Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Commonplace 242 George & An Outburst On Gissing.

No, not me this time - but Douglas Goldring (1887-1960).
Douglas Goldring 
by Elliot and Fry 1920
Goldring was a fascinating bloke - his was the sort of social trajectory George would have envied, and would have cut his right arm off for. Born into an independently wealthy family, Douglas went through the usual middle class private school to university system, but didn't need to graduate as he came into a substantial inheritance - he left Magdalen College to become a writer. He took on the editorship of Country Life magazine - but you can't hold that against anyone haha. He worked for Ford Madox Ford (and if you haven't read Ford's 'The Good Soldier' - why are you wasting your time reading this when you could be reading that???) Then he opened his own magazine, the Tramp, and published work by Wyndham Lewis and the British Art movement known as the Vorticists by way of Italian fascist Futurist Marinetti. (Does having fascist friends make one a fascist? Discuss.) Douglas was instrumental in the publication of Blast click, the Vorticist group's manifesto-styled magazine, mostly written by Lewis.

He volunteered in WW1. was invalided out, then took up an anti-War position. He became involved with the Fabians and the Bloomsbury Group, and was a committed Socialist. He made use of the 1917 Club, so-called to commemorate the Bolshevik Revolution, where he took afternoon tea with the likes of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Ramsay McDonald, Aldous Huxley, HG Wells and DH Lawrence.

A prolific poet, writer, critic and editor, in 1920, Douglas wrote 'Reputations', the work the following piece is from. Enjoy. And maybe debate that parting shot about George's 'factitious' (ie made up) reputation. Bloody cheek of it!!

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