A Book of Modern Essays

By Bruce Welker McCullough; Edwin Berry Burgum | Go to book overview

FEZ*

PHILIP GUEDALLA

( Philip Guedalla burst with meteoric brilliance upon the reading public in 1922, when he issued The Second Empire. In this history he described the career of Napoleon the third as a lingering anti-climax to the coup d'eétat which made him emperor. He was, evidently, as much interested in the personalities of history as in the facts, and more prone to discuss the human foibles and common weaknesses of men of eminence than to worship them as heroes. But the public had developed a taste for satire, and straightway began to compare his book with Lytton Strachey's life of Queen Victoria. Taking advantage of his popularity, Guedalla has since turned journalist, and has subjected many men now in the public eye to his cool scrutiny. In 1923 he collected a series of these short articles into a volume with the suggestive title, Masters and Men; and in the next year he brought forth A Gallery of them. His portraits of bishops and statesmen are often fragmentary and superficial. But his gift for a brilliant epigram has only been whetted by exercise.

In the last named volume Guedalla has furnished one notable example of well-sustained writing, the account of the sultan's entry into his city of Fez. Guedalla's description of this picturesque town in northern Africa has the delicacy and precision of a water-color. Little streams of sound float through the gorgeous colors of an oriental setting as the observer makes his way down into the city and waits for the procession to come into view. When it finally appears, however, it is amusing rather than impressive. To Guedalla's ironic gaze, it is more like a badly

____________________
*
From A Gallery. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1924.

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A Book of Modern Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents ix
  • "Highbrow" and "Lowbrow" 1
  • What is a Puritan? 17
  • Portrait of a Family 45
  • The Norwegian Migration to America 63
  • The West and American Ideals 79
  • The Once Open Road 101
  • Sentimental America 113
  • Louisiana: (Madame de la Louisiane) 127
  • Fez 141
  • The Rhythm of Life 147
  • Summer 153
  • On an Unknown Country 161
  • Ideals and Day-Dreams 169
  • Castles in Spain 187
  • Science and the Faith of the Modern 201
  • On Friendship 219
  • A Relic 225
  • The Cheerful Breakfast Table 235
  • Conversation 249
  • Trivia 259
  • On Jargon 265
  • Names Practical and Poetic 285
  • The American Language 297
  • What the American Rhodes Scholar Gets from Oxford 321
  • Literary Taste 339
  • Dickens 347
  • The Vicar of Wakefield 365
  • Don Quixote 373
  • The Novel Démeublé 389
  • The Politics of Martha and of Mary 397
  • Autumn Tints in Chivalry 419
  • Index of Authors 431
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