In Parenthesis

David Jones
Illustrated by Ewan Clayton
Introduced by T. S. Eliot
Foreword by Harold Bloom

Defying all genres, In Parenthesis is one of the First World War's greatest works of literature. This edition includes artwork by calligrapher Ewan Clayton and a foreword by Harold Bloom.

In Parenthesis tells, in the slang-vernacular of ordinary soldiers, the story of Private John Ball and his comrades as they travel from England to the Front, a journey that culminates in the assault on Mametz Wood in the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. Through his characters, Jones shares with us his own experiences, but he also harkens back to a time before his own – to the remote, shared heritage held by ancient myth. And so parade-ground oaths are fused with moments of mythic beauty, influenced by Arthurian legend, Shakespeare, The Song of Roland and notably the 6th-century epic Y Gododdin, which commemorates a doomed raid by Welsh soldiers into English border country.

‘Among the most powerful imaginative efforts to grapple with the carnage of the First World War’ 
  1. W. S. Merwin
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