Lionel Trilling and the Critics: Opposing Selves

By John Rodden | Go to book overview

37
Excerpt from a review in London Magazine
November 1955

Roy Fuller

Roy Fuller (1912–91) was a British poet, novelist, and solicitor. Among his twenty volumes of highly descriptive, sometimes didactic poems are The Middle of a War (1942), A Lost Season (1944), Brutus’s Orchard (1957), Selected Poems 1936–61 (1962), and Buff (1965); his dozen realistic novels—most of them mystery, crime, and suspense stories—include With My Little Eye (1948) and Second Curtain (1953).

The great interest of Trilling’s book (apart from its numerous purely literary generalizations and aperçus) is in the ideas which interconnect all the essays—the ideas of the opposition of the modern writer’s self to his society and of his ideal aim nevertheless to project the experience of art ‘into the actuality and totality of life as the ideal form of the moral life’. Thus Trilling finds even in the writers most violently opposed to their ‘culture’ the measure of their greatness in what, and what amount, they are able to accept of life. Bouvard and Pecuchet, he says, exist beyond culture, but still alive, still human. The stiff moral sanctions of Mansfield Park are those of ‘our secret inexpressible hopes’. Keats’s requirement of beauty and the telling of’hearteasing things’ in poetry really embraces a knowledge and acceptance of life’s cruelty and evil. Wordsworth’s creation of humble people is intended ‘to suggest that life is justified in its elemental biological simplicity’. And so on.

One does injustice to the subtlety and paradox of Trilling’s arguments and examples by trying to present them in this fashion. Through his constant sense of the predicament of the modern Western intellectual during his examination of these nine writers (from Keats to Orwell), he brings out in a strong, though scarcely compressible form, the-sense of the possibilities

-207-

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.