In Parenthesis was first published in London in 1937. I am proud to share the responsibility for that first publication. On reading the book in typescript I was deeply moved. I then regarded it, and still regard it, as a work of genius... Here is a book about the experience of one soldier in the war of 1914-18. It is also a book about War, and about many other things also, such as Roman Britain, the Arthurian Legend, and divers matters which are given association by the mind of the writer.' T.S. Eliot
'This writing has to do with some things I saw, felt, and was part of ': with quiet modesty, David Jones begins a work that is among the most powerful imaginative efforts to grapple with the carnage of the First World War. Fusing poetry and prose, gutter talk and high music, wartime terror and ancient myth, Jones, who served as an infantryman on the Western Front, presents a picture at once panoramic and intimate of a world of interminable waiting and unforeseen death. And yet throughout he remains alert to the flashes of humanity that light up the wasteland of war.' W.S. Merwin
David Jones (1895-1974) was born in Kent. In 1915, then an art student, he went to war with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, where he fought in the battles of the Somme and Ypres. In 1922 he began a long association with the artist Eric Gill. In Parenthesis, based on Jones's experiences in World War I, was published in 1937, followed in 1952 by The Anathemata. David Jones's works are exhibited at the Tate Museum and the National Museum of Wales.