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Cyril Connolly Ý 7 characters

Y politics drink and advertising as well as novelists such as Joyce Proust Hemingway and Faulkner in essays that remain fresh and penetrating to this day   “A fine critic compulsive traveler and candid autobiographer Connolly lays down the law for all writers who wanted to count He had imagination and decisive images flashed with the speed of wit in his mind” V S Pritchett New York Review of Bo This is a rather surprising and confusing book; only the middle third is like I thought it would be which is also the part advertised by the title Since this section is by far the shortest it leaves me with a lot of time to reflect on the other twoThe first eighty or so pages which lay out the Predicament as Connolly calls it are given over as he puts it to the problem of how to write a book which lasts ten years This was now that I think about it an advertisement that attracted me as a reader I am much interested in writers' views on writing What I had not realized is that in enuiring into style and form in the novel Connolly was interested in a specific ten years that is the years that were to immediately follow the writing of his book; and that for his data he drew upon books that had appeared in the thirty or so years preceding Which is I suppose reasonable enough But the reader should be aware that in addressing this problem Connolly is not so much interested in the properties we might look at as those which make a a book timeless Instead he is very interested in figuring out which of the two kinds of literary prose that as he viewed it were paramount in 1938 were likely to still be au courant in 1948 given both the cultural and literary tends as he foresaw them and the approaching convulsions of historyWhat all this means is that Part I of Enemies of Promise is a detailed witty and absorbing snapshot of the state of English literature in 1938 at least as it stood to an educated perceptive snobby English reader I use snobby with consideration by the way; Connolly applies the word to himself and to his class without apparent embarrassment or remorse If you are the kind of reader who is interested in Modernism its reception and early twentieth century literary culture you ought to find this very interesting reading If however you were hoping to learn what Cyril Connolly thinks makes a really good timeless and lasting book you will be disappointed This is not a writer on how to write In fact as one gradually realizes in reading Part III this book is a writer explaining his view of not writing and how he came to do itPart III of the book is as Connolly faithfully labels it A Georgian Boyhood This is a very curious piece of autobiography; at least it reads that way to me Upon reflection I suspect that it is probably almost impossible for a contemporary American reader of 2009 to take away from this piece anything like what Connolly intended It is woven through indeed undergirded with what appear to be cultural assumptions regarding what aspects of the story his audience will find interesting For instance he begins the tale by apologizing for starting off with the early aura of large houses fallen fortunes and county families common to so many English biographers Personally I found this part of the story absorbing young Cyril Connolly grew up in castles but apparently it is such a common theme among the kind of people he thinks about and for whom he writes that he fears it stale and clichédWhere things get really strange though is when he gets us through his early schooling and takes us along to his years at Eton the great and storied public ie private boys' school that has channeled so many of England's elite Connolly's experiences at Eton make up the bulk of this section and I find myself of two minds about this part One the one hand reading it as the reader I am American twenty first century not soaked in English ideas about 'character' and class the details Connolly piles on about the twiddling ins and outs of Eton life his constantly shifting array of friends his political maneuvering his prizes become self indulgent and then very uickly intolerable One wants to shout I don't bloody care who you 'shouldered on' with the Michaelmas term you got into Pop you idiot On the other hand I have the sort of impression that Connolly probably thought and rightly that these infinite details would be fascinating to his readers just because they were a true story of Eton which is after all like Harvard is to Americans; only now imagine you could get into Harvard at thirteen It is a place with an aura and one that lays great expectations for its students And of course there is the fact that a lot of the names he drops turned out to be people with Wikipedia entries and Orders of the British Empire Of the classmates Connolly mentioned I may only have recognized George Orwell and distantly distantly Cecil Beaton but to the English many of those self absorbed spotty fourteen year olds turned out to be Famous Names One thing about this section though I feel extremely uncharitable for thinking it Connolly's statements about homosexuality seem depressing to me From his autobiographical writing it's blatantly clear that Connolly is himself homosexual He starts out as a sensitive child and goes on to fall in romantic love with a series of boys and young men throughout his childhood and adolescence even as by his own descriptions he becomes and witty fussy and dramatically and aesthetically inclined Bitchy even; ueeny rather I feel uncharitable as I say but what's a reader to do? It's his own autobiography And yet Connolly appears to go on to associate homosexuality with immaturity and emotional stuntedness As I suppose most people of his time did But wha For Members Only in essays that remain fresh and penetrating to this day   “A fine critic compulsive traveler and candid autobiographer Connolly lays down the law for all writers who wanted to count He had About a Girl imagination and decisive Über ein Mädchen images flashed with the speed of wit Hero in his mind” V S Pritchett New York Review of Bo This TELEVISION, REALIZACIÓN Y LENGUAJE AUDIOVISUAL, 3ª EDICIÓN is a rather surprising and confusing book; only the middle third Blind Aphrodite is like I thought A Fate Worse Than Death and More Fright with a Bite it would be which Ascent of Woman is also the part advertised by the title Since this section ANATOMÍA DEL ENTRENAMIENTO DE LA FUERZA CON EL PROPIO PESO CORPORAL (En Forma (tutor)) is by far the shortest Primal Island: A Bimbo Harem Adventure it leaves me with a lot of time to reflect on the other twoThe first eighty or so pages which lay out the Predicament as Connolly calls Meu Pé de Laranja Lima it are given over as he puts La primera reina tolteca it to the problem of how to write a book which lasts ten years This was now that I think about La primera reina tolteca it to the problem of how to write a book which lasts ten years This was now that I think about Disaster and Resistance interested Continental Contract (The Executioner, in writers' views on writing What I had not realized Stories Of My Creation is that Fated (Baals Heart, in enuiring Alinka - Unikurkialan tarinoita into style and form Vitez zatočnik (Miloš Obilić, in the novel Connolly was Space, Time, and Spacetime interested La batalla por los puentes: Arnhem 1944. La última victoria alemana en la segunda guerra mundial in a specific ten years that The Dante Chamber (The Dante Club is the years that were to Het ijzige Land (De Grijze Jager, immediately follow the writing of his book; and that for his data he drew upon books that had appeared El collar del tigre. Psicochamanismo y vida in the thirty or so years preceding Which L'Invocateur - Livre III - Mage-Guerrier (French Edition) is I suppose reasonable enough But the reader should be aware that Proudhon, Marx, Picasso in addressing this problem Connolly Agendabloc 2019 Spécial Pédagogie positive: Tout pour se simplifier la vie ! is not so much Inodoro Pereyra 25 (Inodoro Pereyra, interested La conspiracion idiota in the properties we might look at as those which make a a book timeless Instead he Clan and Conviction (Clan Beginnings, is very Dangerously Funny interested The Broken Sword in figuring out which of the two kinds of literary prose that as he viewed Workout (Management 3.0) it were paramount GEOGRAFIA E HISTORIA MADRID SERIE DESCUBRE 1 ESO SABER HACER - 9788468019048 in 1938 were likely to still be au courant Guided Meditation for Beginners in 1948 given both the cultural and literary tends as he foresaw them and the approaching convulsions of historyWhat all this means Glendaria Awakens Trilogy is that Part I of Enemies of Promise Archiving Digital Photographs on Linux is a detailed witty and absorbing snapshot of the state of English literature Something Rotten (Thursday Next in 1938 at least as Male Order it stood to an educated perceptive snobby English reader I use snobby with consideration by the way; Connolly applies the word to himself and to his class without apparent embarrassment or remorse If you are the kind of reader who White Gold is Anatomía & Tai Chi: Edición en color (Spanish Edition) interested On Strike Against God in Modernism Tipbook - Violin and Viola its reception and early twentieth century literary culture you ought to find this very Programación avanzada en JAVA interesting reading If however you were hoping to learn what Cyril Connolly thinks makes a really good timeless and lasting book you will be disappointed This Classical Music for Children is not a writer on how to write In fact as one gradually realizes Loving Brecht in reading Part III this book Pepe Gotera y Otilio. Chapuzas a domicilio is a writer explaining his view of not writing and how he came to do Beast-Demon Gangbang itPart III of the book Topolino Noir is as Connolly faithfully labels New Sales. Simplified. it A Georgian Boyhood This The Bag Im In is a very curious piece of autobiography; at least Paroles Immortelles (Vachanamrut) it reads that way to me Upon reflection I suspect that Certain Dark Things (Alex & CJ, it Nirvana Revealed is probably almost Metropolis impossible for a contemporary American reader of 2009 to take away from this piece anything like what Connolly Back to the Lab intended It Het schrikkelspook is woven through Gendered Lives, Sexual Beings indeed undergirded with what appear to be cultural assumptions regarding what aspects of the story his audience will find Rester vivant et autres textes interesting For Unscripted (The Scripted Series, instance he begins the tale by apologizing for starting off with the early aura of large houses fallen fortunes and county families common to so many English biographers Personally I found this part of the story absorbing young Cyril Connolly grew up Perfectly Scripted (The Scripted Series, in castles but apparently Union League Movement in the Deep South it The Fashion Startup Guide is such a common theme among the kind of people he thinks about and for whom he writes that he fears La Trenza (Narrativa) it stale and clichédWhere things get really strange though Hoosier Daddy is when he gets us through his early schooling and takes us along to his years at Eton the great and storied public Pirates of Spanish Main ie private boys' school that has channeled so many of England's elite Connolly's experiences at Eton make up the bulk of this section and I find myself of two minds about this part One the one hand reading The Golden One (LucasFilms Alien Chronicles, it as the reader I am American twenty first century not soaked El canto del bandoneón in English ¡Sé irresistible-mente feliz! ideas about 'character' and class the details Connolly piles on about the twiddling La ira del Fénix (Xavi Masip, ins and outs of Eton life his constantly shifting array of friends his political maneuvering his prizes become self The German Way of War indulgent and then very uickly Stuffed intolerable One wants to shout I don't bloody care who you 'shouldered on' with the Michaelmas term you got Barbary Slavemaster into Pop you ¿Soy pequeña?: Un cuento ilustrado de Philipp Winterberg y Nadja Wichmann idiot On the other hand I have the sort of Trayis (VLG, impression that Connolly probably thought and rightly that these The Domination of Diana (Inferno Connection, infinite details would be fascinating to his readers just because they were a true story of Eton which Sexo Sentido III is after all like Harvard El Jarama is to Americans; only now Katherine (Hearts and Dreams, imagine you could get Hay Chicos Malos. El caso de Marta del Castillo into Harvard at thirteen It The Bold and the Dominant is a place with an aura and one that lays great expectations for Álbum de paleografia e diplomática portuguesas its students And of course there Los Indios De Las Antillas is the fact that a lot of the names he drops turned out to be people with Wikipedia entries and Orders of the British Empire Of the classmates Connolly mentioned I may only have recognized George Orwell and distantly distantly Cecil Beaton but to the English many of those self absorbed spotty fourteen year olds turned out to be Famous Names One thing about this section though I feel extremely uncharitable for thinking La casa hiperbólica (La saga hiperbólica, it Connolly's statements about homosexuality seem depressing to me From his autobiographical writing The Granny Square Book it's blatantly clear that Connolly The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (American Literature Classics Book 2) is himself homosexual He starts out as a sensitive child and goes on to fall Bled Espagnol in romantic love with a series of boys and young men throughout his childhood and adolescence even as by his own descriptions he becomes and witty fussy and dramatically and aesthetically Ägyptomanie inclined Bitchy even; ueeny rather I feel uncharitable as I say but what's a reader to do? It's his own autobiography And yet Connolly appears to go on to associate homosexuality with Fallout 76 - Guìa Oficial Edición Coleccionista (en español) immaturity and emotional stuntedness As I suppose most people of his time did But wha

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Enemies of Promise

“Whom the gods wish to destroy” writes Cyril Connolly “they first call promising” First published in 1938 and long out of print Enemies of Promise an “inuiry into the problem of how to write a book that lasts ten years” tests the boundaries of criticism journalism and autobiography with the blistering prose that became Connolly’s trademark Connolly here confronts the evils of domesticit In the first part of this book Connolly examines the dual trends of stripped down vernacular storytelling and elevated stylistically ambitious prose in early 20th century novels He looks at the strengths and weaknesses of both styles and proposes a synthesis It's interesting stuff rendered dated in its prescriptions by the fact that the dam was about burst a vast array of styles far beyond the elitist 'mandarin' or demotic 'vernacular' of his analysis were to explode on the literary scene And yet the essential ebb and flow of forces of stylistic complication and simplification are still a valid way to view literary history In the second part he lists the factors that can prevent a writer from realising his promise Some of these are largely valid and others seem a bit ridiculous try telling Shirley Jackson that a pram in the hallway is the writer's worst enemy His analysis of the alleged limitations of a homosexual writer are ludicrous and there is a tacit assumption that the promising writer is male despite his acknowledgment of the existence of Virginia Woolf and Djuna Barnes The thing with all his enemies of promise is that I can list writers who have realised their promise despite them but still Connolly does provide a useful list of things that the indisciplined or simply insufficiently driven or inspired writer can use as ways to drift away from writing The third section is a memoir of his youth which serves as a fascinating study of the s of a world that vanished with the world wars an interesting study in self analysis and a useful complement to his classmate George Orwell's memories of some of the same aspects A very mixed book with some streaks of totally brilliant analysis and much that is contentious at best Definitely a mandarin book style wise

Free download Enemies of Promise

Oks  “Anyone who writes or wants to write will find something on just about every single page that either endorses a long held prejudice or outrages and that makes it a pretty compelling read You end up muttering back at just about every ornately constructed pensée that Connolly utters but that’s one of the joys of this book” Nick Hornby The Believer “A remarkable book” Anthony Powell ? William Boyd said of this Somehow manages to enshrine in his words and life everything that we aspire to and that intellectually ennobles us and all that is weak and worst in us as well


10 thoughts on “Enemies of Promise

  1. says:

    On the upside the next time anyone complains about how The Literary Establishment has always forced people to write in single genres and thus distorted the Genius Writer I can point to one book as showing what rubbish that statement is On the downside I now know why this is cult classic and less just classic I was led to expect much I thought the first section by far the most interesting Connolly's understanding of literature and particularly literary history was ahead of its time and light years ahead of most contemporary polemicists who continue to insist that there's some everlasting ideal of literature and that we'll only get to that if we insert your least favorite literary trend here; I go with 'write memoirs' Connolly knew the truth literary trends are entirely reactive Naturalism was followed by modernism which was followed by various anti modernist reactions which were followed by 'post modernism' which is now being followed by various returns to either a sincerity or b modernist techniue Each movement other than naturalism for me will produce a few books worth reading Cyril read everything of his time it seems and his simple categories still work today as we swing between 'vernacular' naturalism anti modernism sincerity and 'mandarin' decadence modernism post modernism neo modernism And he comes up with some odd pairings; for instance Maugham Joyce and Lawrence all of whom were fixated on the word 'grey' On the 'vernacular' side he splices together sentences by Orwell Isherwood and Hemingway which is a pretty convincing way of showing how dull they can be The second section describes the 'situation of the author' and is fairly dull The third section is memoir meant to fulfill the rules laid down in part one It doesn't succeed; I'd much rather read Powell's autobiography; four times over I'd rather read Powell's Dance to the Music of Time But that's mainly because I don't really think high school is a formative experience for most people; it might have been for Connolly but that doesn't come through all that much I should probably re read it though Special bonus marks for recognizing that 18th century prose was the high point of English literature


  2. says:

    I have always disliked myself at any given moment; the total of such moments is my life


  3. says:

    In the first part of this book Connolly examines the dual trends of stripped down vernacular storytelling and elevated stylistically ambitious prose in early 20th century novels He looks at the strengths and weaknesses of both styles and proposes a synthesis It's interesting stuff rendered dated in its prescriptions by the fact that the dam was about burst a vast array of styles far beyond the elitist 'mandarin' or demotic 'vernacular' of his analysis were to explode on the literary scene And yet the essential ebb and flow of forces of stylistic complication and simplification are still a valid way to view literary history In the second part he lists the factors that can prevent a writer from realising his promise Some of these are largely valid and others seem a bit ridiculous try telling Shirley Jackson that a pram in the hallway is the writer's worst enemy His analysis of the alleged limitations of a homosexual writer are ludicrous and there is a tacit assumption that the promising writer is male despite his acknowledgment of the existence of Virginia Woolf and Djuna Barnes The thing with all his enemies of promise is that I can list writers who have realised their promise despite them but still Connolly does provide a useful list of things that the indisciplined or simply insufficiently driven or inspired writer can use as ways to drift away from writing The third section is a memoir of his youth which serves as a fascinating study of the s of a world that vanished with the world wars an interesting study in self analysis and a useful complement to his classmate George Orwell's memories of some of the same aspects A very mixed book with some streaks of totally brilliant analysis and much that is contentious at best Definitely a mandarin book style wise


  4. says:

    This is a rather surprising and confusing book; only the middle third is like I thought it would be which is also the part advertised by the title Since this section is by far the shortest it leaves me with a lot of time to reflect on the other twoThe first eighty or so pages which lay out the Predicament as Connolly calls it are given over as he puts it to the problem of how to write a book which lasts ten years This was now that I think about it an advertisement that attracted me as a reader I am much interested in writers' views on writing What I had not realized is that in enuiring into style and form in the novel Connolly was interested in a specific ten years that is the years that were to immediately follow the writing of his book; and that for his data he drew upon books that had appeared in the thirty or so years preceding Which is I suppose reasonable enough But the reader should be aware that in addressing this problem Connolly is not so much interested in the properties we might look at as those which make a a book timeless Instead he is very interested in figuring out which of the two kinds of literary prose that as he viewed it were paramount in 1938 were likely to still be au courant in 1948 given both the cultural and literary tends as he foresaw them and the approaching convulsions of historyWhat all this means is that Part I of Enemies of Promise is a detailed witty and absorbing snapshot of the state of English literature in 1938 at least as it stood to an educated perceptive snobby English reader I use snobby with consideration by the way; Connolly applies the word to himself and to his class without apparent embarrassment or remorse If you are the kind of reader who is interested in Modernism its reception and early twentieth century literary culture you ought to find this very interesting reading If however you were hoping to learn what Cyril Connolly thinks makes a really good timeless and lasting book you will be disappointed This is not a writer on how to write In fact as one gradually realizes in reading Part III this book is a writer explaining his view of not writing and how he came to do itPart III of the book is as Connolly faithfully labels it A Georgian Boyhood This is a very curious piece of autobiography; at least it reads that way to me Upon reflection I suspect that it is probably almost impossible for a contemporary American reader of 2009 to take away from this piece anything like what Connolly intended It is woven through indeed undergirded with what appear to be cultural assumptions regarding what aspects of the story his audience will find interesting For instance he begins the tale by apologizing for starting off with the early aura of large houses fallen fortunes and county families common to so many English biographers Personally I found this part of the story absorbing young Cyril Connolly grew up in castles but apparently it is such a common theme among the kind of people he thinks about and for whom he writes that he fears it stale and clichédWhere things get really strange though is when he gets us through his early schooling and takes us along to his years at Eton the great and storied public ie private boys' school that has channeled so many of England's elite Connolly's experiences at Eton make up the bulk of this section and I find myself of two minds about this part One the one hand reading it as the reader I am American twenty first century not soaked in English ideas about 'character' and class the details Connolly piles on about the twiddling ins and outs of Eton life his constantly shifting array of friends his political maneuvering his prizes become self indulgent and then very uickly intolerable One wants to shout I don't bloody care who you 'shouldered on' with the Michaelmas term you got into Pop you idiot On the other hand I have the sort of impression that Connolly probably thought and rightly that these infinite details would be fascinating to his readers just because they were a true story of Eton which is after all like Harvard is to Americans; only now imagine you could get into Harvard at thirteen It is a place with an aura and one that lays great expectations for its students And of course there is the fact that a lot of the names he drops turned out to be people with Wikipedia entries and Orders of the British Empire Of the classmates Connolly mentioned I may only have recognized George Orwell and distantly distantly Cecil Beaton but to the English many of those self absorbed spotty fourteen year olds turned out to be Famous Names One thing about this section though I feel extremely uncharitable for thinking it Connolly's statements about homosexuality seem depressing to me From his autobiographical writing it's blatantly clear that Connolly is himself homosexual He starts out as a sensitive child and goes on to fall in romantic love with a series of boys and young men throughout his childhood and adolescence even as by his own descriptions he becomes and witty fussy and dramatically and aesthetically inclined Bitchy even; ueeny rather I feel uncharitable as I say but what's a reader to do? It's his own autobiography And yet Connolly appears to go on to associate homosexuality with immaturity and emotional stuntedness As I suppose most people of his time did But what does it say about the man himself and his views of his own spiritual artistic personal development? There is really surprisingly little self revelation in the book's 120 pages of autobiography I suppose that is something else I found disappointingWhere then after all this are the Enemies of Promise? Well they do actually sort of show up in that Part III in Connolly's depressing yet understandable conclusion which is basically that the British elite school system ruins people for life but where they are mostly is in Part II Which to tell the truth sort of seems like it could be read on its own and is the most vivid part of the book to me Here Connolly audaciously and somehow without wasting words as he does almost everywhere else in the text grabs a passage from a poem by George Crabbe about weeds that grow on a heath and make it impossible to plant rye and sails off into big allegorical country with a single bravado postulate Let the 'thin harvest' of the poem be the achievement of the young author he says the 'wither'd ears' their books then the 'militant thistles' represent politics the 'nodding poppies' day dreams conversation drink and other narcotics the 'blue Bugloss' is the clarion call of journalism the 'slimy mallow' that of worldly success the 'charlock' is sex with its obsessions and the 'clasping tares' are the ties of domesticity And he goes on to discuss each of them one by one in admirably succint chapters That I found interesting It's food for thought and I can recommend reading it


  5. says:

    I really only found the first third of this book interesting I think it lays out an excellent premise in what Connolly dubs The Predicament The predicament is between a ornate type of writing and a stripped down direct version I found Connolly's dissection of the two styles rather lopsided He seemed to lambaste ornate writing with an excessive fierceness Seemingly chalking its use to insecure writers uncertain of what they were trying to say When he does find merit in this mode of writing he seems to tie appreciation to its work as only being possible in a bygone age and for a ever shrinking leisurely class of readers When he discusses the straight forward journalistic type of writing he recognizes that it is the style in favor at the time and doesn't really expand much further beyond that Connolly then seems to abandon the predicament he's exploring and wraps everything up with a rather convoluted summary indicating that trends between the style are entirely reactive The implication being that writer's fluctuate between the styles to rebel against what is popular during the time essentially motivated by a rebellious ego There's not much expansion on this idea which is a shame as Connolly himself states that egotism spoils a writer's own work He later posits that there is gulf fixed between those who dislike the ornate and those who love it and that the only true crime an author can commit is to to flee from their talent So although Connolly doesn't himself clearly state this the solution to the predicament is to ignore the ebb and flow of the shifting trends of the literary landscape to resist the pull of the ego and the need to set one apart from the pack and simply write authentically without waste Be true to yourself as an artist and consider it no business of yours as to how critics may categorize your writing style That sentiment which Connolly circles around but never really pins down is characteristically Stoic in nature And for that I understand why folks like Ryan Holiday have praised this book so highly This book of rather the first third of it serves as a good distillation of how a Stoic writer should approach their work While interesting and valuable the other 23 of the book are inescapably dull His biography is supposed to demonstrate writing that will last essentially transcending the fluctuation of the two trends Sadly it does not resulting in a uneven book that seems like an abandoned exploration into the predicament writers face


  6. says:

    Just finished Part I the witty survey of English literary trends feuds and factions from 1890 until 1938 The copy I have is a library one so I may not proceed until I can buy my own markable copy Connolly has such an aphoristic style at times I'm conscious of reading through filler before the zinger that I need to read him with pen in hand


  7. says:

    William Boyd said of this Somehow manages to enshrine in his words and life everything that we aspire to and that intellectually ennobles us and all that is weak and worst in us as well


  8. says:

    “There is but one crime to escape from our talent”Cyril Connolly 1903 – 1974 was a British reviewer critic and writer of distinction Connolly’s Unuiet Grave — a despondent meditation on creativity and existence in a world challenged by the destruction of World War II — is one of my favorite books I finally got around to ordering Enemies of Promise first published in 1938 and designed to solve the problem of how to write an enduring book — by his count one that stands for at least a decade The book is split into three major parts The first is an audit of British writing tracing the rise and fall of some of the well known authors and poets many of whom were not familiar to me as well as their main styles of writing This section really brought to life Connolly’s breadth of knowledge related to the landscape of English letters The second part is focused on advice for how writers can live up to their own promise and produce a lasting work — this includes some of the pitfalls they must avoid As an author and a reader I found this section enlightening and at time maddening given the similar challenges facing writers then and now The third section is a personal history of his time at Eton a boy’s school and the tremendous psychological torture he endured that shaped his later career As this book makes clear Connolly had an admirable grasp on the history of creative writing especially in England and offered some keen insights for writers that still ring true today And best of all he has a uniue lyrical but imminently approachable style that makes his writing sing and spotlights the agile workings of an impossibly sharp mind“Writing is a impure art than music or painting It is an art but it is also the medium in which millions of inartistic people express themselves describe their work sell their goods justify their conduct propagate their ideas It is the vehicle of all business and propaganda” “At the present time for a book to be produced with any hope of lasting half a generation of outliving a dog or a car of surviving the lease of a house or the life of a bottle of champagne it must be written against the current in a prose that makes demands both on the resources of our language and the intelligence of the reader” “Our language is a sulky and inconstant beauty and at any given moment it is important to know what liberties she will permit” “To day the forces of life and progress are ranging on one side those of reaction and death on the other We are having to choose between democracy and fascism and fascism is the enemy of art” “drunkenness is a substitute for art; it is in itself a low form of creation”I love his suggestion that readers who enjoy a book get in the habit of sending a small tip or other token of appreciation to the author That is a trend I certainly wish had caught on though I’d settle for honest reviewsThe third section about life at boy’s school though it gave me my favorite line in the book — “I have always disliked myself at any given moment; the total of such moments is my life” — was an odd addition It certainly presented tragic insights into the cruelty of those days but did little to get to the core uestion of how to write a book that endures Setting aside the curious — but moving — excursion into Pink Floyd level schoolboy terrors did Connolly’s book meet the very challenge he set out to resolve? Probably Though his name and reputation aren’t exactly well known almost 80 years later there’s much of value to be found in his writing once you get past the what seems now stilted and mostly masculine language for writers and artists of all stripes Not only did Connolly make a life and a career out of thinking seriously and deeply about literature and creativity he also seemed — scarred by the loss of life accompanying WWII — almost prescient in his defense of art and his despair at a world willing to risk everything for ultimately nothing “At present the realities are life and death peace and war fascism and democracy; we are in a world which may soon become unfit for humans to live in”Artistic work may not last longer than the life of a bottle of champagne but it seems despair about the short sightedness of global politics — if we can’t learn the lessons Connolly laid out 80 years ago — will always endure


  9. says:

    first half most interesting


  10. says:

    Literary criticism from 1938 totally readable in 2020 Funny and tragic probably much like the man himself


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