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This interview is taken from PN Review 31, Volume 9 Number 5, May - June 1983.

A Conversation with George Barker Robert Fraser


Robert Fraser: Your first volume, Thirty Preliminary Poems, was published by David Archer at the Parton Press, which operated from his bookshop just off Red Lion Square. In your volume In Memory of David Archer of 1973, looking back at your association forty years earlier with Parton Street and the libertarian Promethean Society which used to meet there, you wrote, 'The vision of George Wells united with that of Arnold of Rugby consummate themselves in a political idea over which the Sun would, I believe, refuse to preside, or the Moon to mourn.' Is that a statement of a longstanding conviction or the recantation of an old love?


George Barker: I never recant old loves. The Prometheans met upstairs, and there was a chap called Alec Craig who ran the society, who was under the illusion that he was introducing a new line in sexual ethics. In fact, since all the women were about 101, it was absurd. They were all so well-intentioned, but I've never been tempted to take liberties with old ladies of 101 myself. I believe some people are. Later they ran an organization called the Ethical Society with the loveliest chambers in an old domed church in Bayswater. There the society would meet and organize readings of verse once a month.

What were they reading: Havelock Ellis?

Worse than that. They were all such passionate advocates of Lawrence, that it became slightly comic. There was ...


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