More From Jim Burns

Books Artists Beats By Jim Burns
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This tenth collection of essays and reviews again throws the spotlight on Paris and some of the painters and places associated with the city. Montmartre in its heyday, the 1890s and thereabouts when... More > Edgar Degas and Alphonse Mucha produced images of the spectacles to be seen in Paris and the leisure activities of its citizens. Some of them, at least. Neither artist was noted for painting scenes of working-class life, nor of poverty. To say that is not to condemn them for it. The same can be said of Matisse and Bonnard who largely created colourful canvases in the sun-drenched South of France. We need to appreciate artists for what they did, not accuse them for not doing what we think they should have done< Less
Bohemians, Beats and Blues People By Jim Burns
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This fourth collection of essays and reviews hopefully provides a useful and entertaining survey of various writers and others who might be said to slot easily into the category of bohemians. I have,... More > admittedly, included some writers who perhaps wouldn't have welcomed being called bohemians. Kurt Vonnegut, Gilbert Sorrentino, and James T.Farrell, for example. But it can be argued that most writers have at least a touch of the bohemian about them, and only those desperate for respectability need to deny it. It may all depend on how you define a bohemian. It's a term that extends far beyond the popular conception of someone who has a free-and-easy life-style that has links, however tenuous, to the arts. There are several essays dealing with little magazines. They seem to me to be essential to any study of 20th Century literature. This Quarter, Blues, and Contact between them say a great deal about the literature of the 1920s and 1930s if you want to look beyond the well-known.< Less
Painting, Poetry, Politics By Jim Burns
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As in the previous collection, Paris has a place in this one, with re-views/essays about various artists, writers, expatriates, editors, and others who were in the city at one time or another. I have... More > to admit that I’m generally looking back in these pieces to the Paris of the 1890s or the 1920s, “golden periods”, as they’re called, though in a review of poets in translation I do briefly comment on a collection of more-contemporary French left-wing poets. I doubt that they will be familiar to most British poetry readers, and that seems to me a good reason for reviewing them in the first place, and reprinting the re-view in this book. In case I’m accused of overlooking interesting British poets, there are reviews of several of them. These are from a list of several hundred books of poetry that I reviewed during a fifty years stint as a reviewer for the magazine, Ambit, edited by Martin Bax.One of the pleasures of writing for Ambit was that I wasn’t asked to only deal with books from established poets.< Less
Paris, Painters, Poets By Jim Burns
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I’m never at a loss when it comes to what to write about, as I hope the contents of this collection will show. Paris has often been a favourite place to visit, despite a lost battle with the... More > French language. There have always been foreign writers and artists in Paris, and they make for worthwhile investigation. But other aspects of the city, such as its philosophers and its radical history, have also occupied my attention. England has its artists, too, and in writing about Sven Berlin, Stanley Spencer, and John Bratby, I’ve focused on three who might be said to have been oddballs, in their different ways. Berlin and Bratby can probably be categorised as bohemians, but Spencer was just eccentric.It isn’t only the bohemianism or the eccentricities that involve me. I like the work that all three produced, even if, especially in Berlin or Bratby’s case, it could be variable in quality. But they were interesting.< Less

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