From the Editor
Kerry Bolton’s Artists of the Right
Kerry Bolton’s Artists of the Right has been delayed for a couple of months due to a lack of funds. We now have the money, and the book has been sent to the printers. The new release date is Friday, October 19, 2012.
We are taking pre-orders here: https://counter-currents.com/artists-of-the-right/
We wish to thank our loyal readers and donors for making this possible, and Dr. Bolton and those eager to read the book for their patience and good humor.
The following text is from my Foreword to Artists of the Right.
Leftists think that their belief in human equality makes them better than the rest of us. They are particularly wedded to the idea that they are not just the party of humanity but of the intellectual and artistic elites. Thus it is a profound embarrassment to the Left that some of the greatest creative minds of the 20th century—including leading modernists—were men of the Right, and not just conservatives, but fascists, National Socialists, and fellow travelers.
Kerry Bolton’s Artists of the Right: Resisting Decadence, focuses on ten leading 20th century literary figures: D. H. Lawrence, H. P. Lovecraft, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Filippo Marinetti, W. B. Yeats, Knut Hamsun, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, Henry Williamson, and Roy Campbell.
All ten were immensely accomplished. Yeats and Hamsun both won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Lawrence, Pound, Marinetti, and D’Annunzio were commanding figures of their day. Campbell, Williamson, and Lewis (the last a first-rate painter as well) enjoyed smaller but intensely appreciative audiences, whereas Lovecraft’s growing fame is almost entirely posthumous.
As Joseph S. Salemi has remarked, the independence of mind that allowed these artists to break from Left-wing orthodoxy also prevented them from forming a new orthodoxy of the Right. They disagreed on many issues, including religion, economics, and the finer points of political ideology.
Yet to a man, they were united in their rejection of human equality—the common root of capitalism and communism—and their affirmation of a hierarchical model of society. Yet they sought a hierarchical society free of exploitation and invidious distinctions, upholding an organic model of society in which all parts must serve the common good of the whole. Finally, they were united in their rejection of atomistic individualism, although they also affirmed the possibility of creative and heroic individualism.
As Rightists, these artists rejected modern decadence and sought to preserve and restore healthier pre-modern social forms within the context of modernity. As artists, they often explored modern decadence from the inside, even as they upheld a longing for something higher: a form of life characterized by health, beauty, wholeness, and sanctity, based on models from classical Antiquity, the Middle Ages, or the natural world. They also combatted decadence by seeking to release vital creative forces imprisoned by ossified artistic traditions, often giving rise to startling forms of modernism, including Vorticism and Futurism.
With the exception of the chapter on Lovecraft, Artists of the Right consists of extensively expanded and reworked essays from Kerry Bolton’s earlier book Thinkers of the Right: Challenging Materialism (Luton, England: Luton Publications, 2003). A companion volume will cover T. S. Eliot, Yukio Mishima, Rex Fairburn, P. R. Stephensen, Count Potocki of Montalk, and others.
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