J. B. Priestley's article on me in London Mercury for February.
After quoting from "The Authors Craft":
"With the single exception of Turgenev the great novelists of the world, according to my standards, have either ignored technique or have failed to understand it. What an error to suppose that the finest foreign novels show a better sense of form than the finest English novels!"
He goes on himself:
"What an error indeed! The fact is, of course, that the art of fiction as practised by the great novelists is technique, and any other 'technique' is either some inferior method or a mere catch-phrase of the pontifical critic."
This is a bit thick. It is easy to show where very many of the great novels fail in technique (Anna Karenina", e.g.) and where they could have been improved if the author had had the advantages of Flaubert, de Maupassant, or even Tchekoff. They are great in spite of carelessness, and their carelessness is often notorious.
I thank heaven I have always gone in for technique. And "The Pretty Lady" and "Riceyman Steps" are both, in my opinion, jolly well constructed and done books.
Additionally for February 13th., see 'Moved by music'
At the opening bars of "The Flying Dutchman" overture I felt those strange tickling sensations in the back which are the physical signs of aesthetic emotion. The mysterious effects of orchestral colour contrast dazed and dazzled Frank's willing ears till he existed simply as a "receiver" - receiver of a microphone or other phonetic instrument ...
The waves of sound swallowed him up, and at the end he emerged, like a courageous child from the surf of a summer sea, dripping wet, breathless, and enraptured.