Academic journal article Anarchist Studies

George Woodcock on 'The Anarchist Critic'

Academic journal article Anarchist Studies

George Woodcock on 'The Anarchist Critic'

Article excerpt

The Anarchist Critic first appeared in the Vancouver anarchist journal Open Road in 1982.1 Robert Graham, who was a member of the collective, recalls Woodcock subscribed to Open Road though he never joined its social circle.2 He would go on, at Graham's prompting, to contribute an article-length review of Richard Attenborough's film, Gandhi, to a special 'Direct Action' issue [George Woodcock, 'Gandhi: The Price of Glory', Open Road no. 15 (Spring, 1983): 21-22] and a feature on George Orwell for a themed issue, 'Coming to terms with Direct Action' [George Woodcock, 'Orwell was no Cold Warrior,' Open Road 16 (Spring 1984): 19-20].3 The fact that the latter two issues of Open Road focus on the bombing campaign, subsequent arrest, and trial of the Vancouver-based anarchist urban guerilla group 'Direct Action' make Woodcock's contributions all the more interesting.4

The Anarchist Critic asserts the role of the critic is to identify and encourage emergent anarchist tendencies in the arts and society as a whole, a pragmatic approach which Carissa Honeywell highlights in her invaluable study, A British Anarchist Tradition, as the core strategy adopted by Woodcock's British confrères, Herbert Read, Alex Comfort and Colin Ward, in the post-World War Two period. …

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