My friend Josh Glenn compiles terrific lists of genre novels from the mid-20th century. His latest is a list of the ten best adventure novels of 1966. Josh also includes the cover art of early editions of the books, which are always much better than the art on newer editions. I want to read every book in this list!
My books have sold largely in England, have been translated into many languages, and passed through several editions in foreign countries. I have heard it said that the success of a work abroad is the best test of its enduring value. I doubt whether this is at all trustworthy; but judged by this standard my name ought to last for a few years.
I looked at the 1950 animated film [Cinderella], I read a couple of editions of the fairy tale that I have in my house and all of it seemed to say that there was room for a version that delivered, in this story, which seems to invite a feeling in p eopleand I think that is some version of a classical world.
America is now wholly given over to a d--d mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash - and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed. What is the mystery of these innumerable editions of the Lamplighter, and other books neither better nor worse? - worse they could not be, and better they need not be, when they sell by 100,000.
I loved [fairy stories] so, and my mother weighed down by grief had given up telling me them. At Nohant I found Mmes. d'Ardony's and Perrault's tales in old editions which became my chief joy for five or six years ... I've never read them since, but I could tell each tale straight through, and I don't think anything in all one's intellecutal life can be compared to these delights of imagination.
The next Augustan age will dawn on the other side of the Atlantic. There will, perhaps, be a Thucydides at Boston, a Xenophon at New York, and, in time, a Virgil at Mexico, and a Newton at Peru. At last, some curious traveler from Lima will visit England and give a description of the ruins of St Paul s, like the editions of Balbec and Palmyra.
I had been reading about [John] Calvin for years and had been studying the English Renaissance for many more years, and it had never occurred to me to think of them together. I learned that Calvin was the most widely read writer in England in Shakespeare's lifetime. He was translated and published in many editions.
As one reads history, not in the expurgated editions written for schoolboys and passmen, but in the original authorities of each time, one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted; and a community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime.
America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash-and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed. What is the mystery of these innumberable editions of The Lamplighter (by Maria Susanna Cummins), and other books neither better nor worse? Worse they could not be, and better they need not be, when they sell by the hundred thousand.
I produced audio editions of 'Beneath' and 'Kronos' primarily to grow my audience. I'd seen it work for guys like Scott Sigler and J.C. Hutchins and thought their audience might enjoy my books as well. The goal was to get them hooked on the audio and hope they would migrate to the print books.
You don't buy poetry. (Neither do I.) Why? You cannot afford it? Bosh! You spend Editions de luxe on a thirsty friend. You can buy any one of the poetry bunch For the price you pay for a business lunch. Don't you suppose that a hungry head, Like an empty stomach, ought to be fed? Looking into myself, I find this true, So I hardly can figure it false in you.
Edmund Vance Cooke
I flicked my eyes over to Steve again and saw him straighten. He would need a diversion just to start. "Explanations?" I bellowed. "Explanations? There's your explanation... there!" I stabbed a finger dramatically towards the far corner of the room. Pathetic, really. I mean, talk about the oldest trick in the book. But it's a good book, and the trick would have been cut from subsequent editions if it didn't sometimes work.
Children, it should be repeated, are not pocket editions of adults, because childhood is a period of physical growth and development, a period of preparation for adult responsibility and public and private life. A program of children cannot be merely an adaptation of the program for adults, nor should it be curtailed during periods of depression or emergency expansion of other programs.
Poets are not so scrupulous as you are. They know how useful passion is for publication. Nowadays a broken heart will run to many editions." "I hate them for it," cried Hallward. "An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them. We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty. Some day I will show the world what is it; and for that the world shall never see my portrait of Dorian Gray.
Poets are not so scrupulous as you are. They know how useful passion is for publication. Nowadays a broken heart will run to many editions." "I hate them for it, " cried Hallward. "An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them. We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty. Some day I will show the world what is it; and for that the world shall never see my portrait of Dorian Gray.
In The Captive Mind, written in the early 1950s, Czeslaw Milosz wrote that Eastern European intellectuals, reading 1984 in clandestine editions, were amazed to find that its author had never visited the Soviet Union. How, then, had he captured its mental and moral atmosphere? By reading its propaganda, and by paying attention, and by noticing the tactics of Stalin's agents in the Spanish Republic. Anybody could have done this, but few had the courage to risk the accusation of 'giving ammunition to the enemy.
The swing of his nature took him from extreme languor to devouring energy; and as I knew well, he was never so truly formidable as when, for days on end, he had been lounging in his armchair amid his improvisations and his black-letter editions. Then it was that the lust of the chase would suddenly come upon him, and that his brilliant reasoning power would rise to the level of intuition, until those who were unacquainted with his methods would look askance at him as on a man whose knowledge was not that of other mortals. When I saw him that afternoon so enwrapped in the music of St. James's Hall I felt that an evil time might be coming upon those whom he had set himself to hunt down.
Arthur Conan Doyle
The 1990s to the present: feminism, historicism, postcolonialism, ethics There has never been a better time to study Virginia Woolf. Woolf studies, in the 1990s and in the new millennium, has continued to flourish and diversify in all its numerous and proliferating aspects. In this recent period the topics that occupied earlier critics continue in new debates, on her modernism, her philosophy and ethics, her feminism and her aesthetics; and there have also been marked turns in new directions. Woolf and her work have been increasingly examined in the context of empire, drawing on the influential field of postcolonial studies; and, stimulated by the impetus of new historicism and cultural materialism, there have been new attempts to understand Woolf 's writing and persona in the context of the public and private spheres, in the present as well as in her own time. Woolf in the context of war and fascism, and in the contexts of modernity, science and technology, continue to exercise critics. Serious, sustained readings of lesbianism in Woolf 's writing and in her life have marked recent feminist interpretations in Woolf studies. Enormous advances have also been made in the study of Woolf 's literary and cultural influences and allusions. Numerous annotated and scholarly editions of Woolf 's works have been appearing since she briefly came out of copyright in 1991, accompanied by several more scholarly editions of her works in draft and holograph, encouraging further critical scrutiny of her compositional methods. There have been several important reference works on Woolf. Many biographies of Woolf and her circle have also appeared, renewing biographical criticism, along with a number of works concerned with Woolf in geographical context, from landscape and London sites to Woolf 's and her circle's many houses and holiday retreats.
Editors can be stupid at times. They just ignore that author's intention. I always try to read unabridged editions, so much is lost with cut versions of classic literature, even movies don't make sense when they are edited too much. I love the longueurs of a book even if they seem pointless because you can get a peek into the author's mind, a glimpse of their creative soul. I mean, how would people like it if editors came along and said to an artist, 'Whoops, you left just a tad too much space around that lily pad there, lets crop that a bit, shall we?'. Monet would be ripping his hair out.
E. A. Bucchianeri
A.E.Housman' No one, not even Cambridge was to blame (Blame if you like the human situation): Heart-injured in North London, he became The Latin Scholar of his generation. Deliberately he chose the dry-as-dust, Kept tears like dirty postcards in a drawer; Food was his public love, his private lust Something to do with violence and the poor. In savage foot-notes on unjust editions He timidly attacked the life he led, And put the money of his feelings on The uncritical relations of the dead, Where only geographical divisions Parted the coarse hanged soldier from the don.
Lord Peter's library was one of the most delightful bachelor rooms in London. Its scheme was black and primrose; its walls were lined with rare editions, and its chairs and Chesterfield sofa suggested the embraces of the houris. In one corner stood a black baby grand, a wood fire leaped on a wide old-fashioned hearth, and the Se¨vres vases on the chimneypiece were filled with ruddy and gold chrysanthemums. To the eyes of the young man who was ushered in from the raw November fog it seemed not only rare and unattainable, but friendly and familiar, like a colourful and gilded paradise in a medie¦val painting
Dorothy L. Sayers
When I was a schoolboy in England, the old bound volumes of Kipling in the library had gilt swastikas embossed on their covers. The symbol's 'hooks' were left-handed, as opposed to the right-handed ones of the Nazi hakenkreuz, but for a boy growing up after 1945 the shock of encountering the emblem at all was a memorable one. I later learned that in the mid-1930s Kipling had caused this 'signature' to be removed from all his future editions. Having initially sympathized with some of the early European fascist movements, he wanted to express his repudiation of Hitlerism (or 'the Hun, ' as he would perhaps have preferred to say), and wanted no part in tainting the ancient Indian rune by association. In its origin it is a Hindu and Jainas symbol for light, and well worth rescuing.
I do not like postmodernism, postapocalyptic settings, postmortem narrators, or magic realism. I rarely respond to supposedly clever formal devices, multiple fonts, pictures where they shouldn't be-basically, gimmicks of any kind. I find literary fiction about the Holocaust or any other major world tragedy to be distasteful-nonfiction only, please. I do not like genre mash-ups e la the literary detective novel or the literary fantasy. Literary should be literary, and genre should be genre, and crossbreeding rarely results in anything satisfying. I do not like children's books, especially ones with orphans, and I prefer not to clutter my shelves with young adult. I do not like anything over four hundred pages or under one hundred fifty pages. I am repulsed by ghostwritten novels by reality television stars, celebrity picture books, sports memoirs, movie tie-in editions, novelty items, and-I imagine this goes without saying-vampires.
Peter Pan has to be the book of my childhood. Come to think of it, it's the book of my adulthood too. It's a book which, in the reading of it, takes me back to editions that I've had and lost, with various illustrators' work in them. It brings back moments sitting reading it with my mother. It brings back my first contact with the Disney cartoon. It brings back standing in the play-yard when I was a kid, when the wind was really blowing, and closing my eyes, spreading my arms and pretending I could fly. It brings back childhood dreams of flying. It brings back the first encounter I ever had with an invented world... Never Never Land was really the first journey I took to an invented world which I believed in wholly and completely. I remember the immense solidarity that I felt with the Lost Boys, with Peter, with the Indians - how much I wanted to be a Red Indian - how much the saving of Tiger Lily meant to me as a kid, how much I wanted to one day wake up and save an Indian squaw from drowning.
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods-though the work was suppressed-'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses , alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.