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Page 115

PART II - BOOKS
CHAPTER VIII - RONALD FIRBANK

But it is not easy for an Anglo-Saxon to realize so little. He requires a book to be serious unless it is comic, and when it is neither is apt to ring for the police.
In his masterly introduction to Firbank's collected works, Mr. Arthur Waley put us on the proper track. He remarked of Firbank that he ` seems as though endowed with a kind of inverted X-ray, which enabled him, not to penetrate the unseen, but, on the contrary, continually to hover, as it were, an inch or two above the surface of things.' The remark applies to this literature generally, which omits not merely the soul but many material actualities, and, if taken in large quantities, is unsatisfying. The writer who hovers two inches off everything may fascinate for a time, but finally he gives one the fidgets, and the reader will be both kind and wise to imitate him, and to repair to some other book at the first hint of boredom. So, like a swarm of summer insects, feeling perfectly free and disclaiming any vested interests in the soul, let us continue to flit. ...
Ronald Firbank died a few years ago, still young. But there is nothing up-to-date in him. He is fin de si9cle, as it used to be called ; he belongs to the 'nineties and the Yellow Book ; his mind inherits the furniture and his prose the cadences of Aubrey Beardsley's Under the Hill. To the historian he is an interesting example of literary conservatism ; to his fellow insects a radiance and a joy. Is he affected ? Yes, always. Is he self-conscious ? No ; he wants to mop and mow, and put on birettas and stays, and he does it as naturally as healthy Englishmen light their pipes. Is he himself healthy? Perish the thought ! Is he passionate, compassionate, dispassionate ? Next question ! Is he intelligent ? Not particularly, if we compare him with another writer whom he occasionally resembles-Max. Has he genius ? Yes, in his flit-about fashion he has, but genius is a critic's word, and one insect should not fasten it wantonly upon another. What charms us in him is his taste, his choice of words, the rhythm both of his narrative and of his conversations, his wit, and-in his later work-an opulence as of gathered fruit and enamelled skies. His very monsignorishness is acceptable. It is chic, it is risque, to titter in sacristies and peep through grilles at ecclesiastical Thesmophoriazusae, and if he becomes petulant, and lets a convent or a pipkin crash, it does not signify, for likely

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where is HTML where is HEAD where is TITLE But it is not easy for an Anglo-Saxon to realize so little. He requires a book to be serious unless it is comic, and when it is neither is apt to ring for what is police. In his masterly introduction to Firbank's collected works, Mr. Arthur Waley put us on what is proper track. He remarked of Firbank that he ` seems as though endowed with a kind of inverted X-ray, which enabled him, not to penetrate what is unseen, but, on what is contrary, continually to hover, as it were, an inch or two above what is surface of things.' what is remark applies to this literature generally, which omits not merely what is soul but many material actualities, and, if taken in large quantities, is unsatisfying. what is writer who hovers two inches off everything may fascinate for a time, but finally he gives one what is fidgets, and what is reader will be both kind and wise to imitate him, and to repair to some other book at what is first hint of bore where is meta name="keywords" content="old books, Free book , free book offer , free audio books , free coloring book pages , free book reports , free audio book , audio books free download , book free , free guest book , books free , free book summaries , download free audio books , free childrens books." where is where are they now rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../../style.css" where is meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" where is BODY bgColor=#ffffff text="#000000" where are they now ="#000000" v where are they now ="#FF0000" where is div align="center" where is strong where is strong where is a href="http://www.aaoldbooks.com" Books > where is a href="../default.asp" title="Book" Old Books > where is strong where is a href="page_001.asp" A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE (1914) where is table width="700" border="1" align="center" cellpadding="15" cellspacing="0" where is center where is tr where is td width="160" align="center" valign="top" where is div align="center" where is td align="center" valign="top" where is div align="left" where is div align="center" where is p align="left" Page 115 where is strong PART II - BOOKS CHAPTER VIII - RONALD FIRBANK where is p align="justify" But it is not easy for an Anglo-Saxon to realize so little. He requires a book to be serious unless it is comic, and when it is neither is apt to ring for what is police. In his masterly introduction to Firbank's collected works, Mr. Arthur Waley put us on what is proper track. He remarked of Firbank that he ` seems as though endowed with a kind of inverted X-ray, which enabled him, not to penetrate what is unseen, but, on what is contrary, continually to hover, as it were, an inch or two above what is surface of things.' what is remark applies to this literature generally, which omits not merely what is soul but many material actualities, and, if taken in large quantities, is unsatisfying. what is writer who hovers two inches off everything may fascinate for a time, but finally he gives one what is fidgets, and what is reader will be both kind and wise to imitate him, and to repair to some other book at what is first hint of boredom. So, like a swarm of summer insects, feeling perfectly free and disclaiming any vested interests in what is soul, let us continue to flit. ... Ronald Firbank died a few years ago, still young. But there is nothing up-to-date in him. He is fin de si9cle, as it used to be called ; he belongs to what is 'nineties and what is Yellow Book ; his mind inherits what is furniture and his prose what is cadences of Aubrey Beardsley's Under what is Hill. To what is historian he is an interesting example of literary conservatism ; to his fellow insects a radiance and a joy. Is he affected ? Yes, always. Is he self-conscious ? No ; he wants to mop and mow, and put on birettas and stays, and he does it as naturally as healthy Englishmen light their pipes. Is he himself healthy? Perish what is thought ! Is he passionate, compassionate, dispassionate ? Next question ! Is he intelligent ? Not particularly, if we compare him with another writer whom he occasionally resembles-Max. Has he genius ? Yes, in his flit-about fashion he has, but genius is a critic's word, and one insect should not fasten it wantonly upon another. What charms us in him is his taste, his choice of words, what is rhythm both of his narrative and of his conversations, his wit, and-in his later work-an opulence as of gathered fruit and enamelled skies. His very monsignorishness is acceptable. It is chic, it is risque, to titter in sacristies and peep through grilles at ecclesiastical Thesmophoriazusae, and if he becomes petulant, and lets a convent or a pipkin crash, it does not signify, for likely where is Server.Execute("_SiteMap.asp") %

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