About:

Documenting the quest to track down everything written by (and written about) the poet, translator, critic, and radio dramatist, Henry Reed.

An obsessive, armchair attempt to assemble a comprehensive bibliography, not just for the work of a poet, but for his entire life.

Read "Naming of Parts."

Henry Reed Henry Reed
Henry Reed Henry Reed
Henry Reed, ca. 1960


Contact:


Reeding:

Cold Comfort Farm: Sensible Flora Poste moves in with her eccentric country relatives.
The Dog Stars: A man, his dog, and an airplane survive an apocalyptic flu.
The Sparrow: A Jesuit-led mission to a newly discovered planet.


Elsewhere:

Books

Libraries

Weblogs, etc.


Posts from May 2013

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

24.7.2014


Seething Vita

I've only just remembered today that I am sitting on a vast hoard of newspaperly gems from The Guardian and Observer, including this small vote of confidence from none other than Vita Sackville-West.

Ms. Sackville-West (you may remember) had a bit of a run-in with the poetry committee of the Society of Authors in March, 1946, in the midst of trying to decide who would read at an upcoming poetry recital for the Queen. If she held any ill-will towards Reed she does not show it in her review of A Map of Verona for The Observer on May 5th ("Seething Brain," p. 3), little more than a week before the recital.

Indeed, she reports being 'much taken with the poem called "Lives," which seemed to express so admirably Mr. Reed's sense of the elusiveness as well as the continuity of life':

Observer blurb

In addition to Reed's A Map of Verona: Poems (Cape) and Durrell's Cities Plains and People (Faber), Sackville-West also reviews (at length): Dylan Thomas's Deaths and Entrances (Dent); Edwin Muir's The Voyage and Other Poems (Faber); Four Quartets Rehearsed by Raymond Preston (Sheed and Ward); Pushkin's Poems, translated by Walter Morison (Allen and Unwin); Modern Czech Poetry translated by Ewald Osers and J.K. Montgomery (Allen and Unwin); and Joseph Braddock's Swanhild (Chaterson).

As for Vita and Henry, well... the poetry committee didn't pick him, either.



1505. Orwell, George. "Young Writers." Review of New Writing and Daylight (Summer 1943), edited by John Lehmann. Spectator (30 July 1943): 110.
Orwell says of "The End of an Impulse," Reed's criticism of the Auden-Spender school of poetry, 'Henry Reed's essay contains some valuable remarks on the dangers of group literature.'


Henry Reed in Variety

An obituary for Henry Reed appears in most surprising place: the classic New York/Hollywood entertainment rag, Variety. How does an arguably obscure British poet rate such an honor, might you ask? Because of Reed's surge of translations of Italian plays for the stage in London during the mid-1950s, which culminated in a New York production of Ugo Betti's Island of Goats at Broadway's Fulton Theatre in October, 1955. The play was a box office disaster and closed after only four days, resulting in the trademark varietyese™ headline:

Variety

Anyway, Foreign Crix Liked Flopperoo 'Goats'

'Island of Goats,' a recent flop on Broadway, had foreign appeal on both sides of the Atlantic. Having previously clicked in Paris, the show repeated with the foreign press reviewers in N. Y. It drew unanimous pans from the first-string Broadway critics.

The Ugo Betti drama, adapted by British playwright Henry Reed, folded Oct. 8 at the Fulton Theatre, N. Y., after seven performances. Following the windup performance, Saul Colin, a member of the Stage & Screen Foreign Press Club, took over the stage to praise the play, noting that 80% of the foreign publication aisle-sitters had turned in favorable notices.

Colin also shook hands with the entire cast, who had been standing on one foot and then the other.

[October 19, 1955, p. 71]

And here's Reed's aforementioned Variety obit, from the New York edition, January 7, 1987, p. 151:

Obituary

«  Variety Biography Betti  0  »


1504. Ludwig, Jennifer. "Lessons of the War: Henry Reed." In vol. 2, Literature of War: Experiences, edited by Thomas Riggs. Detroit, MI: St. James Press, 2012. 359-361.
A relatively lengthy assessment of Reed's influences, position, and the impact resulting from his famous sequence of poems, Lessons of the War.


Puts and Gets

So, the site experienced a horrible breakdown owing to an upgrade to PHP5 on my hosted server. All links were leading to the main page, and for who knows how long? Hilarious. I had to track down all my calls to get variables sent through the URL on all the page templates, and update them to the correct $_GET['$var'] format (or, in an SQL query, '$_GET[$var]'). That's what I get for not using WordPress or another supported service.

A few things may still not be working (comments, for instance, and will I be able to post this update? I think all my calls to post are properly formatted $_POST['$var']), but at least you can navigate the site!

Update: Aha! I could post, but not edit. Fixed fixed.

«  Updates  0  »


1503. King, Francis. Yesterday Came Suddenly: An Autobiography. London: Constable, 1993. 79-80.
Mentions Henry Reed and Angus Wilson making fun of the Bletchley Park Writers' Circle.



1st lesson:

Reed, Henry (1914-1986). Born: Birmingham, England, 22 February 1914; died: London, 8 December 1986.

Education: MA, University of Birmingham, 1936. Served: RAOC, 1941-42; Foreign Office, Bletchley Park, 1942-1945. Freelance writer: BBC Features Department, 1945-1980.

Author of: A Map of Verona: Poems (1946)
The Novel Since 1939 (1946)
Moby Dick: A Play for Radio from Herman Melville's Novel (1947)
Lessons of the War (1970)
Hilda Tablet and Others: Four Pieces for Radio (1971)
The Streets of Pompeii and Other Plays for Radio (1971)
Collected Poems (1991, 2007)
The Auction Sale (2006)


Search:



LibraryThing


Recent tags:


Posts of note:



Archives:


Marginalia: