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Wyndham Lewis’s Trousers

In response to:

The War Game from the October 26, 1967 issue

To the Editors:

Just a note concerning Mr. D.A.N. Jones’s remarks on Wyndham Lewis’s Blasting and Bombardiering [NYR, October 26]. After stamping Lewis as stupid and lacking in moral fibre, Mr. Jones winds up with these words: “Lewis is all trappings: you cannot imagine him naked and, in fact, he admits that his big wartime fear was to be shot at while his trousers were down….” I got out my edition of the book in question and this is what I read: “When the first shell would come over, I would roll swiftly out of the flea-bag and pull on my trenchboots. That is really all I worried about. I think the whole of his feet are man’s ‘Achilles heel.’ I would hate to face a firing squad in my stocking-feet! Clothing and its part in the psychology of war is a neglected subject. I would have braved an eleven-inch shell in my trenchboots, but would have declined an encounter with a pip-squeak in my bare feet.” Mr. Jones had better examine his own morals.

Raymond Rosenthal

New York City

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