By Stephen Klaidman
An extended past due biography of the ability couple that nurtured and inspired the literary international of early twentieth-century England
"I write basically to pay homage to a liked pal, but additionally within the desire that a few destiny chronicler of the background of artwork and letters in our time can provide to Sydney and Violet Schiff where that is their due."
—T. S. Eliot, in a letter appended to Violet Schiff's obituary, occasions of London, July nine, 1962
Largely forgotten this present day, Sydney and Violet Schiff have been ubiquitous, nearly Zelig-like figures within the most vital literary flow of the 20 th century. Their friendships one of the elite of the Modernist writers have been outstanding, and their large correspondence with T. S. Eliot, Katherine Mansfield, Proust, and so forth strongly indicates either intimacy and highbrow equality. major critics of the day thought of Sydney, writing as Stephen Hudson, to be within the comparable literary league as Joyce, Eliot, and D. H. Lawrence. As for Violet, she was once a skilled musician who nurtured Sydney's literary efforts and was once one of the first in England to acknowledge Proust's genius and unfold the notice. Sydney and Violet tells the tale of the way the Schiffs, regardless of their advertisement and Jewish origins, gained reputation within the snobbish, anti-Semitic, literary international of early twentieth-century England, and brings to existence a whole panoply of extravagant personalities: Proust, Joyce, Picasso, Mansfield, Wyndham Lewis, T. S. Eliot, Aldous Huxley, and plenty of extra. A hugely own, anecdote-filled account of the social and highbrow historical past of the Modernist circulation, Sydney and Violet additionally examines what divides the literary survivors from the sufferers of flavor and time.
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Extra resources for Sydney and Violet: Their Life with T.S. Eliot, Proust, Joyce and the Excruciatingly Irascible Wyndham Lewis
This accords with Yeats's own biography because of course the later play is at least in part a rewriting of the earlier one. The triangular structure of Yeats's Anglo-Irish phase is not yet present in The Dreaming of the Bones but the play does signi®cantly revise all the axes of the nationalist triangle. An Irish woman (Dervorgilla) still occupies one axis but unlike Cathleen Ni Houlihan she is complicit in the colonisation of Ireland; the mythic Father (Diarmuid) is still a colonising ®gure but he is Irish rather than English; and the revolutionary son (the Young Man) still harbours oedipal fantasies because he is unable to forgive his parents but, unlike Michael Gillane, is incapable of acting them out.
It is as though Yeats were attempting like the Old Man to abolish or reverse the generational process, a process which is also one of decolonisation. The grandfather and his grandson are identi®ed in the play. Both are loutish and avaricious; both are murdered at the same symbolic W. B. Yeats and the Nationalist Family Romance 41 moment. Thus the Old Man's murder of his son, the Boy, is a parody of parricide, closely resembling the act of parricide while nevertheless reversing its outcome. By murdering the sixteen-year-old boy, the Old Man ends sixteen years of Irish revolutionary government, not for a post-revolutionary or postcolonial cause but in the name of his Anglo-Irish mother, a symbol of the colonial period.
35 Essentially, what Yeats means is that `where all must make their living they will live not for life's sake but the work's,' a misfortune spared the artist and the well-born. 36 The 28 Modernist Writing and Reactionary Politics journal entry in which he makes this observation also contains an early draft of `Upon a House shaken by the Land Agitation,' a poem which begins by asking How should the world be luckier if this house, Where passion and precision have been one Time out of mind, became too ruinous To breed the lidless eye that loves the sun?
Sydney and Violet: Their Life with T.S. Eliot, Proust, Joyce and the Excruciatingly Irascible Wyndham Lewis by Stephen Klaidman