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Edited by Max Saunders
ISBN: 978 1 857543 96 4
Categories: War writings
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: October 1999
218 x 135 x 25 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
Digital access available through Exact Editions
Yes, I have just one War Picture in my mind: it is a hurrying black cloud, like the dark
cloud of the Hun shrapnel. It sweeps down at any moment. Over Mametz Wood: over the Veryd
Range, over the grey level of the North Sea; over the parade ground in the sunlight, with
the band, and the goat shining like silver and the R.S.M. shouting: 'Right Markers! Stead
aye!' A darkness out of which shine - like swiftly obscured fragments of pallid moons -
white faces of the little, dark, raven-voiced, Evanses, and Lewises, and Joneses and
Thomases. Our dead!'
from 'Arms and the Mind'
Ford Madox Ford's post-war masterpiece, Parade's End, is recognised as one of the great British novels about the First World War. This selection from his other extensive writings about the war, published and unpublished, sheds light on the tetralogy. It includes reminiscences, an unfinished novel, stories and excerpts from letters. Ford was in his forties when he enlisted: this made him one of the few writers of his maturity to fight on the Western Front. His experience of combat was limited, but he was in the Battle of the Somme, was often under bombardment, and suffered from shell-shock. His largely psychological response to the war anticipates the recent renewal of interest in trauma and shell-shock (as, for example, in Pat Barker's Ghost Road trilogy). This book provides important testimony by one of the best writers of his generation.
MAX SAUNDERS is Reader in English at King's College, London, where he teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century British, American and European literature. He wrote Ford Madox Ford: a dual life, published by Oxford University Press in two volumes (1996).
Programme editor: Bill Hutchings
Praise for Ford Madox Ford 'what Ford conveys above all is less his particular preference than his radical passion for the novel as an instrument and what can be done with it.'
C.H. Sisson 'It displays Ford's dedication to his art; it demonstrates, also, the possibilities of English prose in the hands of a master.'
Peter Ackroyd, The Sunday Times 'The Rash Act ought to be bought and read by all interested in the novel as an art form... The action takes place in the French South which Ford loved, but man no longer sustains the tradition of myth and history which that region once represented... Here in The Rash Act we have the death of morality and responsibility - a forbidding theme, but, in the paradox of art, it is made to serve a tapestry of rich colour and galloping vivacity.'
Anthony Burgess, Observer 'No Enemy is Ford Madox Ford's little-known First World War novel, musing and reflective, published for the first time in Britain by Carcanet and ably edited by Paul Skinner. Congratulations to them both.'
Alan Judd, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 30th June 2002 'Of the various demands... that he show us the way in which a society works, that he show an understanding of the human heart, that he create characters in whose reality we believe and for whose fate we care, that he describe things and people so that we feel their physical presence, that he illuminate our moral consciousness, that he make us laugh and cry, that he delight us by his craftmanship, there is not one, it seems to me, that Ford does not completely satisfy.'
W. H. Auden
'Ford Madox Ford's Parad's End, arguably the most sophisticated British fiction to come out of that war. Carcanet's reissue of the first volume, Some Do Not (£18.95), is the first reliable text, reconstructing Ford's dramatic original ending. Brilliantly edited by Max Saunders and now to be filmed (scripted by Tom Stoppard), it deserves to be and will be better known.'
Alan Judd, Books of the Year 2010, The Spectator.'Of the various demands one can make of the novelist, that he show us the way in which a society works, that he show an understanding of the human heart, that he create characters whose reality we believe and for whose fate we care, that he describe things and people so that we feel their physical presence, that he illuminate our moral consciousness, that he make us laugh and cry, that he delight us by his craftsmanship, there is not one, it seems to me, that Ford does not completely satisfy. There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade's End is one of them.'
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