Book review: Constellation of Genius, By Kevin Jackson
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 26 July 2013
1922, which saw the birth of Eliot's "Waste Land" and Joyce's Ulysses, also witnessed a "frenzy of innovation" across all the arts.
Zestful, erudite, high-spirited and readable, this chronicle of a year of creating dangerously takes the form of a day-by-day diary with merrily digressive notes.
Proust, Stravinsky, Fitzgerald, Chaplin, Woolf, Wittgenstein and dozens of others crowd its entertaining pages. Jackson both traces the course of this annus mirabilis of Modernism and - crucially - sets it fully in the context of turbulent world politics.
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