George Gissing: A Critical Study

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Mitchell Kennerley, 1912 - 198 pages
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Page 192 - I had in me the making of a scholar. With leisure and tranquillity of mind, I should have amassed learning. Within the walls of a college, I should have lived so happily, so harmlessly, my imagination ever busy with the old world. In the introduction to his History of France, Michelet says : "J'ai passe" a cote" du monde, et j'ai pris 1'histoire pour la vie.
Page 25 - I begin to see my way to magnificent effects ; ye gods, such light and shade ! The fact is, the novel of every-day life is getting worn out. We must dig deeper, get to untouched social strata. Dickens felt this, but he had not the courage to face his subjects ; his monthly numbers had to lie on the family tea-table. Not...
Page 106 - Civilization in this point has always been absurdly defective. Men have kept women at a barbarous stage of development, and then complain that they are barbarous.
Page 25 - The fact is, the novel of every-day life is getting worn out. We must dig deeper, get to untouched social strata. Dickens felt this, but he had not the courage to face his subjects ; his monthly numbers had to lie on the family tea-table. Not virginibus puerisque will be my book, I assure you, but for men and women who like to look beneath the surface, and who understand that only as artistic material has human life any significance.
Page 21 - ... Now, with a little pepper and salt, this bread and dripping is as appetising a food as I know. I often make a dinner of it." To which the other replies: "I have done the same myself before now. Do you ever buy pease-pudding?" and to this the Irishman's reply was enthusiastic. "I should think so! I get magnificent pennyworths at a shop in Cleveland Street, of a very rich quality indeed. Excellent faggots they have there, too. I'll give you a supper of them one night before you go.
Page 107 - Not one married pair in ten thousand have felt for each other as two or three couples do in every novel. There is the sexual instinct, of course, but that is quite a different thing; the novelists daren't talk about that. The paltry creatures daren't tell the one truth that would be profitable. The result is that women imagine themselves noble and glorious when they are most near the animals.
Page 73 - Genuine respect for law is the result of possessing something which the law exerts itself to guard. Should it happen that you possess nothing, and that your education in metaphysics has been grievously neglected, the strong probability is that your mind will reduce the principle of society to its naked formula : Get, by whatever means, so long as with impunity.
Page 107 - If every novelist could be strangled and thrown into the sea we should have some chance of reforming women. The girl's nature was corrupted with sentimentality, like that of all but every woman who is intelligent enough to read what is called the best fiction, but not intelligent enough to understand its vice. Love — love — love; a sickening sameness of vulgarity. What is more vulgar than the ideal of novelists? They won't represent the actual world; it would be too dull for their readers. In...
Page 19 - ... should be directed. Last of all Shelley breathed with the breath of life on the dry bones of scientific theory, turned conviction into passion, lit the heavens of the future with such glorious rays that the eye struggles in gazing upwards, strengthened the heart with enthusiasm as with a coat of mail.
Page 186 - He who is giving these chapters of her history may not pretend to do much more than exhibit facts and draw at times justifiable inference. He is not a creator of human beings, with eyes to behold the very heart of the machine he has himself pieced together; merely one who takes trouble to trace certain lines of human experience, and, •working here on grounds of knowledge, there by aid of analogy, here again in the way of colder speculation, spins his tale with what skill he may till the threads...

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