META NAME="Forgotten Classics" CONTENT="neglected novels forgotten authors."

forgotten classics

'Reading neglected writers so you don't have to' A Time Out column and a blog for books that seem to be undeservedly forgotten, from John Galsworthy to Rose Macaulay, from Amos Tutuola to DH Lawrence, from W. Somerset Maugham to Fanny Burney. What books do you think we should revive? If you love a writer who has lapsed in popularity please let me know! Are my choices controversial?

Friday, May 12, 2006

radclyffe hall

From Andy M: Oh the memories of reading, and re-reading Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness. Actually - the first 3rd, a fairly trad., Victorian 'country house' Bildungsroman is almost readable. It gets worse though - Id say to the point of unreadability, but it has the same sort of fascination that road crashes or surgical documentaries have. Someone was going to write the first lesbian campaigning novel; pity it's Hall. Well meaning in its day, but truly truly grotesque! Go read it.. .
Also: Arnold Bennett's The Old Wive's Tale: forced to read it by a stodgy, gout-suffering lecturer while I was at university: totally loved it! Its got - in a long segment - an entirely gripping account of the impact of the Siege of Paris.

Is it worth pondering on the 'why' of 'forgotten classics' as well as the 'what'? In Bennett's case (and vanloads of other popular late 19thC / Edwardian writers) it is the academy's obsession with so-called literary modernism (and that opens a can of class-based elitist worms!).  


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