Beyond Sound and Shape: The war poetry and art of David Jones
Part of 'The Human Being: A Paradox of Freedom', 3 November, 2018, London
As we reach the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, this exhibition will examine the paintings and poetry of David Jones, who served as an infantryman in the trenches. It recounts a story of camaraderie experienced in the face of detached superiors, unbending military rigour and inhuman danger. As a soldier, Jones found freedom in a tenderness towards his companions, an awareness of the beauty that lies beyond what is merely useful, and a heroism within what is mundane or enforced.
James Fergusson, 'A Neurotic Aesthete: The Genius of David Jones', The Tablet, 22 August 2018
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Recently published in The Fortnightly Review, 'At Ladywell Cemetery' meditates on a visit to Jones' grave.
Call for Papers: Seminar on 'Re-presenting David Jones' for American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, Georgetown (Washington, DC), 7-10 March, 2019.
Organizer: Thomas Berenato
Co-Organizer: Anna Svendsen
Contact the Seminar Organizers
The centenary of the First World War has prompted new publications on and public interest in the life and work of the Anglo-Welsh poet and painter David Jones (1895-1974). In 2015 Chichester's Pallant House Gallery devoted a major exhibition to Jones, its magisterial catalogue by Paul Hills and Ariane Bankes attracting attention in the scholarly and popular press. English composer Iain Bell adapted Jones's war poem In Parenthesis (1937) for the Welsh National Opera in 2016. BBC Radio 4 featured Thomas Dilworth's biography of Jones, the fruit of three decades' research, as a Book of the Week in April 2017. Chapters in recent monographs by Anthony Domestico, Matthew Griffiths, and W. David Soud, among others, have considered Jones alongside his better-known peers. In late 2017 Brill presented a collection of essays addressing the question of Jones's status as a "Christian Modernist." In summer 2018 the journal Religion & Literature released a David Jones Special Issue and Bloomsbury Academic included an edition of Jones's unpublished prose in its Modernist Archives series, with an edition of his unpublished poetry to appear in December.
This seminar calls students and scholars of Jones to capitalize on and contribute to this growing corpus. Some spurs:
- Investigations of the vast Jones archives in North America and the UK
- Approaches to editing and exhibiting Jones's work and correspondence
- Jones among his Modernist peers
- Jones's inheritance and legacy
- Jones's cultural and aesthetic theories
- Jones and theology, religion, the Second Vatican Council, "the post-secular"
- Jones's politics, political theology
- Jones's women
- Jones's wars
Submit a 200-500-word abstract and 100-word bio by September 15, 2018