Played out against the backdrop of Paris before the start of the First World War, Tarr tells the blackly comic story of the lives and loves of two artists--the English enfant terrible Frederick Tarr, and the middle-aged German Otto Kreisler, a failed painter who finds himself in a widening spiral of militaristic self-destruction. When both become interested in the same two women--Bertha Lunken, a conventional German, and Anastasya Vasek, the ultra-modern international devotee of "swagger sex"--Wyndham Lewis sets the stage for a scathing satire of national and social pretensions, the fraught relationship between men and women, and the incompatibilities of art and life. Scott W. Klein's introduction places the novel in the context of social satire and the avant-garde, especially the artistic developments of the 1910s--including Cubism, Futurism, and Lewis's own movement, Vorticism--and explores the links between Tarr and other Modernist masterpieces. The book also features Lewis's Preface to the 1918 American edition, comprehensive notes, a glossary of foreign words and phrases, and a map of Paris.
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