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This article is taken from PN Review 154, Volume 30 Number 2, November - December 2003.

`The Burning Baby and the Bathwater' IV James Keery


7: 'In Search of a Weltanschauung'

Together with the document reproduced in this issue of PNR, John Goodland's papers are more illuminating about the origins of the Apocalypse than any other source. None of this material has appeared in print. Most of it is unlikely to have been read by anyone other than its author, memorably described by Linda Shires as 'one of history's forgotten' and ludicrously by T.H. Helmstadter as 'a wealthy middle-aged Quaker'. 1 Goodland was a Cambridge undergraduate of nineteen on the occasion of the manifesto meeting in Leeds. Before the rediscovery of his archive, he was regarded as a peripheral figure, even as regards Seven, the magazine which he co-founded with Nicholas Moore and sponsored until his disappearance from the record in the spring of 1939. However, the material which has just come to light establishes him as a protagonist of the movement.

In previous issues, I have argued the case for the existence of an Apocalyptic manifesto very different from the item first presented by Francis Scarfe in 1942 and cited thereafter by literary historians. 2 In the light of letters by Dylan Thomas, I offered 'a minimal reconstruction of the original manifesto' and intended to produce 'a conjectural reconstruction of the complete text'. Giles Goodland's discovery has, of course, saved me the trouble. The stumbling squirrel, Donald Duck and the Whole Man all duly appear, but my assertion that 'the original was undoubtedly longer' did scant justice, as ...


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