The Apes of God

Wyndham Lewis


Book, 19.7 x 12.9 cm, 650 p, language : English, publisher : The Pinguin Group, London, ISBN : 0-14-008702-8.
Materials: Ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2026/522).

Literary synopsis

The Apes of God is a more or less impossible novel to summarize, because very little actually happens. As Paul Edwards puts it, “the middle five-hundred pages or so are experienced as a hiatus filled with purposeless activity”. Insofar as the novel has any plot to speak of, it moves forward only at the beginning and end of the novel. Apes opens with a seventeen-page italicized prologue titled Death-the-Drummer, in which we meet ninety-six year old ex-gossip columnist Lady Fredigonde. We learn that a certain Horace Zagreus has an important place in Lady Fredigonde’s aged consciousness. The novel’s concluding chapter, The General Strike, which takes place during the strike of 1926, sees this same Horace Zagreus, a sixty-something professional charlatan, engaged to marry Lady Fredigonde—for her money, as we are aware, though she is not. The intervening “five-hundred pages or so” consist of a series of grotesque episodes in which Zagreus manipulates, lampoons, and scandalizes a large cast of characters based on various real-life personages of the period.

- Len Gutkin (all text copyright

Novel's website

Authorship: Artist Author.

Creative Strategy: No Link to Artworks.

Genre: Roman à clef, Satire.

Publishing: Publishing House.

Theme: Cynicism, Money, Seduction.

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