I have just begun Cyril Connolly’s Enemies of Promise, which, like Orwell’s “Inside the Whale,” is an examination of the state of English literature.  In his youth, Connolly was widely supposed to have a great career as a writer before him, but what he became instead, mostly, was a literary critic.  I generally don’t read […]

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So where am I going with this muddled train of thought?  Damned if I know.  Looking over what I’ve written so far, I am reminded of Laurence Sterne, who says that he does not know if his method of composition is the best one but it is certainly the most religious, as he simply writes […]

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What am I saying here?  That allegory always makes for bad writing?  Absolutely not.  Orwell himself wrote an effective little allegorical number called Animal Farm. Neither Animal Farm nor Nineteen Eighty-Four is intended primarily as a work of art.  Both books are what Orwell would classify as propaganda.  But how do you catch people’s ears?  […]

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So what really matters in fiction?  What you say, or how you say it? I’ve just read a hundred and eight pages of Hesse’s Narziß und Goldmund, an allegorical tale of the opposing Apollonian and the Dionysian spirits.  Each of the main characters represents a spirit, and that’s my difficulty with Hesse – that his […]

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Had a pleasant chat with my printer today.  Fortunately, the books are done!  Unfortunately, they won’t ship till Monday.  It’s sort of like red wine; they’ve got to breathe before they read properly.  Five days parked on the loading dock ought to be just about right.  After hearing of this latest delay I went for […]

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George Orwell’s essay ‘Inside the Whale’ is, among other things, an examination into the state of English literature.  It’s always comforting for a writer to read anything that suggests that somewhere over the rainbow is a place where people care about the written word.  Orwell cares for at least two reasons, one being that he […]

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The books ought to arrive in about two weeks now, and though there are things I could be working on (a short story, the next novel, learning how to run the website) I’ve been reading instead, and being generally lazy.  So lazy that I’m going to punt on today’s entry, and just put down a […]

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