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Love And Mr Lewisham: H.G. Wells - Eroticdreambattle — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

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Love And Mr Lewisham: H.G. Wells [Apr. 21st, 2011|12:10 pm]
Tony Grist
Love and Mr Lewisham is Wells' first stab at a mainstream novel. It contains a lot of autobiography and a measure of self-contempt. It begins in exuberant light comedy and closes in grimy realism - reflecting the central character's journey from romance to responsibility.  The stand-out character is Chaffery- the fraudulent spirit medium- a self-aware and cheerfully amoral man.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-04-22 10:27 am (UTC)
Why self-contempt?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-04-22 10:35 am (UTC)
There's a lot of Wells himself in Mr Lewisham- and he doesn't spare us his callowness and occasional caddishness. He isn't a big fan of randy young men on the make- and he was so very much one himself. There are times when you feel he's holding Lewishham up for our inspection at arm's length- with tongs.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-04-23 11:20 am (UTC)
You know, having read only his ventures in science fiction, I never expected this sort of depth in Wells. What an interesting author. It makes his decline as an artist, if one may accept the judgment of Mencken, just that much more fascinating.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-04-23 11:35 am (UTC)
I'm going to be reading The Shape of Things To Come- a late work; it'll be interesting to see if it shows an artistic decline or not.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-04-24 11:09 am (UTC)
Again, I look forward to your thoughts.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-04-25 08:15 am (UTC)
It's an odd book. It purports to be a history of the 20th and 21st centuries, written in 2106. As such it has obsolescence built in. And because it mimics the style of a text book it is really rather dull. How much do I want to read a projected history of WWII when I know how the reality panned out? I'm afraid I've put it aside and picked up the History of Mr Polly. Mr Polly is fun.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-04-25 10:17 am (UTC)
Actually, as I recall, that was part of Mencken's criticism, that under the spell of evangelism the later Wells was just dull and tiresome. Also, though he had little to say about it, HLM loved, The History of Mr Polly.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-04-25 04:03 pm (UTC)
I think Wells got bored with fiction for its own sake. He had, after all, written a dozen or more very good novels. I suspect he was also running out of material. Mr Polly, good though it is, runs over much the same territory as Kipps.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-04-26 10:47 am (UTC)
That Wells may have grown bored with fiction would explain it rather neatly. A dozen solid novels and literary immortality should be enough for anyone.
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