books, artists, beats

Jim Burns


Paperback 6" x 9" 242pp 

ISBN  978-0-244-12972-9  published February 2019

This tenth collection of essays and reviews again throws the spotlight on Paris and some of the painters and places associated with the city. Montmartre in its heyday, the 1890s and thereabouts when Edgar Degas and Alphonse Mucha produced images of the spectacles to be seen in Paris and the leisure activities of its citizens. Some of them, at least. Neither artist was noted for painting scenes of working-class life, nor of poverty. To say that is not to condemn them for it. The same can be said of Matisse and Bonnard who largely created colourful canvases in the sun-drenched South of France. We need to appreciate artists for what they did, not accuse them for not doing what we think they should have done.


Comments on previous collections:

“This collection of essays and reviews is an entertaining homage to bohemia by one of its own. Jim Burns – a veteran fringe poet recently celebrated in these pages as `an offbeat prowler’ – takes a `personal’ look at various post-Second World War writers, artists, musicians and patrons whose talents and innovations have been obscured by the glare of their more famous contemporaries.”

                                                                                                                          Times Literary Supplement

“This seventh collection of essays and reviews by poet and editor Jim Burns reinforces his reputation as a curator of neglected culture, an archivist of unremembered events and an advocate of overlooked artists. It includes pieces on unjustly ignored poets, forgotten jazz musicians, the secret state and the short-lived but influential `little magazines’ of the post-war era……Burns’s infectious passion is moderated by his critical rigour.”

                                                                                                                           Morning Star

“If there is anyone who knows who more than Burns about 20th century small presses, journals, now-forgotten writers, artists and jazz musicians I have yet to meet them. I can’t be the only person for whom his collections of essays on the byways of modern literature etc. form a vade mecum.”


“What Jim Burns seems to do very well is dust off the years from forgotten figures, the neglected, the overlooked, even those who never truly reached any level of recognition.  Burns see in many of them qualities that have been missed.”

                                                                                                                            Beat Scene

“Burns is good at contextualisation and uncovering neglected sources in order to examine received perceptions.”



Montmartre: A Cultural History

Spectacle and Leisure in Paris: Degas to Mucha

Matisse-Bonnard: Long Live Painting

Anita Rée: Retrospective

Mina Loy: Curious Disciplines

Beauty in the City: The Ashcan School

A Generous Vision: Elaine de Kooning

Splendour and Misery in the Weimar Republic

Before the Fall: German and Austrian Artists of the 1930s

Weimar Communism

From Hopper to Rothko

Patrick Heron

Robert Darnton: A Literary Tour de France

The Savoy: A Magazine of the 1890s

George Woodcock: Among the Anarchists

Little Magazine, World Form

Bohemian London

Martin Bax: Two Lives to Lead

Women Writers of the Beat Era

Thomas Parkinson: A Casebook on the Beat

Fringe Figures: Jay Landesman and Alan Ansen

John Clellon Holmes: Nothing More to Declare

Photographing the Beats

Who was Nick Spain?

Spengler and the Beats

Radical Gotham: Anarchism in New York

Spider Web: The Birth of American Anti-communism

Wobblies of the World

Show Trial: Hollywood and HUAC

Invasion USA: Anti-communist Movies

Clancy Sigal: Black Sunset

Howard Koch: As Time Goes By

The Quick, the Dead and the Revived: Western Films

Hardboiled Activist: Dashiell Hammett

Donald Newlove: Those Drinking Days

Barry MacSweeney: The Book of Demons

Tony Roberts: The Noir American

Jazz Internationalism

Stan Tracey

Right to the Juke Joint

The Jacket

The Pool of Life

She Just Started Talking

Making It