Lionel Trilling and the Critics: Opposing Selves

By John Rodden | Go to book overview

25
Excerpt from “The Gravities of Grown-Upness,” Times Literary
Supplement
August 1981

P. N. Furbank

P. N. Furbank (1920-), professor emeritus at the Open University in London, is a well-known literary critic and biographer, whose work includes volumes on Samuel Butler, Italo Svevo, Daniel Defoe, and Denis Diderot.

Furbank shared with Trilling a special interest in modern British fiction. His masterwork is his two-volume biography, E. M. Forster: A Life (1978). Furbank knew Forster well during his years as a student and fellow at Cambridge University, where Forster resided for many years. Furbank also co-edited a two-volume edition of Forster’s letters, published as Selected Letters of E. M. Forster (1984–85).

The review below was occasioned by the Uniform Edition republication of Trilling’s short fiction in Of This Time, of That Place, and Other Stories (1979). Titled “The Gravities of Grown-Upness,” the review also devotes close attention to The Middle of the Journey and argues that “growing up” is the “central preoccupation” of both Trilling’s fiction and nonfiction.

The novel, though, full of brilliant things as it is, strikes me as a failure, for reasons that have to do with maturity versus the childish. Where it fatally goes wrong is in the climactic fifth-act exchange between Laskell and Gifford Maxim, the Whittaker Chambers-like defector from the Party. We are to suppose that Maxim is determined at all costs, for reasons deep in his own guilt-stained political past, to destroy Laskell’s new-found maturity and freedom of mind. And we are to suppose, too, that so formidable a man is Maxim and so grandiose is the duel fought between him and Laskell (“Laskell wondered if any man had ever made an attempt on another man such as

-134-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Lionel Trilling and the Critics: Opposing Selves
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 490

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.