Ariane Bankes

Front Lines

David Jones in the Great War

By Thomas Dilworth

Enitharmon Press 228pp £15 order from our bookshop

When the artist David Jones’s book-length meditation on the Great War, In Parenthesis, was published in 1937 by Faber, it established him immediately as one of the most singular poets of the day. T S Eliot, who championed Jones at Faber, was delighted to discover in this ‘work of genius’ an entirely original voice, one that combined a startling modernism with a sensibility drenched in myth and history. The 40,000-word epic of prose and verse that reimagined Jones’s experiences as a private at the Western Front with extraordinary immediacy and depth was garlanded with praise, winning the Hawthornden Prize in 1938, then the only literary prize worth winning.

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