Thursday, November 16, 2006

Gentleman litbloggers

From a wonderful Paris Review interview with Henry Green, the interviewer Terry Southern says to the author:
No one, it seems, has been able to satisfactorily relate your work to any source of influence. I recall that Mr. Pritchett has tried to place it in the tradition of Sterne, Carroll, Firbank, and Virginia Woolf — whereas Mr. Toynbee wished to relate it to Joyce, Thomas Wolfe, and Henry Miller.
Interesting how the critics are the gentlemen, not the writers. Not even Virginia. I think we should be revive such respect, don't you?

Green isn't a bad critic himself. In his introduction, Mr. Southern quotes him on writing:
Prose is not to be read aloud but to oneself alone at night, and it is not quick as poetry but rather a gathering web of insinuations which go further than names however shared can ever go. Prose should be a long intimacy between strangers with no direct appeal to what both may have known. It should slowly appeal to feelings unexpressed, it should in the end draw tears out of the stone . . .
Thanks for the link to newly-redesigned Mr. Spurious. Awe at his narcissitic resistance to narcissism.

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