Herbert Read : Anarchist Poet and Art Historian

Revolt Library >> People >> Read, Herbert

(1893 - 1968)

Description

He was the chief interpreter of modern art movements in Great Britain for much of the 20th century and his influence reached into many fields. He is best described as a philosophic anarchist.

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From : William Leedem Bio

Quotes

"Man is everywhere still in chains. The motive of his activity remains economic, and this economic motive inevitably leads to the social inequalities from which he had hoped to escape."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

"...anarchism... for what is 'without ruler,' the literal meaning of the word, is not necessarily 'without order,' the meaning often loosely ascribed to it."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

"What is our measure of progress? ... it is only in the degree that the slave is emancipated and the personality differentiated that we can speak of progress... Progress is measured by richness and intensity of experience --- by a wider and deeper apprehension of the significance and scope of human existence."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

"The worth of a civilization or a culture is not valued in the terms of its material wealth or military power, but by the quality and achievements of its representative individuals --- its philosophers, its poets and its artists."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

"At certain periods in the history of the world a society has become conscious of its personalities: it would perhaps he truer to say that it has established social and economic conditions which permit the free development of the personality."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

"...the institutions of religion and politics are captured by an individual or a class and turned against the group which they were designed to benefit."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

"...the law imposed by the State is not necessarily the natural or just law; that there exist principles of justice which are superior to these man-made laws-principles of equality and fairness inherent in the natural order of the universe."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

"The tendency of modern socialism is to establish a vast system of statutory law against which there no longer exists a plea in equity. The object of anarchism, on the other hand, is to extend the principle of equity until it altogether supersedes statutory law."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

"Once you make subsistence and not profit the motive for association and mutual aid, there is everything to he said for local control, individual initiative and absolute equality."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

"Crime is a symptom of social illness-of poverty, inequality and restriction."

From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, First published September 1940, by Freedom Press, Printed in Great Britain, by Express Printers, London

Biography


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About Herbert Read

"The laws of Nature are physical laws: they can be grouped under such general terms as rhythm, proportion, balance, precision, economy, etc."

- Sir Herbert Edward Read

From Francis Berry, "Herbert Read," Writers and their Work, No. 45, London: Longmans, Green & Co. for The British Council and the National Book League, 1953, p. 10:

"Herbert Read was born near Kirby-Moorside, Yorkshire, in 1893. He was the son of a farmer. He was educated at Crossley's School, Halifax, and the University of Leeds. For three years he fought in the First World War as an Infantry Officer, won the Military Cross in 1917, and membership of the Distinguished Service Order in 1918. After the war he entered the Civil Service, first in the employ of the Treasury, and then that of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was as an Assistant Keeper at the Museum that he acquired his professional knowledge of ceramics and stained glass. He left the service of the Museum in 1931, in order to occupy, two years, the Chair of Fine Art in the University of Edinburgh. Thereafter he became the editor of the Burlington Magazine, from 1933-1939. Since then he has been successively literary adviser and director of a famous publishing firm [Routledge]. In recent years he has come to undertake a good deal of committee work for such bodies as the British Council and the Arts Council. He was instrumental in founding the Institute of Contemporary Arts, of which he has been president. In 1932, he received the honorary degree of Litt.D. from the University of Leeds. He was horoured with a knighthood in 1953."


Editor: William W. Leedom, Pitzer student

Sir Herbert Edward Read was born December 4th, 1893 in Yorkshire England. He also died in Yorkshire England in 1968, but the contributions he made in those seventy years to literature, art, and political philosophy were immeasurable. He was the chief interpreter of modern art movements in Great Britain for much of the 20th century and his influence reached into many fields. He is best described as a philosophic anarchist. Read became disenchanted with the world around him after an idyllic childhood growing up on a farm in Yorkshire. His early life is described in later works such as The Innocent Eye and an autobiographical work The Contrary Experiences . This disenchantment was brought about by his three years of service as a infantry officer during World War I. The contrast between the horrors of war and his childhood appear in many of his later books such as Naked Warriors and Collected Poems . He was a great influence in a new group of poets which arose in the 1940s known as the "new apocalypse," poets who reacted to the poltical and quiet poetry of the decade before. Read had attended the University of Leeds before the war and after it went to work first at a museum in London and then at the University of Edinburgh. In the late 1930s he became the the editor of the Burlington Magazine . Such artists and sculptors as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Ben Nicholson were greatly influenced by Read during this period. He helped them establish their work while at the same time continuing writing, teaching, and work in publishing while living in London. He was rewarded in 1953 when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Read contributed a great many ideas to the field of art and poetry. He was the first to make the distinction between organic and abstract form. He was a firm believer in the organic, which took shape to meet the needs of a certain form instead of abstract which was imposed on something. More on Read's theories are explained in the commentary section, but suffice it to say that Read's influence in art and political philosophy were significant.

From : Francis Berry, "Herbert Read," Writers and their Work, No. 45, London: Longmans, Green & Co. for The British Council and the National Book League, 1953, p. 10 ; Editor: William W. Leedom, Pitzer student

Works

This person has authored 8 documents, with 81,866 words or 511,396 characters.

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (8,905 Words / 51,543 Characters)
Criterion Miscellany - No 16. Ambush, Herbert Read, Faber & Faber First Blood Snow falling all night: in the morning the world will be white. The earth will be covered with a nice new coat of paint, to hide the scars and pockmarks. For the earth is in a bad way-a battered old scarecrow, blackened, ragged, her fingers and toes all splintered. Oh such a mess! Sanctuary Wood: the god of this sacred place is Moloch, and he is a very fierce old god, and people say that to seek sanctuary in his arms is to say goodbye to your beloved's. His sanctuary a wood, a dark gloomy glade, full of caves and ditches. If you wait till daylight you will find that the trees have no branches, but are whiskered with splinters. Tatterdemali... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (2,345 Words / 18,065 Characters)
ECLOGUES This is the ninth book issued by the Beaumont Press and the fifth printed by hand 30 copies have been printed on Japanese vellum signed by the author and artist and numbered i to 30 50 copies on cartridge paper numbered 31 to 80 and 120 copies on hand-made paper numbered 81 to 200 ECLOGUES A BOOK OF POEMS HERBERT READ CONTENTS THE MEDITATION OF A LOVER I can just see the distant trees ... 9 WOODLANDS Pine needles cover the silent ground: . 10 PASTURELANDS We scurry over the pastures . . . 11 THE POND Shrill green weeds . . . . . 12 THE ORCHARD Grotesque patterns of blue-gray mold . 1 3 APRIL To the fresh wet fields . . , . 14 THE WOODMAN His russet coat and gleaming ax . .... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1945 ~ (4,779 Words / 28,217 Characters)
FREEDOM IS IT A CRIME? The Strange Case of the Tree Anarchists Jailed at the Old Bailey, April 1945 Two Speeches by HERBERT READ FORWARD by E. SILVERMAN FREEDOM PRESS DEFENCE COMMITTEE 2d. First Published by The Freedom Press Defense Committee, 17, St. George Street, London, W.1. June, 1945 And printed by Express Printers, London. The Publishers have asked me to write a foreword to this pamphlet. As an individual who cares about freedom of speech and freedom of the press I accept with pleasure the opportunity to say a word to the public. Three decent, useful and respectable citizens, who Mr. Justice Birkett said were of the highest character and who he was quite prepared to believe were actu... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (1,383 Words / 8,532 Characters)
This work appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of Benedict Read, Executor & Trustee, Herbert Read Estate and Trust William Godwin [Herbert Read MS from University of Victoria] In the history of English poetry, no name is more secure than that of Shelley: he ranks with the greatest -- with Spenser, Shakespear, Milton and Wordsworth, and the years only add to the depth of our appreciation of his genius. But Shelley's name is indisociably linked with another name -- the name of a man to whom he owed not only his philosopy of life, but even his personal happiness, for he ran away with the philosopher's daughter. This philosopher was William Godwin, and in his day no man was more famous. His fame rested on one book... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (1,390 Words / 8,475 Characters)
From Meet Kropotkin. The Salvation Series No. 1. Bombay: The Libertarian Book House, n.d. KROPOTKIN - THE MASTER by HERBERT READ.       PRINCE PETER ALEXEIVICH KROPOTKIN was born at Moscow on the 9th December, 1842 (o. s.). His father, Prince Alexei Petrovich Kropotkin, is described by Kropotkin as "a typical officer of the time of Nicholas I", but he seems to have been an easy-going parent, content to leave his son's educaton to his French tutor until it was time to send him off to a military academy. Kropotkin's mother was the youngest daughter of the commander of a Cossack army corps, General Sulima, and a woman of great refinement and sensibility, qualities which her son must have inhe... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1919 ~ (2,059 Words / 14,240 Characters)
Naked Warriors Herbert Read, London: Art & Letters, 1919. PREFACE I would like to speak for a generation to following effect: We, who in manhood's dawn have been compelled to care not a damn for life or death, now care less still for the convention of glory and the intellectual apologies for what can never be to us other than a riot of ghastliness and horror, of inhumanity and negation. May we, therefore, for the sake of life itself, be resolved to live with a cleaner and more direct realization of natural values. May we be unafraid of our frank emotions, and may we maintain a callous indifference to falsely-artistic prettifying of life. Then, as the reflex of such beauty where hitherto it has had no absolute existence.... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1940 ~ (7,323 Words / 45,486 Characters)
Herbert Read, (1940). The Philosophy of Anarchism. London: Freedom Press. The Philosophy of Anarchism. By Herbert Read FREEDOM PRESS First published September 1940by Freedom Press.27, Red Lion Street. London, W.C.1,Second Impression, June 1941Third Impression, December 1941Fourth Impression, July 1942Fifth Impression, February 1943Sixth Impression, December 1944.Seventh Impression, November 1947.All rights reserved.Printed in Great Britainby Express Printers, London.      Ts'ui Chii said to Lao Tzu, "You say there must be no government. But it there is no government, how are men's hearts to be improved?" "The last thing you should do," said Lao Tzu, "is to tamper with men's hearts.... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (53,682 Words / 336,838 Characters)
REASON AND ROMANTICISM Essays in Literary Criticism By HERBERT READ Homo est quodammodo omnia —ST. THOMAS AQUINAS Faber and Gwyer -iii- First published in mcmxxvi by Faber and Gwyer Limited 24 Russell Square London. Made and printed in Great Britain by the Chiswick Press: Charles Whittingham & Griggs (Printers) Limited Tooks Court Chancery Lane London -iv- CONTENTS THE ATTRIBUTES OF CRITICISM 1 THE NATURE OF METAPHYSICAL POETRY 31 PURE POETRY 59 THE FUTURE OF POETRY 67 PSYCHO-ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM 83 THE DISCIPLES OF DIDEROT 107 THE DEFINITION OF COMEDY 127 THE DIALOGUE 139 CHA (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Chronology

December 04, 1893 :
Birth Day.

June 12, 1968 :
Death Day.

November 15, 2016 ; 5:31:32 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

March 13, 2018 ; 5:31:04 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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