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kindle Enemies of Promise By Cyril Connolly

Cyril Connolly Ä 2 Free read

“Whom the gods wish to destroy” writes Cyril Connolly “they first call promising” First published in 1938 and long out of print Enemies of Promise an “inuiry into the problem of how to write a book that lasts ten years” tests the boundaries of criticism journalism and autobiography with the blistering prose that became Connolly’s trademark Connolly here confronts the evils of domesticit. I have always disliked myself at any given moment the total of such moments is my life

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Enemies of Promise

Y politics drink and advertising as well as novelists such as Joyce Proust Hemingway and Faulkner in essays that remain fresh and penetrating to this day   “A fine critic compulsive traveler and candid autobiographer Connolly lays down the law for all writers who wanted to count He had imagination and decisive images flashed with the speed of wit in his mind” V S Pritchett New York Review of Bo. I really only found the first third of this book interesting I think it lays out an excellent premise in what Connolly dubs The Predicament The predicament is between a ornate type of writing and a stripped down direct version I found Connolly s dissection of the two styles rather lopsided He seemed to lambaste ornate writing with an excessive fierceness Seemingly chalking its use to insecure writers uncertain of what they were trying to say When he does find merit in this mode of writing he seems to tie appreciation to its work as only being possible in a bygone age and for a ever shrinking leisurely class of readers When he discusses the straight forward journalistic type of writing he recognizes that it is the style in favor at the time and doesn t really expand much further beyond that Connolly then seems to abandon the predicament he s exploring and wraps everything up with a rather convoluted summary indicating that trends between the style are entirely reactive The implication being that writer s fluctuate between the styles to rebel against what is popular during the time essentially motivated by a rebellious ego There s not much expansion on this idea which is a shame as Connolly himself states that egotism spoils a writer s own work He later posits that there is gulf fixed between those who dislike the ornate and those who love it and that the only true crime an author can commit is to to flee from their talent So although Connolly doesn t himself clearly state this the solution to the predicament is to ignore the ebb and flow of the shifting trends of the literary landscape to resist the pull of the ego and the need to set one apart from the pack and simply write authentically without waste Be true to yourself as an artist and consider it no business of yours as to how critics may categorize your writing style That sentiment which Connolly circles around but never really pins down is characteristically Stoic in nature And for that I understand why folks like Ryan Holiday have praised this book so highly This book of rather the first third of it serves as a good distillation of how a Stoic writer should approach their work While interesting and valuable the other 23 of the book are inescapably dull His biography is supposed to demonstrate writing that will last essentially transcending the fluctuation of the two trends Sadly it does not resulting in a uneven book that seems like an abandoned exploration into the predicament writers face

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Oks  “Anyone who writes or wants to write will find something on just about every single page that either endorses a long held prejudice or outrages and that makes it a pretty compelling read You end up muttering back at just about every ornately constructed pensée that Connolly utters but that’s one of the joys of this book” Nick Hornby The Believer “A remarkable book” Anthony Powell ?. William Boyd said of this Somehow manages to enshrine in his words and life everything that we aspire to and that intellectually ennobles us and all that is weak and worst in us as well


10 thoughts on “Enemies of Promise

  1. says:

    On the upside the next time anyone complains about how The Literary Establishment has always forced people to write in single genres and thus distorted the Genius Writer I can point to one book as showing what rubbish that statement is On the downside I now know why this is cult classic and less just classic I was led to

  2. says:

    I have always disliked myself at any given moment; the total of such moments is my life

  3. says:

    In the first part of this book Connolly examines the dual trends of stripped down vernacular storytelling and elevated stylistically ambitious prose in early 20th century novels He looks at the strengths and weaknesses of both styles and propo

  4. says:

    This is a rather surprising and confusing book; only the middle third is like I thought it would be which is also the part advertised by the title Since this section is by far the shortest it leaves me with a lot of time to reflect on the other twoThe first eighty or so pages which lay out the Predicament as Connolly calls it are

  5. says:

    I really only found the first third of this book interesting I think it lays out an excellent premise in what Connolly dubs The Predicament The predicament is between a ornate type of writing and a stripped down direct version I found Connolly's dissection of the two styles rather lopsided He seemed to lambaste ornate writing with an excessive fierceness Seemingly chalking its use to insecure writers uncertain of what they were t

  6. says:

    Just finished Part I the witty survey of English literary trends feuds and factions from 1890 until 1938 The copy I have is a libra

  7. says:

    William Boyd said of this Somehow manages to enshrine in his words and life everything that we aspire to and that intellectually ennobles us and all that is weak and worst in us as well

  8. says:

    “There is but one crime to escape from our talent”Cyril Connolly 1903 – 1974 was a British reviewer critic and write

  9. says:

    first half most interesting

  10. says:

    Literary criticism from 1938 totally readable in 2020 Funny and tragic probably much like the man himself

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Tessa Young is an 18 year old college student with a simple life, excellent grades, and a sweet boyfriend She always has things planned out ahead of time, until she meets a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings who shatters her plans.