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Index: Archived content

The ‘Fortnightly’—a retrospect.

B.W. Matz: ‘To turn over that file is to find an array of articles by Mr. Herbert Spencer, mostly, as might be supposed, on the subject of his great system of philosophy. Again, we have the Pre-Raphaelites, of Rossetti and Burne-Jones and Bell Scott, as well as of Mr. Swinburne and Mr. Meredith. Nonconformity was given its full voice, but, indeed, taking the mere test of names, to what phase of work or thought did Mr. Morley not give the opportunity of print? Newman, Manning, Mazzini, Freeman, Walter Pater, William Morris, Henry Morley, Max Müller, Symonds, Congreve—that is the kind of contributors’ gallery which opens out.’

The poem’s not in the word.

C.F. Keary: ‘…such rules as have been here touched on are useful to the critic of verse, but they can be of no use to the writer of verse. If his imagination working in this medium is not strong enough to fill his mind with more than he can possibly find room to say, to make all his ideas and emotions, adumbrate themselves in sounding phrases, to fashion the bones of his verse in such wise that there is no repetition in them and no monotony, then he will never accomplish those things by taking thought.’

The School of Giorgione.

Walter Pater: ‘All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music. For while in all other kinds of art it is possible to distinguish the matter from the form, and the understanding can always make this distinction, yet it is the constant effort of art to obliterate it.’

T-units and n-grams.

Davina Allison: ‘To suggest that academic writing is anything other than syntactically complex and lexically rich is to deny writers access to a proper understanding of the academic sentence. This, in turn, denies them access to the knowledge and skills that correlate to expertise.’

The Morality of the Profession of Letters.

R.L. Stevenson: ‘The writer has the chance to stumble, by the way, on something pleasing, something interesting, something encouraging, were it only to a single reader. He will be unfortunate, indeed, if he suit no one. He has the chance, besides, to stumble on something that a dull person shall be able to comprehend; and for a dull person to have read anything and, for that once, comprehended it, makes a marking epoch in his education.’

The function of criticism.

T.S. Eliot: ‘I do not deny that art may be affirmed to serve ends beyond itself; but art is not required to be aware of these ends, and indeed performs its function, whatever that may be, according to various theories of value, much better by indifference to them. Criticism, on the other hand, must always profess an end in view, which, roughly speaking, appears to be the elucidation of works of art and the correction of taste.’

Pierre Loti.

Henry James: ‘The closer, the more intimate is a personal relation the more we look in it for the human drama, the variations and complications, the note of responsibility, which the loves of the quadrupeds do not give us. Failing to satisfy us in this way such a relation is not interesting, as Mr. Matthew Arnold says of American civilization. M. Pierre Loti is guilty of the perpetual naïveté (and there is a real flatness of repetition in it) of assuming that when exhibited on his own part it is interesting.’

Ibsen’s new drama.

By JAMES A. JOYCE. TWENTY YEARS HAVE passed since Henrik Ibsen wrote A Doll’s House, thereby almost marking an epoch in the history of drama. During those years his name has gone abroad through the length and breadth of two continents, and has provoked more discussion and criticism than that of any other living man. […]

The new life of Whistler.

Walter Sickert: ‘If Whistler has himself left, in an interesting and passionately felt life-work, a contribution to our better understanding of the visible world, he has also done another thing. He has sent the more intelligent of the generation that succeeds him to the springs whence he drew his own art — to French soil. ‘

The rediscovery of the unique.

H. G. Wells: ‘Science is a match that man has just got alight. He thought he was in a room—in moments of devotion, a temple—and that his light would be reflected from and display walls inscribed with wonderful secrets and pillars carved with philosophical systems wrought into harmony. ‘

An English Lady.

Hugh Walpole: ‘More and more as the years passed she loved everything that was beautiful – pictures and music and scenery and books. In her young days she had had a very limited education, but her artistic judgment was very seldom wrong, although it was limited, of course, in its attitude to modern things by the generation to which she belonged.’

The history of Imagism.

F.S. Flint: ‘At that time, I had been advocating in the course of a series of articles on recent books of verse a poetry in vers libre, akin in spirit to the Japanese. An attack on the Poets’ Club brought me into correspondence and acquaintance with T. E. Hulme; and, later on, after Hulme had violently disagreed with the Poets’ Club and had left it, he proposed that he should get together a few congenial spirits, and that we should have weekly meetings in a Soho restaurant.’

The poems of ‘H.D.’

May Sinclair: ‘If ever we thought of “H.D.” as cultivating, exquisitely, a narrow plot, tied by her imagism, with these and her latest poems before us, we can have no misgivings as to her range. There is the pure imagism of “Evening” and the flower passage out of “Sea-Gods,” which I have already given. And the elegiac pathos of “Loss.”’

Thoughts on Germany.

Orson Welles: ‘His most recent set-back is popularly supposed to have taught Fritz to abhor the sight of uniforms and forever after loathe the sound of march music. Tourists from the victorious democracies can’t seem to get over their astonishment at finding German instincts less damaged than German cities. The truth is that human nature in this forest land is neither an invention of Doctor Goebbels nor an easy target for bombs.’

W. L. Courtney.

John KMarriott: ‘No one who knew the Oxford Courtney – the brilliant teacher, the keen metaphysician – doubted that he had a logic of the head; no one who knew him in his later and mellower and happier years could ever question the truth and depth of his “philosophy of the heart.” In pace requiescat.’