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Title: On Something
Author: H. Belloc
Release Date: January, 2005 [EBook #7354]
[This file was first posted on April 20, 2003]
Character set encoding: ISO-Latin-1
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ON SOMETHING ***
A PLEA FOR THE SIMPLER DRAMA
ON A NOTEBOOK
ON UNKNOWN PEOPLE
ON A VAN TROMP
ON THRUPPENNY BITS
ON THE HOTEL AT PALMA AND A PROPOSED GUIDE-BOOK
THE DEATH OF WANDERING PETER
THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE
A NORFOLK MAN
THE ODD PEOPLE
LETTER OF ADVICE AND APOLOGY TO A YOUNG BURGLAR
THE MONKEY QUESTION: AN APPEAL TO COMMON SENSE
THE EMPIRE BUILDER
A UNIT OF ENGLAND
A FORCE IN GAUL
A BLUE BOOK
PERIGEUX OF THE PERIGORD
THE WAY TO FAIRYLAND
THE PORTRAIT OF A CHILD
ON SACRAMENTAL THINGS
Of the various sketches in this book some appear for the first time,
others are reprinted by courtesy of the Proprietors and Editors of _The
Westminster Gazette_, _The Clarion_, _The English Review_, _The Morning
Post_ and _The Manchester Guardian_, in which papers they appeared.
It is with the drama as with plastic art and many other things: the plain man feels that he has a right to put in his word, but he is rather afraid that the art is beyond him, and he is frightened by technicalities.
After all, these things are made for the plain man; his applause, in the long run and duly tested by time, is the main reward of the dramatist as of the painter or the sculptor. But if he is sensible he knows that his immediate judgment will be crude. However, here goes.
The plain man sees that the drama of his time has gradually passed from
one phase to another of complexity in thought coupled with simplicity of
incident, and it occurs to him that just one further step is needed to
make something final in British art. We seem to be just on the threshold
of something which would give Englishmen in the twentieth century
something of the fullness that characterized the Elizabethans: but somehow
or other our dramatists hesitate to cross that threshold. It cannot be
that their powers are lacking: it can only be some timidity or self-torture
which it is the business of the plain man to exorcise.
If I may make a suggestion in this essay to the masters of the craft it is
that the goal of the completely modern thing can best be reached by taking
the very simplest themes of daily life--things within the experience of
the ordinary citizen--and presenting them in the majestic traditional
cadence of that peculiarly English medium, blank verse.
As to the themes taken from the everyday life of middle-class men and
women like ourselves, it is true that the lives of the wealthy afford
more incident, and that there is a sort of glamour about them which it is
Now bringing you back...
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