Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This article is taken from PN Review 176, Volume 33 Number 6, July - August 2007.

Paper Tigers, Burning Bright! James Keery

In the final episode of my serial (PNR 171), I listed a set of 'axioms' which have bedevilled the criticism of the 1940s, but 'paper tigers' is a better term, and I am delighted to adopt it. One goes like this: 'The Apocalypse was a dead loss, but it was all over by 1943...' Professor Tolley (PNR 172) is so little convinced by my arguments to the contrary that he is unable to summarise them without begging the question, invoking, in all seriousness, 'the Apocalypse movement of the late 1930s'! In the same vein, after an account of the emergence of 'visionary modernism' in 'the mid-thirties', he turns his attention to Seven and Poetry London:

Beginning in the summer of 1938, but ending in the spring of 1940... Seven became a vehicle for Apocalypse writing... In the months before the war, there appeared the periodical that is often identified most closely with the new poetry of the forties, Tambimuttu's Poetry London ... He published Apocalypse poets... as well as the much more acceptable Dylan Thomas, George Barker [et al.].// All these developments were a part of a vibrant sub-culture that was emerging in the second half of the nineteen-thirties and that might be seen as being nipped in the bud by the coming of war.

I appreciate the gift of two brilliant specimens for my collection of ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image