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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Friday, 22 March 2013

On the move

Tuesday, March 22nd., Lausanne.

We left Brighton on Friday morning.

We stayed 3 nights at the Hotel Terminus, Paris. I went for a voyage up the Seine to Charenton and back. I then went to the Exposition des Independants and there met O'Connor and Root. One or two charming indecencies in the show.

Tea at Weber's in the Rue Royale. Dined at Godebskis. Afterwards Ravel, Calvocoressi, Delage, Simon and l'Abbe Petit came in. On Sunday morning I wandered about and looked into Notre Dame (Rameaux). I bought a good edition of Stendhal's "L'Amour" on the quays and at once took ideas from it for "Clayhanger".

The novel seems to be looking up slightly. Anyhow it is being done honestly.
The reviews of "Helen with the High Hand" are exceedingly polite and kind, but they do not gloss over the slightness of the thing.
Among recent American reviews of "The Old Wives Tale" is one which says that the book would have been better if it had only a little sense of humour, the verdict being that it is tedious and unenlivened by either humour or observation.
One of the most marvellous sunsets I ever saw tonight. The peaks of the Dent du Midi sticking alone out of cloud high up in the sky, like rosy teeth.

Dents du Midi
I have written to the editor of The Nation to complain about the treatment of Charles Garvice's work by Middleton Murry. I regard it as unadulterated intellectual snobbery. Amongst other things I wrote: "Was it not worth while to give pleasure to the naive millions for whom Charles Garvice catered honestly and to the best of his very competent ability? Ought these millions to be deprived of what they like, ought they be compelled to bore themselves with what Mr. Murry likes merely because Mr. Murry's taste is better than theirs? The idea is ridiculous. The idea is snobbish in the worst degree. Taste is still relative. Mr Murry ... has probably not yet reached the absolute of taste. Charles Garvice's work was worth doing, and since it was worth doing it was worth doing well."

John Middleton Murry (1889 – 1957) was an English writer. He produced more than 60 books and thousands of essays and reviews on literature, social issues, politics, and religion during his lifetime. A prominent critic, Murry is best remembered for his association with Katherine Mansfield, whom he married as her second husband, in 1918, his friendship with D. H. Lawrence, and his friendship (and brief affair) with Frieda Lawrence. Following Mansfield's death, Murry edited her work.

Charles Andrew Garvice (1850 - 1920) was a prolific and popular author of romance novels in Britain, the United States and translated around the world. By 1913 he was selling 1.75 million books annually, a pace which he maintained at least until his death. Garvice published over 150 novels selling over seven million copies worldwide by 1914. He was ‘the most successful novelist in England’, according to Arnold Bennett in 1910. Despite his enormous success, he was poorly received by literary critics, and is almost forgotten today.

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