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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.
Sunday, 6 September 2015
At Villa des Nefliers, in France
Being unable to get rid of influenza-ish inquietudes of the stomach, and having had several bad nights de suite, I have spent a good deal of time in bed, reading and writing.
Today I finished the third or fourth perusal of "A Mummer's Wife" by George Moore. This book really is original and fine and beautiful. The Islington scenes are superb. You have squalor and sordidness turned into poetry. And the painter-like effects of visualisation are splendid throughout. Language a bit clumsy and coarse occasionally. "Booze" and "Boozed" are amazing words! There are others, but what an amazing and powerful work! I think I have given credit elsewhere in these pages to Moore as an important inspiration for my own writing. "A Mummer's Wife" first opened my shut eyes to the extraordinary romantic quality of that sinister district from which I emerged. In fact I came to recognise that the feeling of romance which permeates the district is quite as wonderfully inspiring as any historic memory could be. The great and wholesome influence of George Moore on modern English fiction has not yet been adequately appreciated - hardly even noticed. But it exists.
Here is an example of the wisdom of George Moore:
"Does anyone know, or has everyone forgotten, that genius discovers itself? ... Genius can be likened unto apples. This year you complain that the apples are not as red as they should be; maybe they are too red, or maybe they are too plentiful, but small. But the apples go on just the same. They alone are unconcerned as to what the world says or thinks of them."