Daniel Swift was born in 1977. His essays, profiles and reviews have appeared in the Financial Times magazine, the New York Times Book Review and the Daily Telegraph, and he teaches in the Department of English Literature at Skidmore College in upstate New York. This is his first book.
Longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2011. Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2010. The author’s grandfather flew a Lancaster bomber in the Second World War and was shot down on a mission to Holland. The author looks in to the history of these raids but as a literature teacher is also interested in why the WWII did not seem to produce poetic works such as those of Owen and Sassoon from the first. An interesting alternative look at this period of history.
`An extraordinary book of real passionate research' Edmund de Waal In 1945, Ezra Pound was due to stand trial for treason for his broadcasts in Fascist Italy during the Second World War. But before the trial could take place Pound was pronounced insane. Escaping a potential death sentence he was shipped off to St Elizabeths Hospital near Washington, DC, where he was held for over a decade. At the hospital, Pound was at his most contradictory and most controversial: a genius writer - `The most important living poet in the English language' according to T. S. Eliot - but also a traitor and now, seemingly, a madman. But he remained a magnetic figure. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell and John Berryman all went to visit him at what was perhaps the world's most unorthodox literary salon: convened by a fascist and held in a lunatic asylum. Told through the eyes of his illustrious visitors, The Bughouse captures the essence of Pound - the artistic flair, the profound human flaws - whilst telling the grand story of politics and art in the twentieth century.
In 1945, the American poet Ezra Pound was due to stand trial for treason for his broadcasts in Fascist Italy during the Second World War. Before the trial could take place, however, he was pronounced insane. Escaping a possible death sentence, he was sent to St Elizabeths Hospital near Washington, DC, where he was held for over a decade. At the hospital, Pound was at his most infamous, and most contradictory. He was a genius and a traitor; a great poet and a madman. He was also an irresistible figure and, in his cell on Chestnut Ward and in the elegant hospital grounds, he was visited by the major poets and writers of his time. T. S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Charles Olson and Frederick Seidel all went to sit with him. They listened to him speak, and wrote of what they had seen. This was perhaps the world's most unorthodox literary salon: convened by a fascist, held in a lunatic asylum, with chocolate brownies and mayonnaise sandwiches served for tea. Pound continues to divide all who read and think of him. At the hospital, the doctors who studied him and the poets who learned from him each had a different understanding of this wild and most difficult man. Tracing Pound through the eyes of his visitors, The Bughouse tells the story of politics, madness and modern art in the twentieth century.
One night in June 1943 James Swift, along with the Lancaster bomber he piloted, vanished. In Bomber County, his grandson Daniel seeks to discover what happened. At the same time he tries to understand the men who took part in these dangerous raids, as well as their devastating impact on the civilians below. In examining the life of one pilot, Daniel Swift also investigates why it is we have tried to forget what was then a new, shocking form of warfare, and why literature and poetry exploring these terrible losses have not found the recognition they deserve.