Richard Aldington

Death of a Hero

“Death of a Hero”, published in 1929 was the author's literary response to the war. He went on to publish several works of fiction. In 1942, having moved to the United States, he began to write biographies. This last work was very controversial, as it was highly critical of the man still regarded as a war hero.
468 printed pages
Original publication


    Leenashared an impression8 months ago
    👍Worth reading

    This was quite good and funny at times.

    Настя Шевцоваshared an impression6 years ago
    👍Worth reading
    🔮Hidden Depths
    💡Learnt A Lot

    Отличная книга! Не могу согласиться со всеми идеями Олдингтона, конечно, но больше всего впечатлила сатира и ирония, которой так и сочится эта книга. Серьезно, из-за этих горьковатых фраз я готова её на цитаты разобрать. И, конечно, горечь и едкие комментарии рассказчика - стиль повествования и структура романа, кстати, тоже довольно необычные. Это больше похоже на устный рассказ, с перескакиваниями с темы на тему, но рассказ умный, интересный, занимательный.
    Несмотря на то, что прошло почти сто лет со времени написания романа, а повествует он о первой мировой войны, поднятые темы остаются актуальными и по сей день - замечаешь, насколько мало поменялось за сто лет общество! Ну и антивоенная тематика, к сожалению, остаётся до сих пор насущной...


    Dmitry Mokhovhas quoted3 years ago
    Look after your cock, and your life will look after itself.
    Настя Шевцоваhas quoted6 years ago
    Death of a Hero is a highly autobiographical work. Like the ironically styled “hero” George Winterbourne, whose life the book recounts, Richard Aldington (1892-1962) was born the son of a bookish provincial English lawyer and his domineering wife. (Aldington once confessed that the fictional Winterbournes represented a “satirical onslaught” on his own family.) The Aldingtons moved early-on from their child’s first home—near the southern naval city of Portsmouth, instead of the story’s Sheffield—eastward to Dover, which was replicated in the novel as the “middling-sized, dreary coast town” of Dullborough.
    Rebelling against the constrictions of Victorian domesticity and schooling, Aldington frequently vanished, as George did, to delight in the “twenty-mile sweeps of undulating Down fringed by the grey-silver sea” which bordered his childhood town. In the process, Richard (he adopted this forename in preference to his original “Edward Godfrey”) became an enthusiastic naturalist and a proudly independent, romantic adversary of the Machine-Age blight already vanquishing what remained of Old England as the Twentieth Century dawned.
    Although Childe Richard was always the budding writer rather than ever contemplating George’s course into painting, the lines taken by his later teens resembled those of his fictional creation and part of him did die in the 1914-18 war as surely as George’s universe “exploded darkly into oblivion”. Yet, whatever the Winterbourne-like oppressiveness of young Aldington’s home life, he did benefit from having highly literate parents, both becoming published authors and the redoubtable Mrs Aldington particularly cultivating book-world connections.
    Thus, when “Rollicking Rick the Railer” (as he later dubbed himself) finally began circulating in London at age 17 after a family move to the capital, he showed the qualities of a literary prodigy. He quickly broke into newspaper print with poems and translations as well as plunging deeper into the Greek and Latin classics with studies at University College. But, again like George Winterbourne, Aldington suffered a truncation of his formal education through his father’s financial misadventures. This prompted a career-defining plunge into the cultural ferment then beginning to grip extramural London.
    Aldington’s role in this revolutionary turbulence immediately preceding the Great War was much more central than the place he allowed Winterbourne, through whom the scene is fictionally satirized in Death of a Hero. The marginal George merely witnesses the verbal antics of emerging avant-garde stars in social mode (the characters lampooned as Shobbe, Bobbe and Tubbe, for instance, being inspired by Ford Madox Ford, D.H. Lawrence and T.S. Eliot respectively).
    The real-life Aldington, by contrast, played a leading editorial role in one key journal of literary radicalism, The Egoist. Moreover, he was sufficiently formidable a poet to merit being dragooned into the much-vaunted Imagist movement by Ezra Pound, self-appointed impresario as well as archetypal practitioner of the new verse. And Aldington, already prolific as both critic and poet, was a signatory to that climactic 1914 declaration of cultural revolt, the Vorticist manifesto. He jibbed, however, at what he deemed to be the excessive partiality of the Vorticists for the Machine Age, formed as he’d been by rural Kent and the pastoral
    Vítek Měřičkahas quoted10 months ago
    All of which they talked out very fully before they ever lay together. You may say, of course, that this is very wicked and “unnatural”, that if every one acted in this way the human race would soon come to a full stop. I shall not make the obvious retort of “a good job, too,” but merely say that I observe no danger of under-population in Europe. Since the population of England is about three times the amount w

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