By Kerry Bolton This mini biography was first published in the now out of print book “Thinkers of the Right”
Wyndham Lewis is credited with being the founder of the only modernist cultural movement indigenous to Britain. He founded the Vorticist movement and their magazine “Blast”. He rejected 19th Century humanism and Romanticism in the arts as reflections of the Rousseauan (and ultimately communistic) belief in the natural goodness of man when uncorrupted by civilisation. Lewis opposed the idea of the “melting pot” where different races and nationalities became indistinguishable. He was drawn eventually to Fascism and Adolf Hitler and later rejected both and instead became an admirer of Nietzsche. The reasons for this including his ideal of a separation of the cultural elite from the masses. He wrote for the British Union of Fascist magazine BUF Quarterly. In 1931 he wrote an appreciation of the German leader entitled “Hitler” – and that sealed his fate as far as the the establishment were concerned. His last work was called “The Red Priest” and was published a year before his death in 1957. T.S.Eliot wrote in Lewis’ obituary in The Times that: “A great intellect has gone”