Monday, September 5, 2016

And now for something jolly

Before I turn my attention to the dire European Arrest Warrant and some of its particularly noxious effects, I shall post a link to a rather jolly site that was called to my attention by one of this blog's readers.

It's called The Neglected Books Page and is just that: a blog that deals with books and writers that have been neglected over the years though they were reasonably well known when they were published. One could (and one often does) argue that most neglected books and authors are that for a good reason: they are simply not good enough to remember for any length of time. But that ignores fashion, laziness, political thinking, ordinary changes in taste. Some neglected books and authors are revived to great acclaim.

I actually do recall the literary periodical that asked various writers and critics which authors they thought had been unjustly forgotten. Two people, Philip Larkin and Lord David Cecil, picked Barbara Pym, who was still around but unpublished and attracting no interest. Barbara Pym, an extremely good writer, immediately became known, published and reprinted. There has been a biography as well and it would be rather difficult to write about the British literature of the second half of the twentieth century without mentioning her and her characters.

Who knows, maybe The Neglected Books Page will revive many more Barbara Pyms.


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