The Apes of God by Wyndham Lewis

The Apes of God is a 1930 novel by the British artist and writer Wyndham Lewis. It is a satire of London's contemporary literary and artistic scene. The novel is set in 1926, leading up to the General Strike in May. It has an episodic structure, following a young simpleton called Dan Boleyn from one encounter with the literati to another. Dan follows the directions of an infatuated sixty-year-old albino, Horace Zagreus, who believes him to be a genius. The 'Apes of God' that he meets are imitators of true creators; they are characterised as "prosperous mountebanks who alternately imitate and mock at and traduce those figures they at once admire and hate." (p. 123) Zagreus is himself only the imitator of another character, Pierpoint, who appears to be the origin of all the ideas that circulate in the society depicted in the novel. Pierpoint, though often mentioned and often maligned, never appears in the novel. He is described as 'a painter turned philosopher' (p. 129), a description that could be applied to Lewis himself (his 1927 book, Time and Western Man, contains a great deal of philosophical arguments). Lewis's "enemies", such as his patron Sidney Schiff (and his wife), Edward Wadsworth (a fellow Vorticist) and John Rodker, along with members of the Bloomsbury Group, including Lytton Strachey, are clearly recognisable under fictional names and are treated with savage humour. The penultimate and longest chapter, 'Lord Osmund's Lenten Party' (over 250 pages), is a satirical account of a fancy-dress party held by three members of the 'Finnian Shaw' family, who are clearly modeled on the Sitwell family, Osbert, Edith and Sacheverell.The political and cultural 'diagnosis' of England that the novel aspires to make is partly a development of the ideas put forward by Lewis in his 1926 book, The Art of Being Ruled.

The 1397th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

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

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Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
The Apes of God. Hardcover 19473048 $185.00
The Apes of God. Signed limited edition Hardcover 11766323 $59.00
The Apes of God (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback 3678169 $298.88 $56.25 1989
Planet of the Apes the Ongoing Saga Volume 1: Old Gods Paperback 3480109 $3.98 2002
God-Apes and Fossil Men: Paleoanthropology of South Asia Hardcover 4306043 $74.99 $24.50 2000
Origin of Man: The image of an ape or the image of God? Paperback 5451623 $18.75 $2.78 2005
The Poetics of Mockery: Wyndham Lewis's "Apes of God" and the Popularization of Modernism (MHRA Texts and Dissertations) Paperback 6861821 $61.91 $166.79 1996
The Apes of God by Wyndham Lewis (1984-05-27) Paperback 8661548 $164.00 $42.77
Psychedelic Apes: From Parallel Universes to Mushroom Gods: The Weirdest Theories of Science and History Audible Audiobook 72548 $9.54 2019
Émile Durkheim and the Birth of the Gods Paperback 3978123 $32.05 $41.37 2018
Apes of God, The Hardcover 5259883 $32.50
Émile Durkheim and the Birth of the Gods: Clans, Incest, Totems, Phratries, Hordes, Mana, Taboos, Corroborees, Sodalities, Menstrual Blood, Apes, Churingas, Cairns, and Other Mysterious Things Kindle Edition 2344553 2018
Between Apes and Gods: and the guy on the plane Paperback 5841318 $9.85 2013
The Apes of God Hardcover 1989488 $40.00 1981
The Apes of God Paperback 1766367 $632.53 $331.99 1981