Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Essay: "Valedictory." George Bernard Shaw.

One-minute review: Apparently on his death bed, Shaw rebukes the rest of the world “…and a stupid public” for failing to appreciate what he has done for the theater. It is true he has been admired for doing clever things by the English who “…do not know what to think until they are coached, laboriously and insistently for years, in the proper and becoming opinion.” His reputation is “built up fast and solid, like Shakespeare’s, on an impregnable basis of dogmatic reiteration.” “I am off duty forever, and am going to sleep.”

Great Essays. Ed. Houston Peterson. New York: Washington Square Press, Inc. 1960.

What is an essay? “They are all prefaces. A preface is nothing but a talk with the reader; and they [essays] do nothing else.” Charles Lamb.

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