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This article is taken from PN Review 9, Volume 6 Number 1, September - October 1979.

Rickword in Fiction (An extract from The Apes of God, 1930) Wyndham Lewis

Going for the snack-lunch beforehand to the Beddington Arms, Ratner [John Rodker] found himself amongst business friends. They sat at a marble table-as it was a café within a pub and the Saloon had tables. Principal amongst those there was Siegfried Victor [Douglas Garman?] , though Hedgepinshot Mandeville Pickwort was a sharper man. They were both Oxford-bred, half-mid-european men, and both young. Ratner was to publish their anthology of the Verse of the Under-Thirties. . . .

Siegfried Victor was a massive young man, even above six-foot, and very broad shouldered, with a handsome nobly-proportioned head upon a greek museum-model. . . . He had that air of sitting in judgement, an informal pub-moot-upon anyone he attended to, in turn, he passed a summary judgement-and now he sucked, with a formidable owlishness, a bold black pipe. Hedgepinshot Pickwort, who was a small bleached colourless blond, stared before him. He sucked another pipe. . . .

In the middle of the conversation Hedgepinshot Pickwort rose with a sluggish stumble, he was dressed in a spotted and baggy undergraduate get-up really, and he crawled out of the Beddington Arms without speaking.

Hedgepinshot is rather a rare name and so is Pickwort, but he was a poet and a picker up of words as he went no doubt, and `pinshot' was a word Pickwort had picked up under a hedge very likely, and Hedgepinshot carried on the 'decadent' tradition upon a tide of pallid very low-volted ...


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