George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century

By Archibald Henderson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
Coming to Himself in Criticism

THERE ARE TWO PHOTOGRAPHS OF Shaw, MADE IN LONDON WHEN HE WAS twenty-three years old, which are more eloquent than any written commentary. Into a faraway world of the imagination gaze pale eyes, rapt in contemplation; the extremely sparse beard, longish, curly, suggests a strange, ascetic Christ without benignance; the full, sensitive lips with ironic contours proclaim the satirist. About the face, the figure, the pose lurks the suggestion of shy superiority, of deliberate aloofness. A certain arrogance, the unwarranted consciousness of being in a "superior position as an Irishman," somehow carried him through a decade of unbroken failure.

In literature his taste was always singularly mature. As a child he loathed and despised children's books, "for their dishonesty, their hypocrisy, their sickly immorality, and their damnable dulness." The irrepressible desire for self-expression found a no-thoroughfare outlet in a long correspondence with an English lady, Elinor Huddart, whose fervently imaginative novels would have made her known, Shaw once asserted, had he been able to persuade her to make her name public, or at least to stick to the same pen name, instead of changing it for every book. At the age of fifteen, Shaw began making characteristically satirical and obfuscating contributions to "literature," as evidenced by the following among "Editorial Replies" in a short-lived magazine, addressed G. B. Shaw (Torca Cottage, Torca Hill, Dalkey, Co. Dublin, Ireland): "You should have registered your letter; such a combination of wit and satire ought not to have been conveyed at the ordinary rate of postage. As it was, your arguments were so weighty we had to pay two pence extra for them."1

After Shaw went to London, he laid determined and prolonged siege to the stronghold of journalism, with one of the most amazing failures in the history of literature. It is an ironic commentary on the most ethical journalist and public-spirited man of our day that he should have begun his journalist career as a "ghost" writer. To help him, Vandaleur Lee had accepted the post of music critic to The Hornet, a paper owned by one Captain Donald Shaw, no

____________________
1
Vaudeville Magazine, September, 1871, self-styled "a Monthly Journal of Fact, Fiction, Fun, and Fancy." Although this magazine lived only six months, its death cannot be ascribed to Shaw.

-161-

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

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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 page

Bookmark this page
George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century
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
/ 978

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.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, 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."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.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.