23 JUNE 1973, Page 5

WYndham Lewis

Pleasant as it is to see Wyndham ,eWis seriously, and civilly, reviewed `.,n0W that he is safely dead). there are Tne things in Peter Ackroyd's piece 4°0ut him (June 9) which would have rillaade Lewis wince or snort. He did aVe a "distaste for human beings" as long as they were not stupid and assertive — or a "capacity for intrilgUe." He defended himself and con ealed himself from interference: hay no money, he had to work ince.asantly, without sale of his conrctions; but inside his defences his Ire, far from being " perverse and disordered," was one of bourgeois order rand comfort, in his own style. Over a Ifhlulber of years I was not in,requently his guest, and I know the 'Nth of this. He had no "idea of himself as Swift °I. Juvenal " or as a satirist; a rash Mention of an affinity between himself !lid Swift was once very sharply reActed, I remember. And what is this

talk of Lewis as champion of "British culture" and Lewis returning consciously " to the centre of the English tradition?" Man was Lewis's concern, man and the making quality of his mind, and the things made, whether English, French, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Polynesian or whatever. Lewis isn't to be turned into a cultural Little Englander, or for that matter into a convenient anti-socialist or some kind of a first cousin of Angus Maude, Geoffrey Grigson Broad Town Farmhouse, Broad Town, Swindon, Wiltshire.