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64 death at 85, he poured forth an unbroken flow of novels, short stories, newspaper articles, books of travel, biographies and philosophical works. That he wrote too much and too quickly is only too obvious, but Miss Jameson would have us reconsider the merits of THE WESTERN AVERNUS, THE SALT OF THE SEA and TIME AND THOMAS WARING. His literary work never brought him more than a mere pittance and he died in poverty and poignant solitude. As a young man he must have been a dashing fellow, full of energy, with a great capacity for enthusiasm. But his restlessness told on both the happiness of his life and the quality of his work. His marriage to Alice Selous, which he "wrapped up in personal reserve and Victorian reticence," took place in 1396, after they had run away together, been separated, and had to wait till Alice's husband died. Miss Jameson's book--or rather article, typographically expanded to the size of a thin book—gives us a candid, often moving portrait of Roberts living with the ghosts of his wife and friends, but writing on during the blitz in London. It is an essay in friendship, retracing with high emotional intensity Robert's human and philosophical conflicts. Though no student of Roberts can henceforward afford to ignore this book, another portrait of him would be welcome, to be drawn, perhaps less apologetically, of the author up to middle age. One cannot help feeling that Miss Jameson's faithfulness to her friend's memory has somewhat obscured some of his less savoury qualities: his disguised biography of Gissing shows him in a self-complacent mood, telling his friend's life in a condescending tone, and casting envious doubt on his qualifications as a novelist. Paris, France P. Coustlllas Vf Vf Vf Vf Vf Vc Vf Vf Vf THE EARLY H. G. WELLS: A STUDY OF THE SCIENTIFIC ROMANCES. By Bernard Bergonzi. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. 21 s.; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961. $3.00. Part of Ch. II, entitled "THE TIME MACHINE: An Ironic Myth," appeared in CRITICAL QUARTERLY, Il (Winter I960), 293-305. Like many readers of H. G. Wells, Bernard Bergonzi feels that much of Wells' best writing was done in the scientific romances before the turn of the century. The purpose of Bergonzi's modest but excellent study is to examine this early fiction and analyze the elements in it that make it literature rather than propaganda, and in this examination he shows why Wells can be considered a literary artist during the first few years of his career as a writer. After a brief introductory chapter placing Wells in the context of fin de siècle, fin du globe, decadence, degeneration, and Nietzscheism, Bergonzi examines in detail Wells' romances from THE TIME MACHINE to THE FIRST MEN IH THE MOON. Only in his discussion of various short stories does he go beyond his chronological limitation of 1901, and only in brief allusions and comparisons does he consider later romances such as THE FOOD OF THE GODS. Bergonzi is eclectic in his methods of interpretation, applying mythical, symbolical, Jungian, and only occasionally, Freudian approaches as they seem warranted. 65 Perhaps because Wells rewrote and revised it so often (seven different versions), THE TIME MACHINE offers the richest webwork of symbol and myth, and is therefore the most poetic of all Weils' works. Some of the thematic strands of THE TIME MACHINE are peculiarly of their period, others have a general and perhaps more fundamental human relevance. The opposition of Eloi and Mor locks can be interpreted in terms of the late nineteenthcentury class-struggle, but it also reflects an opposition between aesthetic ism and utilitarianism, pastora!ism and technology, contemplation and action, and ultimately, and least specifically, between beauty and ugliness, and light and darkness. The book not en Iy embodies the tensions and dilemmas of its time, but others peculiar to Wells himself, which a few years later were to make him cease to be an artist and become a propagandist. Since the tensions are Wnaginati ve Iy but not intellectually resolved we find that a note of irony becomes increasingly more pronounced...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 64-66
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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