Tarr by Wyndham Lewis

Tarr is a modernist novel by Wyndham Lewis, written in 1909–11, revised and expanded in 1914–15 and first serialized in the magazine The Egoist from April 1916 until November 1917. The American version was published in 1918, with an English edition published by the Egoist Press appearing shortly afterwards; Lewis later created a revised and final version published by Chatto and Windus in 1928. Set in the bohemian milieu of pre-war Paris, it presents two artists, the Englishman Tarr and the German Kreisler, and their struggles with money, women, and social situations. The novel abounds in somewhat Nietzschean themes. Tarr, generally thought to be modelled on Lewis himself, displays disdain for the 'bourgeois-bohemians' around him, and vows to 'throw off humour' which he regards—especially in its English form—as a 'means of evading reality' unsuited to ambition and the modern world. This self-conscious attitude and the situations that it brings about are a major source of the novel's pervasive dark humour. Lewis will later clarify that there "is laughter and laughter. That of true satire is as it were tragic laughter". Kreisler, a violent German Romantic of protean energy and a failure as an artist, is in many ways the focus of the novel. An indication of the extremity of his vivid portrait is Lewis's own wondering several years later if he had, in Kreisler, anticipated the personality of Hitler. The American first edition used a punctuation mark (resembling an equals sign: '=') between sentences (after full stops, exclamation marks or question marks; in the earlier Egoist version it had been an m-dash). It has been claimed that these were an attempt by Lewis, an artist, to introduce 'painterly strokes' into literature. This has, however, been disputed by Dr. John Constable, who believes that they are nothing more than a German punctuation mark briefly adopted by Lewis. Lewis himself wrote to Ezra Pound about this when reconstructing missing parts of the manuscript for the U.S. edition: "Were those parallel lines = Quinn mentions kept going by the Egoist, or not? Could not they be disinterred, & used by Knopf?" (Lewis to Pound, October 1917). Evidently not all were disinterred, as large stretches of the book as published are without them. Both the 1918 and 1928 versions of the novel have been in and out of print since its original publication. Oxford University Press has reissued the 1928 text, edited and with notes by Scott W. Klein of Wake Forest University, as part of its Oxford World Classics paperback series in 2010.

The 1149th greatest fiction book of all time


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  1. - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (The Book)

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Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
Tarr Hardcover 15023664 $40.00
Tarr (Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback 11550872 $60.70 $4.33 1990
Tarr Kindle Edition 839838 $4.99 2011
Tarr (Musaicum Rediscovered Classics) Kindle Edition 3604988 $0.99 2020
Tarr Hardcover 13557943 $27.95 2016
Tarr (Classic Reprint) Paperback 13610792 $96.69 2017
Tarr Hardcover 8626848 $175.00
Tarr Hardcover 15162826 $9.77
Tarr: The 1918 Version Hardcover 5880322 $50.00 1990
Tarr (Oxford World's Classics) Kindle Edition 1329061 2010
Inorganic Chemistry by Miessler, Gary L., Fischer, Paul J., Tarr, Donald A. (2013) Paperback Paperback 365409 $34.97 $33.99 2013
Béla Tarr, the Time After (Univocal) Paperback 759235 $15.67 $14.69 2013
Edgar Allan Poe: The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether Paperback 1313955 $8.98 2016
The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether Kindle Edition 300022 2019
The Giles Memorial. Genealogical Memoirs of the Families Bearing the Names of Giles, Gould, Holmes, Jennison, Leonard, Lindall, Curwen, Marshall, ... Very, Tarr and Other Families, With a Hi Hardcover 2214716 $29.95 $39.12 2018
Inorganic Chemistry (5th Edition) Hardcover 114896 $164.99 $90.85 2013
Inorganic Chemistry: International Edition Paperback 279605 $54.47 $2.50
Inorganic Chemistry Kindle Edition 675315 2013
Tarr Paperback 4857614 $6.91 $8.05 2013
Tarr Hardcover 9945779 $140.70 $7.95
The Cinema of Béla Tarr: The Circle Closes (Directors' Cuts) Paperback 729400 $14.79 $15.98 2013
Béla Tarr, the Time After (Univocal) Kindle Edition 1590507 2015
The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether Paperback 3462522 $9.99 $9.99 2014
The Giles memorial. Genealogical memoirs of the families bearing the names of Giles, Gould, Holmes, Jennison, Leonard, Lindall, Curwen, Marshall, ... Very, Tarr and other families, with a hi Kindle Edition 2659696 2012
The Giles Memorial. Genealogical Memoirs of the Families Bearing the Names of Giles, Gould, Holmes, Jennison, Leonard, Lindall, Curwen, Marshall, ... Very, Tarr and Other Families, With a Hi Hardcover 11661997 $29.95 $45.20 2015
The Cinema of Béla Tarr: The Circle Closes (Directors' Cuts) Kindle Edition 2083276 2013
The Cinema of Béla Tarr: The Circle Closes (Directors' Cuts) Hardcover 5248721 $55.51 $55.49 2013
The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether (Annotated) Kindle Edition 1238473 2014
The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether Kindle Edition 1425332 2018
The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether Paperback 1381812 $2.99 $35.86 2015
Tarr Kindle Edition 2969646 2018
Keri Tarr: Cat Detective Paperback 938208 $4.75 $4.08 2004
Jabez Tarr: A Boy's Fight for American Independence Hardcover 1520566 $11.71 2015
More Wargaming Pioneers Ancient and World War Ii Battle and Skirmish Rules by Tony Bath, Lionel Tarr and Michael Korns Early Wargames Vol. 4 (Volume 4) Paperback 1986667 $4.99 $14.10 2013
The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether Paperback 641474 $6.00 2019
Tarr Paperback 4951781 $12.00 $16.58 2020
Tarr Hardcover 13378260 $11.50
Tarr (Oxford World's Classics) 1st edition by Lewis, Wyndham, Klein, Scott W. (2010) Paperback Paperback 10860743 $16.63 $10.23
Modern Classics Tarr Paperback 11014446 $54.80 $3.15 1982
Tarr Hardcover 21371884
Tarr (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback 506394 $2.99 $6.00 2010
Tarr Kindle Edition 910713 $0.99 2020
Tarr: The 1918 Version Paperback 1924264 $116.41 $4.40 1990