The very discriminating author looking soulful in 1920
“Dostoevky’s lack of taste, his monotonous dealings with persons suffering with pre-Freudian complexes, the way he has of wallowing in the tragic misadventures of human dignity — all this is difficult to admire.”
“I cannot abide Conrad’s souvenir shop style and bottled ships and shell necklaces of romanticist cliches.”
“As to Hemingway, I read him for the first time in the early ‘forties, something about bells, balls and bulls, and loathed it.”
Here's D.H. Lawrence on Herman Melville: “Nobody can be more clownish, more clumsy and sententiously in bad taste, than Herman Melville, even in a great book like ‘Moby Dick’….One wearies of the grand serieux. There’s something false about it. And that’s Melville. Oh dear, when the solemn ass brays! brays! brays!”
Does this mean we're off the hook for reading Moby Dick? I guess it depends on our estimation of Lawrence as critic. I remember trying to read it in high school (unbelievably, it was required) and getting totally bogged down in the technicalities of whaling. Perhaps I was just waiting for the PBS treatment of the subject, which I actually enjoyed.
* * *“You are tearing me apart! You say one thing, he says another, and everybody changes back again.” When I posted the photo of James Dean with Natalie Wood on the set of Rebel Without a Cause the other day, I neglected to mention that we have special DVD editions of both that film and East of Eden, as well as a documentary called Sense Memories. The sets both have a second disc with beaucoup extras. Natalie Wood, who was only 16, had affairs with both director Nicholas Ray and Dennis Hopper. Must have been quite the charged atmosphere! At right is another backstage moment with the two stars during filming.
* * *If you're a sucker for Egyptology, as I am, get a copy of The Splendor that Was Egypt before it's too late; they're running out fast! Goodbye for now; or in hieroglyphics,