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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Literary landmark

Thursday, May 28th., Victoria Grove, Chelsea.

John Lane showed me John Buchan's report on my novel. It was laudatory and kind, but not (I thought) critically appreciative. He had no fault whatever to find with the novel qua novel, but he said it would probably not be popular and that the same sort of thing had often been done before. Although it probably will not be popular, the same sort of thing has not been often done before; it has never been done before - in England. I can recall no novel of which either the essential treatment or the material is at all similar. The man is most honest, and anxious to do justice, but he clearly has not been able quite to sympathise with the latest disciple of the de Goncourts. Lane said, "I will publish it", and I said, "That is very good of you," or something like that, and that was really all that passed in the matter of the book.

For more on this see 'First novel'

Additionally for May 28th., see 'Feeling tired'

Yesterday I had more success in finding ideas for the last part of "Clayhanger" but I had no success in drawing. I seemed to spend all afternoon in merely arranging still-life objects, and I couldn't decide on any of them. But on Thursday night I did a pretty fair study of Marguerite. I couldn't read anything, except newspapers. I couldn't answer any arrears of correspondence. And after doing nothing all day I was so tired I had to go to bed at 9.15.

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