Sunday, March 3, 2013

Henry Dawson : The biography of dull dishwater or of the first modernist to leave the reservation and go PoMo ?

I don't doubt that Henry Dawson's colleagues felt he made a 'perfectly competent associate professor' ( in the most damming sense of that ominous phrase) ---- but that as an individual he was a man extremely unremarkable and totally non memorable.

Even those who knew him very well, and who choose to write their personal and scientific memoirs, still found virtually nothing to say about Dawson.

I have been attempting to write his non-authorized biography for almost nine years now and I still know very little about the inner Dr Dawson.

What keeps me happily to my post is my fascination with what Dr Dawson did , not what he said or felt - that, and the lure involved in searching for a reasonable explanation why this most ordinary of men did the things he did , and under the most trying conditions imaginable.

We have accounts of the Modern Age and of our own Post Modern Age, just as we have biographies of Modernists and of Post Modernists.

But in Henry Dawson we have the rarest of rare species : a Modernist caught is the process of becoming a Post Modernist and in the process, shaking the world around us completely.

So a dull as dishwater backwater modernist ? Or a world-class disturber of Modern decorum, a ravager of Modernity ? Or a bit of both, a sort of latter-day Henry Alline ?

I chose Answer three......

No comments:

Post a Comment