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105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry

By Whit Burnett | Go to book overview

JOHN P. MARQUAND

NEW YORK,
APRIL 22 1950

A single chapter selected from a novel and impaled in an anthology
among other asserted literary specimens seldom presents a fair im-
pression of an author or his work. A novel at its best is a picture of
life and people as seen through the eyes of an individual writer. No
one reader can remember all its pages. He can recall only his ex-
perience in reading them and this experience can only be gained by
living vicariously for a while among fictional personalities and situa-
tions. Such an experience, if it is to be at all lasting, obviously de-
mands both time and space. This chapter from my novel, H. M.
Pulham, Esquire, was never designed to stand by itself. It is like a
brick taken from an arch. It is possible to examine the size and con-
sistency of the brick but it offers few clues to the general structure of
which it was a part.

As a brick this single fragment may not have enough straw or
exterior decoration to make it a solid or cohesive art form. If it has
not, I can only ask any reader for sympathy and forbearance, but
I can offer no apology. According to my own judgment, which may
not coincide with that of others, H. M. Pulham, Esquire is an in-
tegrated novel. It seems to me to achieve many, though not all, of
the results I hoped it would, but no part of it can have the elements
of its final unity.

JOHN P. MARQUAND


Yoicks -- and Away

IT WAS a busy time as it always was--getting ready to go away. It was the time when one came most in contact with those people whom we called the "natives." Since North Harbor had been a summer resort for almost two generations the natives now lived off all the rest of us in many different ways. Father had always made it a point,

-279-

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