Richard Aldington: An Intimate Portrait

Richard Aldington: An Intimate Portrait

Richard Aldington: An Intimate Portrait

Richard Aldington: An Intimate Portrait

Excerpt

A glance at the bibliography appended to this volume gives some idea of the astonishing range and diversity of Richard Aldington's work and, in an age when illiteracy is regarded as a positively desirable quality in writers, perhaps accounts to some extent for the neglect from which his books have suffered during recent years. Novels like Death of a Hero and Very Heaven show Aldington to have been an "angry young man" long before today's self- pitying intellectuals bestowed the term on themselves, and his anger, greater than theirs and rooted in a deeper experience, was expressed with a passion which they have never equalled. At the same time, he was capable of a sort of bitter compassion as in The Colonel's Daughter or Women Must Work, while in All Men Are Enemies he achieved a unique lyrical sensuousness. C. P. Snow has rightly emphasized the impossibility of "pinning him down" as a novelist, poet, essayist, or translator, and, similarly, it is impossible, within any of these various genres, to catalogue him as belonging to this or that school, as consistently adopting this or that approach. This is particularly evident in his scholarly works: Literary Studies and Reviews and French Studies and Reviews (It is worth noting, incidentally, that so distinguished an expert as . . .

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