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THE STATUS OF EFT AUTHORS: I96O-I96I: A REVIEW AND A SURVEY By H. E. Gerber I. THE HEARLD TRIBUNE BOOK REVIEW for I7 January I960, in its paperback section, provided some interestinq conversation pieces on EFT authors. Louis Kronenberger's "Ten-Dollar Shelf" of paperback fiction, for example, lists eleven 20th-century English novels^. Four of the eleven works are by authors currently included in EFT bibliographies or soon to be included: Kipling¡s KIM, Butler's THE WAY OF ALL FLESH5 Forster's HOWARDS END, and Beerbohm's SEVEN MEN. The editors of the BOOK REVIEW also quote Mr. Kronenberger as commenting that "such a small masterpiece as 'Mr. Poily'" is not in paperbacks [it now is]. John T. Winterich's "A Paperback Library of Biography and Autobiography for $25" under 20th-century works on and by Britishers lists six writers, of which two are EFT authors (Bennett and Maugham), and a third (Gogarty) comes easily within the scope of EFT. Nor is this an isolated instance of recent interest in EFT writers as evidenced by comments in mass-circulated media. For example, NEW YORKER gave over many pages to Molly Painter-Downes' sketch of E. M. Forster and, more recently, NEVi YORKER has printed a series of pieces on Max Beerbohm, since published as a book. Also of some interest is the space that has recently been given to such figures as Francis Thompson, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rudyard Kipling in the LONDON TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT; in fact, the first part of the EFT Kipling bibliography was favorably noticed in the TLS. Two interesting surveys of the paperbacks of 19th- and 20th-century British fiction published in COLLEGE ENGLISH for December, 1959, may also be revealing. G. Robert Stang's "Reprints of Nineteenth-Century British Fiction" refers to only two EFT or potential EFT authors, He praises Norton for reprinting Moore's ESTHER WATERS, Rinehart for reprinting Stevenson's THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE (although wishing this firm had reprinted WEIR OF HERMISTON, that "unfinished masterpiece," instead), and he refers to the availability of Stevenson's KIDNAPPED, Curiously, there is no reference to Butler's easily available THE WAY OF ALL FLESH or the unavailability of most of Gissing's novels. But one does not expect much emphasis on EFT authors in a survey of 19th-century fiction when there is so much to be said about Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot, and Jane Austen. However, if there is space to refer to Trollope and if reprints of Disraeli, Viilkie Collins, Mrs. Gaskell, Mark Rutherford, and, of all people, Mrs. Ward can be recommended, one wonders about the absence of references to such far more important figures as Butler and Gissing or the lack of more emphasis on such a far better writer as George Moore. One may also wonder why Moore is mentioned in the survey of 19th-century writers and not, by Miss Lynskey, in the survey of 20th-century writers, whereas pre-20th-century books by Wells are mentioned in the 20th-century survey and no reference to Wells is made in the 19th-century survey. This does seem to suggest the continuation of the problem I referred to in my little piece in the first number of EFT on the demarcation of the Victorian and the modern periods. Professor Winifred Lynskey's "A Survey of Reprint Texts of Twentiety-Century British Novels" proves particularly interesting to students of EFT authors and to those interested in the EFT period in general. Miss Lynskey considers twenty novelists in her survey. The most frequently reprinted, she finds, are Conrad, Huxley and Lawrence, and of these, she says, "the reputation of Conrad, alone, seems to be growing." Of eight less frequently reprinted novelists^ among whom "are some of the most important literary figures of the twentieth century," four are EFT authors (Bennett, Forster, Galsworthy, and Maugham). Miss Lynskey rates Bennett's OLD WIVES'TALE as "one of the finest novels of the twentieth century," one which "will undoubtedly exist in undiminished vigor when Virginia Woolf's criticism of Mr. Bennett has become silent," but she finds that "a first-rate introduction" to this novel still "remains to be written...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 1-10
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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