Caroline Zilboorg, NCLSN correspondent and editor of the Aldington – H.D. letters, writes with details of a forthcoming lecture at Duquesne University on 29 September (see image below). This will be on her current project, a life of her father Gregory Zilboorg, an influential psychoanalyst:
“My current work and these lectures aren’t actually Aldington-related. However, my father and RA were contemporaries. The war certainly shaped both their lives and both men were Europeans to the core. Both men were also very linguistic. My father spoke and could work in Yiddish, Russian, German, French, Dutch, English, Spanish and Italian. He was most at home in Russian, French and English. He had good Latin, too, but unlike Aldington, he had no Greek– his education as a Russian Jew under the Tsar was about as far as from public schools in the UK as one could get. He was ‘modern’, yet because of life choices (his decision to become a psychoanalyst), he wasn’t really ‘modernist’ (although one could, of course, argue that all of psychoanalysis from Freud through Lacan was and is modernist in the extreme).
“Yet the drama he championed in the late teens and early 20s was certainly modernist– his translation of Andreyev’s quite modernist play He Who Gets Slapped was first published by The Dial Press in 1921. Bryher thought my father was fascinating (he was– and charismatic, too, from the podium and in real life). When she heard my father speak in April 1934 at the International Psychoanalytic Congress in Lucerne, Bryher wrote H.D. that he “spoke brilliantly on suicide.” (Letter from Bryher to H.D., 30 April 1934, in Analyzing Freud: Letters of H.D., Bryher, and Their Circle, ed. Susan Stanford Friedman, New York: New Directions, 2002, p. 415). And both RA and GZ were difficult men and easily angered; they both cared so passionately about so many things.”