The Fays of the Abbey Theatre: An Autobiographical Record

The Fays of the Abbey Theatre: An Autobiographical Record

The Fays of the Abbey Theatre: An Autobiographical Record

The Fays of the Abbey Theatre: An Autobiographical Record

Excerpt

I have not yet read this book. It is impossible, therefore, to recommend it further than to say this: That when I do read it, the first dull page I encounter will give me the surprise of my life. Mrs. Carswell and Mr. Fay may be capable of many things, but not of dullness. Further, that this is a very clever kind of collaboration to think of and that I thought of it first. Anybody can write an autobiography and it is difficult to write one that is not interesting in parts; but the reader has to select and make allowances and take passages with a grain of salt and perhaps even despise the writer before he can get his full money's worth out of the book. This is another way of saying that not one in ten thousand books of reminiscence is a work of art.

"Very well, then," I said to Billy Fay, "you are an artist who has spent most of his working life at a composite art, speaking other people's words on the stage and making them live. Why not let an artist in these things take your words and acts and make them live on the printed page?" This is not an Aloysius Horn business, mark you. Fay wrote it on his own typewriter and Mrs. Carswell took the plastic material and made it take shape. It is likely that she has given the adventures and sincerities and oddities of the book their just oppositions and emphases. When we begin to confess, the neatest introspectors among us are apt to be a little gauche.

So you are going to have, I hope, an example of . . .

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