Hugh Sykes Davies

'A lioness in the sidecar'

Hugh Sykes Davies
Hugh Sykes Davies

In the special Cambridge UK issue of Jacket, number 20

"He had done so many things and played so many parts that you never felt you had come to the end of him. Some knew Hugh Sykes Davies as a wit, some as a lover, some as a teacher; and there were those who read his novels and even his poems. He also married a good deal. He had many wives, four of them his own; taught at Cambridge for nearly half a century — a communist for half the time; was a surrealist in the Paris of the mid-1930s; and finally, as faith and dogma ran dry, a structural linguist. He was once to have been a candidate for the House of Commons too, in 1940, in an election canceled because of invasion fears..... Lowry’s «Under the Volcano», when it finally appeared in 1947, meant nothing to Hugh. It was alcoholic fiction, he declared, though near the end of his life he was persuaded by Canadian television to make a program; and he did it on the symbolic condition they supplied a bottle of brandy in a Cambridge UK pub during the interview. That put him in a high good humor. As he walked home late he came upon a lonely policeman standing outside King’s College and approached him unsteadily. ‘Have there been any interesting fires in the colleges this evening, constable?’" From:

[»»] George Watson — ‘Remembering Prufrock’ — Hugh Sykes Davies 1909–1984
[»»] Hugh Sykes Davies, Four Poems:
      ‘Decline of Phæthon’ (1929)
      ‘Sententiæ’ (1931)
      ‘In the stump of an old tree...’ (1936)
      ‘It doesn't look like a finger...’ (1938)
Hugh Sykes Davies, Prose:
[»»] Sympathies with Surrealism (1936)
[»»] Review of Narration, by Gertrude Stein (1936)
[»»] Cambridge Poetry (1955)
[»»] John Kerrigan: Checklist of the publications of Hugh Sykes Davies
[»»] Kate Price: Experiment magazine, 1928–31 — William Empson, William Hare, Jacob Bronowski, Hugh Sykes Davies and Humphrey Jennings.