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This article is taken from PN Review 15, Volume 7 Number 1, September - October 1980.

From a broadcast interview Andrew Forge

I first came to know of Adrian Stokes when I was at prep school in the mid-thirties. I suppose I was about twelve or thirteen, and I had the good fortune to be at a prep school where the English master was W. H. Auden. He knew that I was interested in writing and in painting, and he said: 'You must read Adrian Stokes, he's mad'. Something about the name and the epithet made me search out his books, and the first one that I came across was called Colour and Form, which I suppose had at the time only just appeared. I started to read it. It was perfectly obvious from the word go that here was a very, very grown-up voice, a voice which was saying the kind of things that I didn't really expect to be able to understand. Nevertheless I went on reading it and within, I suppose, three pages of the beginning of the book, really none of which I had understood, suddenly I came upon a passage that I felt might have been written specially for me. He is trying to make it quite clear that what he is talking about is the importance of imagery, and that the qualities of imagination that he finds in painting are not what the Surrealists at that time were talking about. Then suddenly he says: 'But, alas they are outdistanced in this respect by the mise-en-scène of any good gangster film.' And from that moment my ...

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