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Twentieth Century Writers

               Twentieth Century Writers Film Clips

The Rosettis (Vanity Fair, 1919)

Shortly after the death of William Michael Rossetti (1829 – 1919), Welsh poet and essayist Arthur Symons (1865 - 1945) wrote this essay remembering the man, his brother (Dante Gabriel Rossetti) and the friendship that the two shared with poets George Meredith and Algernon Charles Swinburne.


Jerome K. Jerome on Books (Literary Digest, 1906)

Jerome K. Jerome (1859 – 1927) was a British author and playwright from one of the sillier tribes who is best remembered for his humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat (1889). In the attached interview, the humorist laments that the novels in his day (as opposed to our own) so seldom inspire any real use of the mind:

"Books have become the modern narcotic. China has adopted the opium habit for want of fiction. When China obtains each week her 'Greatest Novel Of The Century', her 'Most Thrilling Story Of The Year', her 'Best Selling Book Of The Season' the opium den will be no more needed."

From Amazon: Three Men in a Boat


Sean O'Casey: Laborer, Playwright, Poet (Stage Magazine, 1934)

Drama critic Ruth Woodbury Sedgwick interviewed Irish playwright Seán O'Casey (1880 – 1964) for the November, 1934, issue of STAGE MAGAZINE and wrote this piece which clearly illustrated his art and politics.


Harold Nicolson on Paul Verlaine (Current Opinion, 1921)

A review of Harold Nicolson's 1921 biography, "Paul Verlaine". Numerous aspects of Verlaine's life and poetry are discussed as are the roots of French Symbolism.


Virginia Woolf Reviews E.M. Forster (Atlantic Monthly, 1927)

Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941) had her say regarding the novels of E.M. Forster (1879 – 1970):

"There are a many reasons which should prevent one from criticizing the work of contemporaries... With a novelist like E.M. Forster this is specially true, for he is in any case an author about whom there is considerable disagreement. There is something baffling and evasive in the very nature of his gifts."


George Bernard Shaw and Literary Recycling (Vanity Fair, 1921)

Irish author, critic and dramatist, St. John Greer Ervine (1883 - 1971), believed that some of the dramatic characters populating the plays of George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) were reoccurring characters who could be counted upon to appear again and again. He had a fine time illustrating this point and thinks nothing of stooping to compare Shaw with Shakespeare:

"Shakespeare primarily was interested in people. Mr. Shaw primarily is interested in doctrine..."

Thirty-five years later St. John Ervine would be awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his biography of George Bernard Shaw.

Click here to read various witty remarks by George Bernard Shaw.


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