Edward Timms, who died on 21 November, led a long and exemplary life, in the true sense of that word: he was a mentor to many, and an inspiration to friends and students alike. This is not the place for an obituary, but see the notice at the website of his former academic home, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. A longer appreciation of his intellectual life and work will appear in a forthcoming volume of Austrian Studies, the yearbook which he co-founded, and which is now in its 26th volume. There will also be a British Academy memoir.

When we created the Legenda Selected Essays series, we quietly approached a number of leading modern linguists to see if they would be interested in publishing a volume, and Edward was one of them. The book must now appear posthumously (it will be volume 7 in the series), but will be edited for press by Edward's friend and collaborator, Ritchie Robertson; we're grateful, too, to Edward's widow Saime for her help. The plan and title for the book, Creativity under Pressure: Essays on Antisemitism and the Achievements of German-Jewish Refugees, are Edward's. Full details must follow later.

Edward was perhaps best known for his work on Karl Kraus, whose masterpiece The Last Days of Mankind — which Edward translated into English — has its centenary this year (along with the end of World War I, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the founding of the MHRA). Kraus was many things, and like any good satirist he might have scorned any shorthand about being a member of the Vienna artistic pageant. Still: he certainly was. For me, the following Venn diagram in Edward's much-cited book Karl Kraus, Apocalyptic Satirist: Culture and Catastrophe in Habsburg Vienna...

...is as eloquent of Edward's intellectual passion as it is of Vienna in 1910. He is greatly missed.

full news feed • subscribe via RSS