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Twentieth Century Writers

               Twentieth Century Writers Film Clips

Conrad Reviewed by H.L. Mencken (The Smart Set, 1921)

H.L. Mencken's (1880 - 1956) short review of Joseph Conrad's (1882 - 1941) collection of essays, entitled Notes on Life and Letters . The book contained Conrad's thoughts on such subjects as the sinking of 'Titanic' to the writings of Henry James, Guy de Maupassant, Daudet and Ivan Turgenev were all touched upon in this collection of essays.


Joseph Conrad as Interviewed by Hugh Walpole (Vanity Fair, 1919)

Hugh Walpole (1884-1941) interviewed his much admired friend, Joseph Conrad (1884-1941) for the pages of a fashionable American magazine and came away this very intimate and warm column:

"There is a mystery first of the man himself-- the mystery that the son of a Polish nobleman should run away to sea, learn English from old files of the 'Standard' newspapers when he was thirty, toss about the world as an English seaman, finally share with Thomas Hardy the title of the greatest living English novelist--- what kind of man can this be?"


An Interview With James Joyce (Vanity Fair, 1922)

James Joyce (1882 - 1941) refers to many different subjects in this 1922 interview, among them was Ulysses, his recently released book. The interview was written by Djuna Barnes (1892 - 1982); avant-garde writer, illustrator and playwright.

The 1922 New York Times review of Ulysses can be read here...


William Saroyan on William Saroyan (Stage Magazine, 1940)

"Hundreds of thousands of people regard me, I believe, as something of a success: A well-dressed, well-fed young writer, famous for his ties, who has moved upward and forward in the world of letters with a speed veering on the imperceptible; an Oriental whose name has become a word in the English language."

SAROYAN, n., one with money, a gentleman, a scholar, an artist; v., to slay, butcher, club, strafe, bombard, or cause to spin; adj., pleasing, ill-mannered, gallant; prep., near-by, within, over, under, toward.

"What, however, is the inside story? What is the truth? Who is the real Saroyan? Is he a success or a failure? I will go over the entire saga from there to here chronologically..."

Click here to read a Saroyan book review.


Hugh Walpole Returns to America (Vanity Fair, 1919)

A short piece on the British novelist Hugh Walpole (1884 - 1941). This notice concerns the writer's first trip to the United States following the the close of the First World War and the printing of his novel, "The Secret City"; which reflects much of what the writer saw in the Russian Revolution during his service with the British Government:

"In 'The Secret City', as in ' The Dark Forrest,' the author handles very special material at first hand. Mr. Walpole served in the Russian Army during the first year of the war...He was in Russia all through the Revolution. 'The Secret City' is real Russia (even Russians admit this), somber, tragic, idealistic, half-maddened by the virus of revolt, yet imposing upon one a quality at once presaging and splendid."


Marcel Proust (Vanity Fair Magazine, 1923)

In this column, art critic Clive Bell (1881 - 1964) explained why neither Britain or America would have been capable of producing a writer like Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922).


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