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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Monday, 10 June 2013
On the Downs
Yesterday, after a little hesitation, I set to work on a new chapter of "The Vanguard" and wrote 1,800 words in just three hours (3 o'c to 6 o'c). It meant ten words a minute throughout, and really more than that, because at 4.15 I made my own tea (or rather my own verveine) and partook of the same in a leisurely manner with brown bread and butter. And all this after a rotten bad night. Pride! Vainglory!
I have now worked myself into a spell (which may prove short) of mass-production in"The Vanguard". I wrote 1,100 words before tea today in less than 90 minutes, and another 500 words after tea in about 30 minutes. All this, for me, is very quick work, though Trollope beat it practically the whole time, and so did Scott.
Last evening (when it rained tremendously) we paddled down to Mrs. Glenister's bungalow. At the end of the evening, she turned on the loudspeaker wireless, "Valkyrie" in the room. I don't seem to be able to get over the amazing magic of this wireless device. The music seems to come to you from nowhere, and you wonder where it has been hiding while waiting for you to want it.
Before my writing today I went for a walk to North Stoke in rotten, very windy weather, and got caught in only one shower, from which I protected myself under a hedge. About four miles I suppose. Then after work I went out with Dorothy up to the Downs, and I reckon by the large scale map that we walked at least four miles and a half. It was all very splendid, with skies full of disasters and great distance-effects. This makes the longest walking I have done in a day for years.
See also, 'A rural retreat' - May 31st., http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/a-rural-retreat.html
I read about half "The Ghost" yesterday. I sent to London for it specially so that I could see what it was really like. It begins brilliantly, but is not so good later on. But it is all fairly good and an excellent performance for a first book (as I believe it was). I am still puzzled by La Nouvelle Revue Francaise beginning their publication of my novels with this book, but I am less puzzled than I was before. I happened to see "Le Spectre" by Arnold Bennett advertised in the N.R.F. a few days ago." I expect I wrote it about 27 years ago. Nobody thought anything of it, and I didn't. And yet the very highbrow N.R.F. chooses it to begin its campaign for "imposing me on the French public"; (according to the words of Gaston Gallimard, who has now written to me twice). All of which is very strange. The Vanguard" is better than "The Ghost" in truth to nature and in skill of handling material, but that it is fundamentally better in creativeness and verve, I doubt. Neither of them is more than a fantastic lark, nor pretends to be more.