to the erosion of contours, thenmelting of forms, and the collapse of external reality the calmnof classical certitude, the hard shell of firmness, even the stasisnto which he drove his satirical vision in a titanic effort tonstop time.nThe Childermass (1928) has been described by Hugh Kennernas “simply The Art of Being Ruled dramatized.” This Dantesquenfantasy of the afterlife shows that state to be angrotesque parody of the one we already live in, with superbnpassages of mock-Joyce and ersatz Stein. The static puppetnshow of the politics of heaven is a visionary nightmare that willnalways be “true.” Pulley, Satters, and the Bailiff are a moronicninferno in themselves, effigies of Joyce, Stein, and the Zeitgeistnwho would today—in less heroic times—be represented bynlesser but not more sinister apes (Harold Brodkey, Alice Walker,nand Bill Moyers?). The Childermass is probably the peak ofnLewis’s verbal resourcefulness—a work to classify with SartornResartus, the Alice books of Lewis Carroll, and FinnegansnWake.nLewis’s biggest book. The Apes of God (1930), is also stillntrue, though it is a highly focused and specific satire of individualsnand trends. Never mind that it was to the wistful sensitivesnof Bloomsbury what Jack the Ripper was to so manyntarts. The book should be thought of as a prophecy of then1960’s and as an indispensable Baedeker to the art wodd of today,nin which a pile of dirt is “a statement” and the visual artsnare inextricably tangled with the politics of drugs, rock and roll,nthe fashion industry, pornography, money, and the world viewnthat sanctions Robert Christo’s shrinkwraps, Judy Chicago’sn”The Dinner Party,” and the AIDS quilt as works of art. Certainnlittle questions that do not get asked today—about thenlack of creativity, of integrity, of mind—are framed forever innLewis’s immortal representation of a fraudulent Invasion of thenBody Snatchers. The depiction of preposterous puppets whonactually think they are alive is intended to remind us of somethingnthat is still forgotten—namely, that we are not supposednto seem dead until we are. The phrase “Night of the LivingnDead” should denote an interesting horror movie—not thenNew York art and publishing world now or Bloomsbury then.nMen Without Art (1934), containing famous attacks onnHemingway and Virginia Woolf, is another assertion that wenlive in a world without that indispensable thing we talk sonmuch about and have so little of. Lewis’s own books, somensay, lacked in that quality itself to some degree—the first twonessays I have cited are eccentric and hard going; the secondntwo fictions are static in the extreme and not for everyone,nthough I think that in their unrelenting demands they arenmodernist masterpieces. After Snooty Baronet (1932), Lewisn26/CHRONICLESnnnabandoned the puppet-images he had overemphasized andnmellowed sufficiently to write novels that were not only morenhumane in tone and substance but were also more accessiblenand appealing. He had lost, however, none of his obsessivenpower and little of his prophetic touch. The Revenge for Loven(1937)—perhaps the greatest political novel of this century—nis a superbly crafted work that shows the strained relation betweennthe phony parlor-pinks of Britain and internationalncommunism in the context of the Spanish Civil War as well asnthe price there is to be paid when human reality is distorted bynideology. His most readable and traditional work. The Revengenfor Love shows how much Lewis gained when he let gonsome of his determination to avoid sympathetic characterizationnitself in order to avoid sentimentality and cliches. Is itnnecessary to add that this great novel, being politically incorrect,nwas no success—except in the ways that matter most?nAfter Wyndham Lewis spent what he called “World WarnNo. 2” in the United States and Canada, he returned to a diminishednBritain that he portrayed in the stories of RottingnHill. Once again a war had blasted away much of his reputation.nWhen he started over this time, he had to do so in hisnold age, and as he did so he began to lose his sight. But hennever lost his internal vision, his verbal energy, his courage, ornhis savage humor. In “My Disciple” he shows an ape of himselfnwho has mastered the new world of art appreciation fornthe masses. Mr. Cartsides will be an art director in a new college—andnhere Lewis anticipates what has happened to Americanneducation in the last thirty years. “If only he could learnnto paint. …” But “Wyndham Lewis”—a character in the story—ironicallynapproves of Cartsides’ regarding art as an “uproariousnracket,” since that is how the tonier parasites had alwaysndone the job.nToward the end of his life, Lewis seemed to have gainednperspective on his extraordinary existence even as he lost hisnsight. Self-Condemned (1954) reviews his self-destructive pathnin leaving England during the war and the larger theme of thennecessary results of his top-lofty self-absorption. The protagonistnwas condemned by himself and by no one else; butnthe narrative also condemns self as a preoccupation. Self-Condemnedncontains Lewis’s truest self-portrait in the picture ofnRene Harding, and in the representation of his wife Llester,nwhat amounts to an apology to his own spouse for the hardntime she had endured with him. Rene Harding winds up asnonly a “glacial shell” at a mediocre college—obviously a fatenworse than death. But Harding was not Wyndham Lewis,nwho was productive until his demise. He returned to his visionnof the next wodd in his sequels to The Childermass, MonstrenGai and Malign Fiesta; finished The Red Priest; and hadnbegun Twentieth Century Pallette before he died. The lastnphase of Lewis’s career was perhaps even more astonishingnthan his outpouring in the 20’s. And though I have not saidnmuch here about his life as an artist, the recognition that hasnlately come to him should be cited. Wyndham Lewis has takennhis place in the history of modern art as well as literature,nand such great paintings as The Surrender of Barcelona haventheir place in the record of his achievement alongside the familiarnportraits. It is doubly right that we remember Lewis’snrepresentation of them first when we bring to mind the imagesnof Eliot, Pound, Joyce, Edith Sitwell, and Stephen Spender.nWyndham Lewis received a tremendous recognition fromnthe few people we could call his peers. Joyce’s Finnegans Wakencannot be comprehended (if that is possible) without ac-n