Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) was a British novelist, painter, essayist, and polemicist. Credited with being the founder of the only modernist movement from Britain, Vorcticism, Lewis approached politics as an aesthetic discipline. His 1931 work Hitler was written after his visit to Germany that year, and highlights the charged atmosphere and uneasy tension that permeated Berlin. Bringing his wit and humor to analyze a country on the eve of revolution, Lewis argues that in contemporary ’emergency conditions’ Hitler may truly be the best option for Germans.
Branded a National Socialist sympathizer – Wyndham Lewis’s reputation never recovered from the release of this book. Even later disavowals in The Hitler Cult and The Jews, Are They Human? (both in 1939) failed to restore his image. Throughout the 1930’s Wyndham Lewis persisted in his advocacy of what is now termed “appeasement”. During the war, he fled to the United States and Canada, all the while working to distance himself from his 1931 writings. His later work began explicitly praising a radical individualism which had been ever-present, but never before at the forefront. He returned home to England after the war, and went blind in 1951, but kept writing critiques and fiction of such quality that he had a brief renaissance of popularity before his death in 1957. Despite this, the shadow of Hitler continues to haunt the legacy of Wyndham Lewis.
Antelope Hill is proud to release Wyndham Lewis’s Hitler, in print for the first time since 1972, with an original foreword by John Chapman, so that the reader can judge for himself the character of this unique artist.