Friday 2 December 2016

The Disappearing Brookners

[On A Misalliance:] …it wasn’t a very good book, but it wasn’t that bad either. I have written it off. I didn’t like it even as I was writing it. 
Paris Review interview, 1987 (Link
[On the early fiction:] I hate those early novels. I think they're crap. Maybe I needed to write them. I far prefer what I'm doing now … They're morbid, they're introspective and they lead to no revelations … I don't like any of them very much. 
Independent interview, 2002 (Link)

Writers rarely estimate correctly the value of their own work. James disowned The Bostonians, did not include it in his collected edition. Likewise, two early Brookners seem to have slipped from the radar, and are increasingly difficult to source: A Friend from England and A Misalliance. Buy them when you can.

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