The Prince of Minor Writers

The Prince of Minor Writers AN NYRB CLASSICS ORIGINAL Virginia Woolf Called Max Beerbohm The Prince Of Essayists, F W Dupee Praised His Whim Of Iron And Cleverness Amounting To Genius, While Beerbohm Himself Noted That Only The Insane Take Themselves Quite Seriously From His Precocious Debut As A Dandy In 1890s Oxford Until He Put His Pen Aside In The Aftermath Of World War II, Beerbohm Was Recognized As An Incomparable Observer Of Modern Life And An Essayist Whose Voice Was Always And Only His Own Here Phillip Lopate, One Of The Finest Essayists Of Our Day, Has Selected The Finest Of Beerbohm S Essays Whether Writing About The Vogue For Russian Writers, Laughter And Philosophy, Dandies, Or George Bernard Shaw, Beerbohm Is As Unpredictable As He Is Unfailingly Witty And Wise As Lopate Writes, Today It Becomes All The Necessary To Ponder How Beerbohm Performed The Delicate Operation Of Displaying So Much Personality Without Lapsing Into Sticky Confession. A public crowd, because of a lack of a broad impersonal humanity in me, rather insulates than absorbs me Amidst the guffaws of a thousand strangers I become unnaturally grave Max Beerbohm, from Laughter William Newzam Prior Nicholson, Portrait of Sir Max Beerbohm, 1905 Primarily associated with the Edwardian period, theatre critic, author and caricaturist Max Beerbohm managed to live well into the 1950 s After announcing himself as a member of the then in vogue dandy crowd of 1890 s London among such enfants terribles as Oscar Wilde, he quickly even if just partially distanced himself from them and carved out an identity of his own that of the rugged individualist and amused spectator, free to teasingly criticize whomever and whatever he pleased So he did, and succeeded wildly in this pursuit, for roughly thirty years With an air of erudite detachment Oxford education, can t beat it , and aided by a sense of self deprecating, dryly witty humour, he deftly scrutinized modish fads, stupefying societal customs, creeping modernity and even the on the whole banal nature of the human species its
Late 19th early 20th century humorist s essays holds up over time, and are still pretty funny than a century after they were written. Quite excellent selection of essays by I man I d never heard of until this volume was reviewed in, naturally enough, National Review I wonder window into England of the late Victorian, Edwardian, and Great War eras I in many ways feel a greater connection to Britain of that era than to my own country of the same That is all the stronger due to Beerbohm s essays He writes on the arts, travel, politics, daily life, even the naming of streets in London You needn t read straight through, as I did even a random opening of the book will direct you to something worth your time.And, oh, what a menagerie of new or forgotten words Here s just the ones I bothered to underline clomb past tense of climbmantilla a short mantle or light capeliefer gladly willinglyagley off the right line awry wrongdefalcation misappropriation of money or funds held by an offi
He s a hell of a writer Who else can spin a longish and fascinating essay out of staring at a fire Still, sometimes a little goes a long way The prose is rich This is not a book to be gobbled down but savored over time The last section is particularly interesting It s his theater reviews His thoughts on Shaw and Ibsen are spot on, even a century later, and asa writer he s so
Max Wow, max Wowsers Wowsers indeed It s, they, it s I mean, like, how enjoyable Adroit Very adroit And funny Funny as hellIt s like that DaveFostWallec prose that reads so well as thought..to an extent, I guess Max tap dances whereas DFW s work is balletic Max s observations of human character still very much tuned to the key of now I m not much for compliments I m not much beter form ribbing and or razzing See, that s a Beerbohm quip I gave the ol paraphrase twirl.It s a book of em It s
If you can comfortably read one hundred year old British prose, then you ll probably enjoy this collection of Beerbohm essays The sentences are long but the phrases are compacted to gem like hardness There can be so many layers of irony that it is often difficult to know whether the author is serious, semi serious or only conditionally serious Most 21st century readers will find the social customs of that time and place strange and confusing, but if Trollope and Thackeray are your cup of tea, then you ll like Beerbohm even though he s a generation or two later Those who study English prose seriously will find treasures here, but not much that can be transported to the present day The pieces included range from humor and whimsy to stra
Very good, some material out of date, snatches of subtle and good sarcasm. Like many collections, this one reacts best to being sampled rather than read through Handled in this way, it is excellent Mr Beerbohm was an acclaimed essayist, critic and even cartoonist, and perhaps the early twentieth century s foremost practitioner of the familiar essay It could be that the best familiar essayist of our era, Joseph Epstein, owes some of his skill to studying Mr Beerbohm s technique In my opinion, though, Epstein is far superior because his style is less precious and self conscious, but then that s only my preference and certainly not the last word Perhaps the differences between the two are accounted for by the hundred or so years and and nationalities which separate them However you take him, though, Bee
Some i liked, a few I didn t There s a few that are hilarious, but a few that probably would appeal to serious Anglophiles than myself As a prose stylist, Beerbohm is particularly old fashioned, but in a way that s charming in small doses Which is how if recommend this rea
As with the author s caricatures, the cover photo conveys just the slightest sense of the sharp claws hidden under the exquisite tailoring The essay on Doctor Johnson and the obscure cleric is a marvel And I can t get enough of the nyrb books, the design is delightful.

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  • Paperback
  • 391 pages
  • The Prince of Minor Writers
  • Max Beerbohm
  • 10 June 2017
  • 9781590178287