'But do I see afore me, him as I ever sported with in his times of happy infancy? And may I-may I?' "This May I, meant might he shake hands?" -DICKENS, Great Expectations. I do not know why I should be so overpoweringly reminded of the immortal, if at times impossible, Uncle Pumblechook, when I sit down to write a short preface to Mr. Swinnerton's Nocturne. Jests come at times out of the backwoods of a writer's mind. It is part of the literary quality that behind the writer there is a sub-writer, making a commentary. This is a comment against which I may reasonably expostulate, but which nevertheless I am indisposed to ignore. The task of introducing a dissimilar writer to a new public has its own peculiar difficulties for the elder hand. I suppose logically a writer should have good words only for his own imitators. For surely he has chosen what he considers to be the best ways. What justification has he for praising attitudes he has never adopted and commending methods of treatment from which he has abstained? The reader naturally receives his commendations with suspicion. Is this man, he asks, stricken with penitence in the flower of his middle-age? Has he but just discovered how good are the results that the other game, the game he has never played, can give? Or has he been disconcerted by the criticism of the Young? The Fear of the Young is the beginning of his wisdom. Is he taking this alien-spirited work by the hand simply to say defensively and vainly: "I assure you, indeed, I am not an old fogy; I quite understand it." (There it is, I fancy, that the Pumblechook quotation creeps in.) To all of which suspicions, enquiries and objections, I will quote, tritely but conclusively: "In my Father's house are many Mansions," or in the words of Mr. Kipling: "There are five and forty ways Of composing tribal lays And every blessed one of them is right."

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 1783523956
ISBN 13: 9781783523955

04 May 2017
Nikesh Shukla

ISBN 10: 048629868X
ISBN 13: 9780486298689

01 Feb 1998
Friedrich Nietzsche

ISBN 10: 0857861832
ISBN 13: 9780857861832

03 Oct 2017
Nan Shepherd

ISBN 10: 1847083331
ISBN 13: 9781847083333

19 Aug 2015
Helon Habila

ISBN 10: 0316068225
ISBN 13: 9780316068222

12 Jun 2009
David Foster Wallace

ISBN 10: 0141184841
ISBN 13: 9780141184845

28 Sep 2000
Jorge Luis Borges

ISBN 10: 1598530720
ISBN 13: 9781598530728

16 Oct 2014
Shirley Jackson

ISBN 10: 192597281X
ISBN 13: 9781925972818

26 May 2020
Anthology Sweatshop

ISBN 10: 0393356256
ISBN 13: 9780393356250

06 Nov 2018

ISBN 10: 1580911862
ISBN 13: 9781580911863

09 Nov 2016
Professor Audre Lorde

ISBN 10: 0226308804
ISBN 13: 9780226308807

03 May 2013
David Grene

ISBN 10: 1529302862
ISBN 13: 9781529302868

07 Apr 2020
Olly Richards