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The Short Sharp Life of T. E. Hulme

The Short Sharp Life of T. E. Hulme [Kindle Edition]

Robert Ferguson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Prior to the First World War T.E. Hulme was one of the most original and striking creative personalities in England, strongly admired by both Pound and Eliot. Yet he died in 1917, virtually unknown. A key figure in the genesis of Modernism, Hulme mixed among a great range of gifted artists and was never shy of courting controversy. Unusually among poets of his generation, he was convinced of the rightness of Britain's role in the war (and criticised Bertrand Russell for his pacifism.)

Robert Ferguson offers the first modern biography of Hulme, drawing upon access to Hulme's papers and later interviews with his associates.

'A humane, comprehensive biography... By the end, Ferguson's final judgment of his subject - 'the conservative character at its best' - seems justified.' Jeremy Noel-Todd, Observer

About the Author

Robert Ferguson was born in Blackpool in 1948. After completing Norwegian studies at University College in London, he took up a state scholarship in Norway in1983, and has since then lived in Oslo.Ferguson is an award-winning dramatist and has translated and adapted several of Ibsen's plays for the BBC. Apart from Henrik Ibsen: A New Biography he is also the author of two other highly acclaimed biographies, Enigma: The Life of Knut Hamsun and Henry Miller: A Life.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1992 KB
  • Print Length: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Faber Finds (15 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008X6JA1I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #584,141 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Robert Ferguson was born in the UK in 1948 and left school in 1966. He worked at a number of jobs including postman, hospital porter, deckhand on a trawler, factory worker, cook, driver etc before enrolling at UCL, London in 1976 and taking a course in Scandinavian Studies. He graduated in 1980. In 1983 he emigrated to Norway and has made his home there since. He began his literary career as a radio dramatist, translating and adapting for radio works by Knut Hamsun and Henrik Ibsen for the BBC. He has also written eleven original radio plays and twice won the BBC Methuen Giles Cooper Award for Best Radio Drama, in 1984 and 1986. His first literary biography was Enigma: The Life of Knut Hamsun, which was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Best Biography Award in 1987. It also won the University of London J.G.Robertson Award. In 1996 Enigma was dramatized as a 6-part television series by NRK (Norwegian State Television) As well as literary biographies and a history of the Vikings, Ferguson has written two novels, published only in Norwegian.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue, but well worth waiting for 12 Nov 2002
By A Customer
T.E. Hulme - writer, soldier and notorious debunker - was described by T.S. Eliot as the finest English language poet after Blake. Yet, at the time of his death in Flanders in 1917, he had published no book and his name was virtually unknown.
Of the scraps of his writing that do survive, in one essay Hulme observes that the covers of a book are responsible for "much error" in creating the illusion of a connection between things that might, in reality, have no necessary connection at all.
In The Short Sharp Life of T.E. Hulme Robert Ferguson connects his subject with the foundation of some of the great intellectual movements of the Twentieth Century.
Remarkably, this is the first modern biography of Hulme and the first to make full use of the interviews given later in their lives by those who had known him well.
Even if we are to take Hulme's advise to be wary of tenuous connections created in books, interviews and papers by Eliot, Ezra Pound (a close associate of Hulme), Ford Madox Ford and Robert Frost, to name but a few, substantiate the author's view that T.E. Hulme was a forerunner whose attitudes both shaped and defined the last century.
T.E. Hulme's relentless anti-Romanticism represented more than an opposition to a genre - it was the genesis of Modernism; his thought on modern art is now seen as seminal to the entire Twentieth Century movement; his contribution to literary criticism is said to have "set the tone" for that subject; and his opposition to the liberal humanist belief in moral progress
was enough to make the pacifist philosopher Bertrand Russell grateful for the First World War,if only because it had claimed Hulme's life.
Hulme rarely found himself without enemies. Aged just 12, a school report said, "his obstinacy is something appalling".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 6 Mar 2004
This was the first biography of T.E.Hulme i have read and also the first of Robert Ferguson's creations i have had the pleasure of reading.My interst in Hulme's works was sparked by research into my own family tree on the internet.Discovering such a fine poet,philosopher and social thinker carrying my family name came somewhat of a suprise but non-the-less a pleasant one.Hulme(among others) was indeed,i feel,a catalyst for monumental change in poetry and philisophical though in the twentieth century.Not only was he a great thinker,but also through the work of Ferguson we discover a vibrant and colourfull young man with emense durability of intellect and the drive and will to carry this through.This book is well written and i feel greatly indebted to Ferguson for the lengths he must have gone to in researching this book and the for phenomenal body of information which he so carefully grafted into such a fine portrayal of Hulme's life and works.I spyed this book as i was putting books out on the shelves at work and as much to say,it didnt quite get there,i snapped it up for myself.
A worthwile read for all thsoe interested in Hulmes life and his works.
Thank you Robert Ferguson
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BIOGRAPHICAL PAGE-TURNER SURPRISE! 5 Dec 2009
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He died in the carnage, yet his light still shines 8 Aug 2004
By Kevin Killian - Published on
Robert Ferguson has written a wonderfully condensed and considered life of the writer and theorist T E Hulme which supersedes anything else you might have read about Hulme before. Too bad Hugh Kenner isn't around to make use of the material that Ferguson has dredged up. Though no full length volume by Hulme had been published or even in the works when he died, sympathetic friends pushed one forward and SPECULATIONS, a selected works, became one of the key texts of the emergent movement he himself labelled, "Modernism." Along the way he helped to found Vorticism and Imagism, and became one of Ezra Pound's cornerstones, a trusted friend, and a bitter enemy of Wyndham Lewis, who attacked poor Hulme in a knockdown dragout fight worthy of a mid-period John Wayne movie.

In a way the book is also the biography of Hulme's last love, the milliner Kate Lechmere, who served as a handmaiden to modernism and who elicited some pretty wild letters from Hulme, from the trenches and elsewhere, which are now at the Harry Ransom HR Center at Austin in Texas, where all good things go when their owners die. You'll like reading the story of Kate Lechmere as a kind of added bonus to this book.
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