1 October 2016

A Danger to the Community

Douglas Goldring, Reputations (London: Chapman & Hall, 1920), p. 129:
A cordon sanitaire should be drawn round the admirers of Gissing's heroes. Such people are a danger to the community. To be a Gissing type is to be a plague-carrier; to admire one is, perhaps, even worse.
Ibid., p. 131:
To me this book [The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft] has a reek of corruption and decay; it smells fouler than a rotting corpse. Faugh! Better the twilight of the drunkard and the debauchee than this sentimental death-in-life. The spectacle conjured up of Henry Ryecroft in his library makes me want to throw open every door and window in the house. Perhaps the reason is that though I love the contents of good books, I am not a "bibliophile," and I detest libraries. To my mind a book which is a real book should send the reader back to life refreshed and stimulated, instead of providing him with a dusty funk-hole in which he can shelter from that mental struggle which ought to be perpetual between the cradle and the grave.
This made me smile. Gissing's Ryecroft is one of my favourite books.