CRITICI INFALLIBILIBOMBAST

The really dangerous people are the practitioners of the
amusing trades of criticism, who can somehow or other
persuade themselves that they are not ordinary rule-of‐
thumb workmen but priests inspired direct from the
oracle's mouth.

ERNEST NEWMAN

IT seems a rather mean thing for Mr. Ernest Newman to give the game away like this on other poor critics, for Mr. Newman is such a fine first‐ class critic that he can easily afford to be brave and candid. But what on earth will his colleagues in the dramatic wing of the Critics' Circle think of this disturbing humility? These gospellers of good taste who dread drama having the heart-beat of life in it and treat a play which has the sound of flutes as if it were a mendicant at a street corner begging a coin from cold pockets; who are always yelling or wistfully whispering for new things in the theatre, for God's sake, and when they get it, fail to try to understand and pine away for such masterpieces as Family Affairs or The Old Folks at Home. Few of them, I dare say, ever read Newman, and the few who do will get busy and shut their eyes, close their ears, and seal their lips tighter than ever Stanley Baldwin could, against this low treason on the part of one of themselves.

-169-

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The Flying Wasp
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Flying Wasp *
  • Contents v
  • Overture vii
  • The Public Death of Shakespeare i
  • National Theatre Bunkum I 11
  • England, Say When 29
  • The Cutting of an Agate 39
  • Three Cheers for Noah 51
  • Murdher in the Theatre 57
  • Mr. Ervine's Cry for the Critics 69
  • Sainte-Beuve, Patron of Poor Playwriters, Pray for Us! 79
  • It's All Very Curious, Isn't It? 85
  • Poor Pinero Passes By 107
  • Green Goddess of Realism 111
  • Coward Codology: I. 129
  • Coward Codology : II 141
  • Coward Codology: III 153
  • Shakespeare Lives in London Lads 163
  • Critici Infallibilibombast 169
  • Let the Wheel Turn 179
  • Pro-Per Proscenium 183
  • Hail, Columbia! 195
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