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TheRejectAmidHair

Born this day

25th January is the birthday of Robert Burns, W. Somerst Maugham, and Virginia Woolf.

Any views on any of these writers?

(PS I wonder if we could make this a regular daily feature!)
Sandraseahorse

I enjoy the works of the first two, not so keen on the third.
Ann

I have read Somerset Maugham short stories, I found Burn's language too hard (and I don't enjoy poetry). Virginia Woolf is an author I have never tried. Her writing is intimidating to me and I have never wanted to give her a go. She seems pretentious. I am prepared to be persuaded otherwise. Is there one of her books which is more accessible than others?
Evie

Try Mrs Dalloway, Ann - it's wonderful, and quite accessible.
Evie

I love Virginia - love what she did with the form of the novel, love her use of language, love her intelligence and humour, love her imagination, love her characters.

Her essay A Room of One's Own is definitely worth reading, even for those who don't like her novels.  It is full of utterly wonderful things, as well as being a comment on the way intelligent women were regarded in her day - it is feminism, but not strident - there is a lot of warmth and humour in it.

Like Ann, I can't get to grips with Burns at all.  I have yet read Maugham, but very much want to.
Ann

Evie wrote:
Try Mrs Dalloway, Ann - it's wonderful, and quite accessible.


I'll look for it in the library Evie
Marita

Of those three I've only read Virginia Woolf and only one of her novels at that.
I really enjoyed 'Mrs Dalloway' though and I agree with Evie. A wonderful read.


Castorboy

Evie wrote:
Her essay A Room of One's Own is definitely worth reading, even for those who don't like her novels.  It is full of utterly wonderful things, as well as being a comment on the way intelligent women were regarded in her day - it is feminism, but not strident - there is a lot of warmth and humour in it.

I saw a stage version of it by Patrick Garland in Christchurch in 2003 at the Court Theatre (sadly destroyed in the earthquake) with Denise O'Connell as Woolf. I recall the humour, subtlety, and optimism of what she thought a liberated woman could achieve.
Mikeharvey

If you're afraid of Virginia Woolf - try ORLANDO.  And her essays, collected in six volumes, are full of interest.  I endorse Evie's recommendation of 'A Room of One's Own'.  And her diaries.....
I read BETWEEN THE ACTS last year. It's impressionistic and full of lovely writing.
TheRejectAmidHair

A bit random, this, but I just remembered that bit from Father Ted, where Ted is trying to impress an attractive female novelist. She, describing her previous husband, says: "Now, there was a an who really was afraid of Virginia Woolf", and Ted, not getting the reference, says innocently: "Why? Was she following him or something?"

I suppose that having grown up as a bookish type in Scotland, it's inevitable that I like Burns. I remember writing about "Holy Willie's Prayer" for my English Highers (Scottish equivalent of A-levels): it remains to this day about as biting a piece of satire I've come across. I love also the good humour and folksy rumbustiousness of "Tam O'Shanter"; and Burns also predates Wordsworth in using everyday diction and traditional ballad rhythms to convey great depth of feeling. After the whimsicality in the opening verse of " To a Mouse", we get, I think, real depth of feeling. (There is a superb essay by Seamus Heaney on this poem, which we often take for granted as it is so wel known.)

Somerset Maugham and Virginia Woolf make a fascinating comparison. They both flourished at around the same time, but while Virginia Woolf was at the cutting edge of modernism, Maugham was very conservative, his literary tastes and values very much rooted in the previous century. Much of Maugham's work has dated, but he was such a fine craftsman, his best works do continue to be read and enjoyed. His best short stories, The Razor's Edge (just read that opening chapter!), and, especially, Cakes and Ale remain delightful.

I have problems with Oolf, I must admit. Generally, I do find myself very much in sympathy with modernist authors (Andrey Bely, TS Eliot, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, etc) and tend to see modernism not so much as a radical break from what had come earlier, but as a continuation by other means of various earlier trends. Novelists of the 19th century set out to depict the everyday, but to invest that everyday with significance (Middlemarch, Madame Bovary, the stories of Chekhov, etc) and writers such as Joyce or Woolf attempted to do much the same, albeit with different means. But I can't discern that significance in the everyday in Woolf's work: my fault, I'm sure, since so many other readers revere Woolf.
Mikeharvey

Prompted by the above I dug out a volume of Virginia Woolf's essays and read her piece on 'Henry James Ghost Stories' which is full of interesting thoughts, mostly about why VW thinks they don't work. But she finishes with a splendid appreciation of 'The Turn of the Screw'. I then read her insightful view of a production of 'The Cherry Orchard' in 1921 in which, I thought, she gets to the heart of why Chekhov's plays capture us.  These six volumes of VW's essays are wonderful.  It's an exhaustive, scholarly edition (Hogarth Press) with lots of references, some, I think, a bit unnecessary.  Did I need to be told the author of 'The School for Scandal'?
Sandraseahorse

My initial reply to this topic was brief as, ironically, I was about to prepare a Burns Supper.

Now I've had more time for reflection, I'd like to add that while Burns's poetry may appear daunting at first glance, rather like Chaucer's, with a glossary the poetry is quite accessible and popularist.  I find Burns's poetry fresh; again to use a Chaucerian comparison, I am reminded of the comment that Derek Walcott made about Chaucer to the effect that it was like finding the dew still on the leaves.  Both poets might seem arcane on first sight but both are far from stuffy.

Somerset Maugham has been discussed before on this board before and I know that there are some who find him outdated.  However, although he often writes about colonial types and the language might seem quaint at times, there is real human emotion there.  One of the stories  I find moving is "The Colonel's Lady".  His stories often appear deceptively simple.  I remember reading in Emlyn Williams's autobiography how he went off on a cruise round the Far East to gather literary material and all he met was ghastly old bores; he realised then just how much skill Maugham put into his stories.
Chibiabos83

125 years ago today Edward Lear popped his clogs. Some of us wrote Owl and Pussycat poems a few years ago. Maybe it's time for a revival.

And today is the birthday of Chekhov and Germaine Greer, two peas in a pod.
TheRejectAmidHair

Today, January 29th, is the 153rd birthday of Anton Chekhov, who has the rare distinction of having excelled in, and pioneered new directions in, two different forms. Neither the drama nor the short story would be as we know it now without Chekhov.

It took him a bit of time to find his feet as a dramatist. In early plays such as Platonov, The Wood Demon (later rewritten as Uncle Vanya and Ivanov, he was still finding his feet. Ibsen had already pioneered a new form of drama, but Chekhov’s artistic temperament was very different, and he needed to develop a different form to communicate it. But then came The Seagull, and with that, he found his dramatic voice. In his final years, his output as a short story writer dropped noticeably as he focused more on drama, and the three plays that followed before his untimely death (he tied of tuberculosis aged 44) are all great masterpieces: Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard.  In each of these plays, he depicted a group of characters, all interacting with each other.  His characters speak everyday language, and do not reveal themselves in  passages of self-analysis – indeed, most of them aren’t sufficiently self-aware to do so anyway, so their innermost thoughts and feelings usually remain unspoken; and yet, such was his technique, he could depict the inner lives of these characters – often through what they don’t say.

Right through to his very last play, The Cherry Orchard, he was experimenting with new things. For drama to work, we normally require characters to develop; yet, in The Cherry Orchard, the whole point is that the central characters don’t develop – that they are, indeed, incapable of doing so. They are given every opportunity to develop, but they don’t take these opportunities. At the end of the penultimate act, disaster seems to fall, and we feel sure that they will all be stricken down; but in the final act, they behave in much the same way as before. It’s not that their lives won’t be changing, but, rather, that they seem incapable of understanding the implications of the change, and they continue with their bright and breezy ways. Somehow, it makes it even more heartbreaking than tragedy.

His plays are actually very funny, but it’s a melancholy type of humour: even as I laugh, I find myself feeling sad.

Chekhov actually started off his literary career as a humorous writer: his earliest work are comic sketches. But by the late 1880s, he was already producing such masterpieces as “The Steppe”, “The Kiss”, “ A Dreary Story”. As in drama, the traditional form of short story did not meet his needs: he tended not to care too much for a plotline, as such – or, rather, the sequence of events that constitutes the plot tends to take place inside characters’ minds. His aim was to depict the flow of life: it’s not that events don’t happen, but, rather, what directs the flow of one’s life tends to be an accumulation of small effects, rather than the big, dramatic ones. Sometimes, the climax of the story could come in a character viewing a new perspective, and coming to a new understanding.

It’s hard to characterise these stories, as just about anything one may say about them, one could come across a host of counter-examples. The stories are astonishing varied. In “The Black Monk”, say, the principal character is mentally disturbed, and has visions of a ghostly black monk who promises him greatness that transcend the mediocrity he knows himself to be. In “The Lady With the Little Dog”, a bored middle-aged man picks up and has an affair with a younger married woman; it is a casual affair, but then, to his own surprise, he begins to feel a depth of emotion he had never suspected in himself. And the story leaves us there: “what happens next” is not the point. In “Anna Around the Neck”, a pretty young girl is married off to a pompous, middle-aged bureaucrat; but when, at a social gathering, she finds herself and not her husband the centre of attraction, and admired by her husband’s superiors, she realises that it is she who holds the power in the marriage. In “A Woman’s Kingdom”, a woman has inherited the family business - a huge factory that exploits its vodka-sodden workers, and which she has no idea how to run; despite her best intentions, she finds herself powerless, and desperately, desperately, lonely. In “Ward 6”, the entire world seems reduced to a psychiatric ward in a provincial hospital – filthy, unhygienic, brutal; the doctor in charge is not only ill equipped to do much about it – he appears to think that nothing can be done; eventually, he falls prey to the same brutality he had neglected.

It’s tempting to call these “slices of life”, but a slice is something that is cut from the whole; but here, we get the impression of these characters having lived before the story had started, and continuing to live after the story finishes. After Chekhov, the short story could not be the same again. Just about every major short story writer has acknowledged their debt to Chekhov. Raymond Carver described Chekhov’s short stories as, simply, “the best”. Of all writers of the 19th century, possibly there is none who has been more influential than Chekhov.
Ann

Evie wrote:
Try Mrs Dalloway, Ann - it's wonderful, and quite accessible.


I got it out of the library today, Evie, and I shall give it a go. Does anyone fancy reading it at the same time so that we can compare notes?
Caro

Not sure I should throw a damper on this, Ann, but I tried to read Mrs Dalloway a couple of years ago (and I did study some Virginia Woolf at university so am not totally unfamiliar with her) but I didn't get far with it.  I didn't really find her very accessible at all.  But I think I wasn't in the mood - you do need to be prepared to put a bit of effort in Woolf - she's not a plot writer, and it takes a bit of consideration just to see what her story is saying.  

I'll be interested to see what you think. But I can't join you at the moment - have too many books sitting looking rather urgently at me at the moment.
Ann

Thank you Caro. I have a feeling I will find it all too difficult and obscure too. However you never know and at least I can say I have tried  Smile
Chibiabos83

Ann, I have a copy I should be able to lay my hands on this weekend, so I will intend to join you at some point. I didn't get on with To the Lighthouse, but that was my failing rather than old Virginia's.
Ann

Thanks Chib. I'm sure it will help me and motivate me to have you with me  Very Happy I'll begin it on Saturday.
TheRejectAmidHair

Chibiabos83 wrote:
Ann, I have a copy I should be able to lay my hands on this weekend, so I will intend to join you at some point. I didn't get on with To the Lighthouse, but that was my failing rather than old Virginia's.


I read Mrs Dalloway and To the Lighouse about a couple of years ago, but, as with you, I didn't really get much out of them, and it is only the enthusiasm of other readers that convinces me that the failure is mine. Ah well - one can't like everything: life isn't short enough, as Stan Laurel says.
Chibiabos83

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
life isn't short enough, as Stan Laurel says.

I'm not going to the convention, I'm going to the mountains!
TheRejectAmidHair

Chibiabos83 wrote:
TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
life isn't short enough, as Stan Laurel says.

I'm not going to the convention, I'm going to the mountains!


Very Happy  Sons of the Desert. One of the few undisputed artistic masterpieces of the last century.
Castorboy

James Joyce born today in 1882. I read Ulysses years ago without fully understanding it mainly, I suspect, because I was unused to the ‘stream of consciousness’ technique. Having recently read a few novels by Dickens, James and Proust I could probably appreciate him more if I attempted a re-read.
TheRejectAmidHair

Oh, one never understands all of Ulysses, but it doesn't really matter! It's a book to be lived with, and it's always an unmitigated pleasure to return to it. I tried to write a sort of introduction to the novel here:

http://argumentativeoldgit.wordpr.../24/whats-so-great-about-ulysses/
blackberrycottage

Feb 3rd Richard Yates whose Revolutionary Road is in my library pile. I am reading the pile in order of which books have been renewed most so Revolutionary Road is next when I have finished Belfast Confidential. I am reading very little at the moment but if Belfast Confidential isn't read by the 12th I can't renew it online etc I shall have to physically show the library staff it still exists!
Evie

Also Paul Auster - two fine American novelists.

I loved Revolutionary Road.
MikeAlx

Yes, very good novel. I saw the film recently and found it better than I'd been expecting (reviews were pretty lukewarm).
Castorboy

Anthony Hope, 1863, author of The Prisoner of Zenda and its sequel Rupert of Hentzau, was one of those 19C adventure novelists I started to read after I had finished with The Wizard, The Rover and The Hotspur comics.
Also born this day in !881 is Fyodor Dostoyevsky while tomorrow there are Boris Pasternak and Charles Lamb.
TheRejectAmidHair

Penguin Classics put up a Facebook post today saying it was Dostpyevsky's birthday, but according to Joseph Frank's biography, today is the day he died. He was born, Frank says, in November. Some mistake somewhere, I guess!

Anyway - I'm more than happy to celebrate Dostoyevsky any day of the year. And Pasternak. Doctor Zhivago is one of those novels that haunt the memory.

We missed Charlie Dickens a couple of days ago. (Is it really a full year since his bicentenary?)

As for Anthony Hope, The Prisoner of Zenda was a huge childhood favourite of mine.
MikeAlx

Castorboy mentioned 1881 - February 1881 was indeed the time of Dostoevsky's death. He was born in November 1821.
Apple

February 12th 1809 Charles Darwen was born, the man who was to change the way we thought about the origin of the human race. On this day in 2000 the writer and illustrator Charles Schulz died aged 77.

Also a sort of literary connection - on this day in 1931 Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, premieres in New York City.
Castorboy

One of the recognised giants of literature, Victor Hugo. I havn’t read The Hunchback of Notre-Dame but I have seen the Charles Laughton film version a number of times.
TheRejectAmidHair

And a happy 185th birthday to Henrik Ibsen!

Which reminds me - there was some talk last year of a group read of the major Ibsen plays. Let's start with what is possibly his first undisputed masterpiece - Brand. Anyone on for reading Brand over the next week or so?

For the  record, there are 14 plays I consider to be essential in the Ibsen canon: the two poetic dramas, Brand and Peer Gynt (both were written to be read rather than performed); and the twelve prose dramas - which Ibsen himself referred to as a cycle - which are, in order:

The Pillars of Society
A Doll's House
Ghosts
An Enemy of the People
The Wild Duck
Rosmersholm
The Lady From the Sea
Hedda Gabler
The Master Builder
Little Eyolf
John Gabriel Borkman
When We Dead Awaken


So who's for Brand?
Chibiabos83

I've not read Ibsen before and one has to start somewhere, so I will join you for Brand. I have a copy that's part of the Oxford Ibsen, translated and edited by James Walter McFarlane. Will probably start it at some point next week.

Philip Roth was 80 yesterday. Many happy returns of the day to you, sir!
Chibiabos83

McFarlane is probably the only Ibsen scholar to have played professional football for Sunderland.
TheRejectAmidHair

Chibiabos83 wrote:
McFarlane is probably the only Ibsen scholar to have played professional football for Sunderland.


I didn't know that!

I have these plays in the Michael Meyer translations, and also in the Penguin Classics versions. The Penguin Classics Brand is not stricty speaking a translation: it is by the poet Geoffrey Hill, who does not know Norwegian, but who worked from existing translations to produce a dramatic poem in English. The result is a wonderful read, but it should not, I think, be seen as a translation as such.

The other plays in the Penguin versions are translated either by Peter Watts, or by Una Ellis-f=Fermor. I find them very fluent, but it's Meyer's translations (published by Methuen) I tend to return to.
Castorboy

Hi, Chib and Himadri, I will start this week on a 1915 Everyman's Liibrary edition with a translation by F E Garrett. As there are five Acts should we post comments on each Act as we read them or wait till the whole play is read and then comment?
Mikeharvey

When you've read the play - might I recommend the BBC production of GHOSTS on DVD with Judi Dench as Mrs Alving plus Kenneth Branagh, Michael Gambon, Natasha Richardson, Freddie Jones.
TheRejectAmidHair

Let's do it an act at a time. I'll put up something on the first act of Brand some to e this week - but this coming week s likely to be a bit busy, so if anyone wants to start the discussion, don't feel you need to wait for me!

Michael, that BBC production of Ghosts really is very good. Equally recommendable is Little Eyolf, with Diana Rigg, Antony Hopkins and Peggy Ashcroft. If you have an al-region payer, I'd recommend picking up the DVD set "The Ibsen Collection" from one of the many sites that sell US releases(the Beeb obviously don't think there are enough people in the UK who would be interested in this to ake a UK release viable).
TheRejectAmidHair

Happy birthday to Hans Christian Andersen, and to Emile Zola. What an odd couple they make!

But perhaps they weren't too far removed from each other. Zola, of course, wrote realistic novels, and loved rubbing the readers' noses in nasty, unpleasant stuff. Whereas one of Hans Christian Andersen's most famous tales is about a starving, penniless match-girl who has hallucinations as she freezes to death on the street.

Happy birthday to you gentlemen, all the same!
Castorboy

A belated Happy Birthday to Henry James who would have been 170 years old on April 15th.
TheRejectAmidHair

Castorboy wrote:
A belated Happy Birthday to Henry James who would have been 170 years old on April 15th.


We missed that one, didn't we? A supremely great novelist. When Graham Greene was asked in a rare interview how he prepared for the writing of a novel, his reply was simply that he'd read over a couple of Henry James novels.
Castorboy

I have temporarily put aside his A Little Tour in France as I find I can only read so much about chateaus in the Loire valley I will never visit. However there is another small collection of fiction, eight of his tales, which I anticipate reading in the near future. James is a writer to be savoured in the sense that his use of words evokes memories of some everyday experiences in my own life. In short, an accomplished writer who connects with me after all these years - a sensation I did not expect. No wonder Greene was an admirer.
Mikeharvey

Will Shakespeare today 23rd April 1564.

And also death (23rd April. 1616)
Sandraseahorse

I realise that I am a week too late to post this, but I was disappointed by the total lack of acknowledgement of Shakespeare's birthday on TV.  The only reference I found was on Sky drama/romance film channel which scheduled five Shakespeare based films that day.

Perhaps they are saving everything up to celebrate the 450th anniversary of his birth next year.
TheRejectAmidHair

A busy day for birthdays today. In chronological order:

David Hume (born 7th May 1711)
Robert Browning (born 7th May 1812)
Rabindranath Tagore (born7th May 1861)

And two more who weren’t writers, but whose work I love:

Johannes Brahms (born 7th May 1833)
Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky (born 7th May 1840)

So to celebrate them all, I have a busy evening. I have to read one of Browning’s dramatic monologues, and a poem by Tagore; and then listen to a Brahms symphony, and a Tchaikovsky ballet score. I don’t think I have anything by David Hume in my collection, so I’ll have to make do with listening to the Monty Python “Philosophers’ Song”:

David Hume
Could out-consume
Schpenhauer and Hegel,
And Wittgenstein
Was a beery swine
Who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.
MikeAlx

Hume seems to me that rarest of things: a philosopher who talks sense! I have several volumes of his essays, though have never found time to really do them justice. When I retire... (etc. etc.)
Castorboy

Honore de Balzac, born at Tours, the son of the deputy mayor. Among his literary admirers were James and Proust.
TheRejectAmidHair

I mst admit I never quite "got" Balzac. It's hard to argue against James and Proust, but his characterisations still seem very shallow to me. He moved the plot on nicely, and was always aware of the economc and social background of his stories, but where the stories call for a strong emotional response, we rarely get it, as the characters are not deep enough to provide such a response.

I'm missing something, I know.
Castorboy

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’d like to think that future generations will at least have heard of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson even if they haven’t read the canon. When I think back until I joined Big Readers I’d only heard and seen films, TV adaptations of Dickens but never actually read him.
Castorboy

Arnold Bennett, whose novels were among the first I read when I moved on from children’s books. On the Wikipedia site one of his quotations may still be apt for nowadays - Good taste is better than bad taste, but bad taste is better than no taste.
Castorboy

G K Chesterton. I have recollections of a TV series in the 50's or 60's of the Father Brown stories with Alec Guinness (?) playing the role.
TheRejectAmidHair

Castorboy wrote:
G K Chesterton. I have recollections of a TV series in the 50's or 60's of the Father Brown stories with Alec Guinness (?) playing the role.


Alec Guinness played Father Brown in a film, I remember, but I don't know bout the series. There was a TV series in the 70s with Kenneth More.
Castorboy

Thank you for that, Himadri, because it must have been Kenneth More. Now I definitely saw More in The Deep Blue Sea at a theatre in the Charing Cross Road in the fifties. Happy theatre-going Days!
Castorboy

John Masefield, poet and writer including two classic children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights.
TheRejectAmidHair

Birthday today of Thomas Hardy (1840) and of Edward Elgar (1856), two people who, to a great extent, define much of what I understand as "Englishness".

Also, they both had very big moustaches.
Chibiabos83

That is what I understand 'Englishness' to be.
Mikeharvey

In that case I'm afraid I don't qualify.
Sandraseahorse

Elgar at one time had plans to turn Hardy's "A Pair of Blue Eyes" into an opera.  They were alike in many ways; both had a social inferiority complex, both were inspired by younger women to compose works and yet were devastated when their wives died.
Ann

Mikeharvey wrote:
In that case I'm afraid I don't qualify.

Nor me Mike!
MikeAlx

Though oddly Friedrich Nietzsche and Edvard Grieg apparently do.  Confused
Chibiabos83

Well, clearly it's also the mark of being German or Norwegian. Everyone who doesn't have a moustache is the exception that proves the rule.
MikeAlx

Flawless logic, Gareth. And what about people who have a moustache on their chin? (thank you Dudley).
Chibiabos83

You mean Attlee? The biggest sex symbol this country ever produced, for my money.
MikeAlx

Precisely.
Castorboy

Terence Rattigan, playwright and screenplay writer who was clean-shaven.
Castorboy

Quite a quartet:

Fanny Burney 1752 born at King’s Lynn.
W B Yeats 1865 born at Sandymount near Dublin.
Basil Rathbone 1892 born at Johannesburg best known for his role as Sherlock Holmes.
Dorothy L Sayers 1893 born at Oxford.
Castorboy

Fancy missing George Orwell on the 25th - his 1984 appears to be the required handbook for the security agencies around the world including our own!
Castorboy

Robert Chambers, publisher and writer, who was born in Peebles, Scotland in 1802.
TheRejectAmidHair

Emily Jane Brontë was born on this day 195 years ago.

Her one novel splits opinion sharply, and I get the impression it's not particularly well-liked round these parts. Personally, I love it: I think it an astounding feat of the imagination, and executed with a bold panache.

Happy birthday, Emily!
Apple

Here here, my love and opinion of it is well known, and its a shame that her talent was only shared once.

Happy birthday Emily Jane Bronte
Castorboy

Rupert Brooke, popularly known for three of the most quoted lines in poetry. From The Soldier, If I should die, think only this of me: that there’s some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England and the last two lines of The Old Vicarage, Grantchester, ...oh! yet stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?
Castorboy

Sir Walter Scott. Of the Waverley novels I have read only six and none of the poetry. My misfortune!
Castorboy

John Buchan in 1875. He was an administrator in South Africa, a barrister in London, Director of Information during the first war, an MP afterwards and finished up as Governor-General of Canada, and in his spare time he was a writer. His output was tremendous - biographies, novels, short stories and even a history of the war. His short stories of country life on the Scottish Borders show his love of an area in which there are strong family connections.
Castorboy

Although I've missed the actual day, the 11th September in 1885, I felt D H Lawrence should be remembered. Alan Sillitoe, when he visited Eastwood in 1985, found that many people couldn’t forgive him both for the life he led and for the kind of books he was supposed to have written which, Sillitoe opined, few of his local critics had read. A core of resistance remained, especially among the old, and the so-called neighbourhood elect.
Thirty years on have the attitudes and feelings for Lawrence altered in any positive ways? Surely Nottingham, and Eastwood in particular, still celebrate his achievements.

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