Ford Madox Ford and Visual Culture


Editor: Laura Colombino
The controversial British writer Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) is increasingly recognized as a major presence in early twentieth-century literature. This series of International Ford Madox Ford Studies was founded to reflect the recent resurgence of interest in him. Each volume is based upon a particular theme or issue; and relates aspects of Ford’s work, life, and contacts, to broader concerns of his time.
This volume marks the seventieth anniversary of Ford’s death. Its focus is how his work engages with visual culture. He wrote criticism, biography, and reminiscences about the Pre-Raphaelite artists he’d been brought up amongst – Rossetti, Holman Hunt, and in particular his grandfather Ford Madox Brown. But his art-writing ranges much more widely, from Holbein to Cézanne and Matisse. Ford came to advocate Impressionism in literature. In London before the First World War he got to know avant-garde artists like Wyndham Lewis and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, and wrote about modern visual art movements, such as Futurism, Vorticism and Cubism. This work is discussed, not just in terms of what it tells us about art, but for what it reveals about the development of Ford’s own practice as a writer, and of his critical ideas. After the War he lived in France with two painters, first the Australian Stella Bowen, then the American Janice Biala, and moved in the Modernist art circles of Picasso, Juan Gris, Gertrude Stein and Brancusi.
This volume includes sixteen new essays by critics and art historians on Ford’s engagement with the rapidly transforming visual cultures of his era, which break new ground discussing his writing about visual arts, and how it affected his fiction, poetry and criticism. Among numerous illustrations are several portraits of Ford by Janice Biala reproduced for the first time. Also published here for the first time are generous extracts from Biala’s marvelous letters from the 1930s about Ford.

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Max Saunders: General Editor’s Preface
Laura Colombino: Introduction
Section 1: From Pre-Raphaelism to Modernity
Angela Thirlwell: From Paint to Print – Grandfather’s Legacy
Illustrations for Chapters 1 and 2
Vita Fortunati: Ford Madox Ford’s Art Criticism as a Reservoir for His Narrative Poetics
Illustrations for Chapter 2
Max Saunders: From Pre-Raphaelism to Impressionism
Ashley Chantler: Image-Music-Text: Ford and the Impressionist Lyric
Sara Haslam: To Cook, or to Paint, in Paris?: Ford in Colour
Rob Hawkes: Visuality vs. Temporality: Plotting and Depiction in The Fifth Queen and Ladies Whose Bright Eyes
Gene M. Moore: The Portrait: Ford’s Chef-D’Œuvre Inconnu
Anna Viola Sborgi: Ford Madox Ford’s Literary Portraits
Martin Stannard: Fording Holbein
guy mannes-abbott: Skull/Brain Drain Stain ( The Ambassadors)
Section 2: Post-War Engagements
Jenny Plastow: ‘If We Shadows Have Offended’: The Metaphor of Shadow in The Marsden Case
Mark Conroy: A Map of Tory Misreading in Parade’s End
Alexandra Becquet: Modernity, Shock and Cinema: The Visual Aesthetics of Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End
Joseph Wiesenfarth: Ford, Bowen, and Italian Art
Illustrations for Chapter 14
Jason Andrew: Ford + Biala: A Long and Passionate Dialogue
Illustrations for Chapters 15 and 16
Laura Colombino: Ford, Matisse and the Book of the Dead: The (In)visible Objects of The Rash Act and Henry for Hugh

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