Spring 1956 • Vol. XVIII No. 2 Book Reviews |

Rationalist in Hell

Rationalist In Hell The Human Age by Wyndham Lewis. Methuen. 30s. The opening volume of Lewis' singular fantasy, The Childermass, was issued early in 1928, and its publishers spoke hopefully of sections two and three being ready soon. Although its impact, then and later, was relatively negligible (unlike The Apes of God, it pilloried no recognizable victims), the book was not without readers. "I am delighted with the first 100 pages of Childermass," W. B. Yeats wrote Olivia Shakespeare, "interested and a little bored by the next. But these 100 pages are a masterpiece." Despite the publishers' optimism, however, the promised continuation failed to appear. Now, some twenty-seven years later, The Childermass is ostensibly being completed: The Human Age contains two more sections, and a concluding section is said to be in preparation. One says "ostensibly" for a reason: the two volumes are separated by a good deal more than time. The Childermass, seen from this distance, is a brilli

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