Tag Archives: William Morris

The Way of Craftsmanship

I have been writing for a long time about crafts, digging into almost virgin soil, and what I say may seem strange to unaccustomed ears, dubious, and difficult to accept because it is contrary to prevalent thought. I have continuously received a flow of doubting enquires from friends and strangers alike, so I decided to […]

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Anarchy in the UK

If wikipedia is to believed, John Lydon was merely searching for a rhyme to “antichrist” when he wrote “Anarchy in the UK.” It seems plausible, and also fitting that when Dave Mustaine of Megadeth covered it, he simply made up the words he didn’t understand. While I’m sure there is a rich intellectual tradition to […]

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Tumbling drunk into the fire

“Even such things as this,” he wrote of one quarrel, “the army setting off to conquer all the world turning back to burn Jack’s pigstye, and tumbling drunk into the fire—even this don’t shake me: means one must use the best one can get: but one thing I won’t do, wait for perfect means are […]

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Remember me as a Revolutionary Communist

It’s been hard to figure out how to write this, but I really feel like I need to write down exactly how I became more comfortable with studying political theories. I’ve avoided them my entire life, largely because I thought of myself as an “artist” and felt that these things were best kept separate. It […]

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The Craftsman

WITH the Initial number of “The Craftsman,” The United Crafts of Eastwood, N. Y., enter upon a  work for which they hope to gain the sympathy and the co-operation of a wide public. The new association Is a guild of cabinet makers, metal and leather workers, which has been recently formed for the production of household furnishings. The […]

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Century of Commerce

Imperialism, Morris saw, was the inevitable and most vicious outcome of the “Century of Commerce”. He denounced it both in artistic and political terms. “While we are met here in Birmingham”, he said at the beginning of 1879. “to further the spread of education in art, Englishmen in India are . . . actively destroying […]

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Respect and Tradition

Watching an episode of A Chef’s Life this morning brought into focus a lot of the reading and thinking I’ve been doing lately. Tradition comes up in a variety of forms. It can be discussions of what have become traditional styles (e.g. Arts and Crafts, Shaker, etc.) or it can be the matter of traditional […]

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Ornamental Wares

The sense of beauty and power of expressing it, under the present circumstances, is one of the rarest of gifts, so that the ordinary public have to put up with such pretence to beauty as the so-called ornamental class of wares can furnish to them. Therefore, while the rich man, by spending much money, can […]

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Tradition

But, in the 1870s, Morris was coming to regard his writing as (in the words of Henry James), a sub-trade—a form of pleasurable recreation and relaxation from other work—rather than his central place of encounter with his age. He was coming to adopt an attitude towards his writing (drawn in part from his own version […]

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Romantic to Revolutionary

I’m around a hundred pages in on E.P. Thompson’s massive study of William Morris, and so far I’m really impressed. It cites his letters and minor publications profusely, and though it’s obvious that it has the major goal of establishing Morris as an important communist/socialist, so far it’s hitting right at the heart of what […]

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