Herbert Read

Herbert Read

Herbert Read (1893–1968) was a British poet, editor, publisher, essayist, and critic. He attended the University of Leeds and served in the British Army during World War I. He went on to act as editor for Burlington Magazine and lecturer at Liverpool University and at Harvard University. He passed away in 1968.

The Green Child

Fiction by Herbert Read

Translated by Adam Phillips

With a contribution by Eliot Weinberger Kenneth Rexroth

The Green Child is the only novel by Herbert Read — the famous English poet, anarchist, and literary critic. First published by New Directions in 1948, it remains a singular work of bewildering imagination and radiance. The author considered it a philosophical fable akin to Plato’s cave. Olivero, the former dictator of a South American country, has returned to his native England after faking his own assassination. On a walk he sees, through a cottage window, a green-skinned young girl tied to a chair.…
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The Green Child

Fiction by Herbert Read

First published in 1935, The Green Child is Herbert Read’s only novel. But if he had written nothing else, this one inspired book would insure his fame. It is a utopian novel, a unique blend of reality and fantasy which moves from the English countryside to the South American pampas and then to a mysterious and eternal underground land of caves. In genre The Green Child is perhaps closest to the French conte philosophique, yet the word “philosophical” suggests the abstruse whereas this is a very moving and exciting story, alive with the poetry of living and, at the same time, with a strange kind of other-worldly suspense.…
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Can These Bones Live

Fiction by Edward Dahlberg

With a contribution by Herbert Read

“There is no contemporary prose work from which I have got so much pleasure and profit,” Sir Herbert Read writes in his preface to this book. “The pleasure comes from the texture––a prose style which, in an age that has forsaken the art of prose, gleams with such expressive beauty… It is the crystalline vein of the English Bible, of Shakespeare and Sir Thomas Browne, running through the torpid substance of modern life… and is as relevant to our present condition as any book of wisdom… “It is a work of criticism and exposition.…
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