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Record 12291

Reading Experience:

'Thanks for your letter & the book. A word in reference to the former. I can?t boast that I discovered what purports to be the "central idea" of the novel for myself. I first heard of Barr?s in an article bY Edward Delille in the "Fortnightly." Next I read a criticism of this very book in the latest volume issued of Anatole France?s "La Vie Litteraire". Lastly there was a rather striking article in a recent "Scribner" on new ideas in French Literature generally in which the name of Barr?s was prominent. So when I actually bought the book I knew just what to expect. As I understand the thing, the author is at direct variance with Flaubert, Zola & Guy de Maupassant, who at all costs aim at an impartial, impersonal presentment of life. He prefers to take a character & describe events and men solely in relation to their effect on that character. In a word his novel is all hero. He cares nothing for absolute perspective. He interests himself in nothing but what affects his hero. Everything is described through the hero?s eyes, & consequently everything is intentionally coloured & distorted. He utterly despises the "one-eyed apathetic insight of the camera". You mention his symbolism. I believe that the presence of numerous symbols & analogies in the actual writing is only a minor & unimportant manifestation of the symbolist theory. The whole book in its main outlines is a congeries of symbols. . . '
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Between 1 Sep 1891 and 24 May 1893
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Arnold Bennett
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 27 May 1867
Socio-economic group: Clerk / tradesman / artisan / smallholder
Occupation: lawyer's clerk
Religion: Christian
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Maurice Barres
Title: Le Jardin de Berenice
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: owned


Source Information:

Record ID: 12291  
Source - Print  
  Author: Arnold Bennett
  Editor: James Hepburn
  Title: Letters of Arnold Bennett
  Place of Publication: London: Oxford University Press
  Date of Publication: 1968
  Vol: II
  Page: 7
  Additional comments: Letter from Bennett to George Sturt from 6 Victoria Grove, Chelsea, London dated 24.v.93

Citation: Arnold Bennett, James Hepburn (ed.), Letters of Arnold Bennett (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), II, p. 7,, accessed: 17 June 2024

Additional comments:

editor's note: The article by Edward Delille on Maurice Barres (1862-1923) appeared in the 'Fortnightly' on 1 September 1891.



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)