A Warning from a Wiser Age

A while ago after finally unpacking several hundreds of my books which had previously lacked shelf space, I re-read Cyril Connolly’s Enemies of Promise for the first time in about twenty years. Connolly’s acknowledged masterpiece of literary criticism was first published in 1938 and re-issued in 1973 by Andre Deutsch on the occasion of its author’s seventieth birthday. During my own formative years as a writer, I read Connolly’s literary reviews regularly in English newspapers yet had forgotten somehow, over the intervening period, just what an incisive and humorous mind Connolly possessed. I began my own career as a professional…

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