Enemies of Promise free author Cyril Connolly – Kindle or Book


10 thoughts on “Enemies of Promise

  1. says:

    On the upside the next time anyone complains about how The Literary Establishment has always forced people to write in single genres

  2. says:

    I have always disliked myself at any given moment; the total of such moments is my life

  3. says:

    In the first part of this book Connolly examines the dual trends of stripped down vernacular storytelling and elevated stylistically ambitious prose in early 20th century novels He looks at the strengths and weaknesses of both styles and proposes a synthesis It's interesting stuff rendered dated in its prescriptions by the fact that the dam was about burst a vast array of styles far beyond the elitist 'mandarin' or demotic 'vernacular' of

  4. says:

    This is a rather surprising and confusing book; only the middle third is like I thought it would be which is also the part advertised by the title Since this section is by far the shortest it leaves me with a lot of time to

  5. says:

    I really only found the first third of this book interesting I think it lays out an excellent premise in what Connolly dubs The Predicament The predicament is between a ornate type of writing and a stripped down direct version I found Connolly's dissection of the two styles rather lopsided He seemed to lambaste ornate writing with an excessive fierceness Seemingly chalking its use to insecure writers uncertain of what t

  6. says:

    Just finished Part I the witty survey of English literary trends feuds and factions from 1890 until 1938 The copy I have is a library one so I may not proceed until I can buy my own markable copy Connolly has such an aphoristic style at times I'm conscious of reading through filler before the zinger that I need to read h

  7. says:

    William Boyd said of this Somehow manages to enshrine in his words and life everything that we aspire to and tha

  8. says:

    “There is but one crime to escape from our talent”Cyril Connolly 1903 – 1974 was a British reviewer critic and writer of distin

  9. says:

    first half most interesting

  10. says:

    Literary criticism from 1938 totally readable in 2020 Funny and tragic probably much like the man himself

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Free read ✓ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ Cyril Connolly

Enemies of Promise

“Whom the gods wish to destroy” writes Cyril Connolly “they first call promising” First published in 1938 and long out of print Enemies of Promise an “inuiry into the problem of how to write a book that lasts ten years” tests the boundaries of criticism journalism and autobiography with the blistering prose that became Connolly’s trademark Connolly here confronts the evils of domesticit On the upside the next time anyone complains about how The Literary Establishment has always forced people to write in single genres and thus distorted the Genius Writer I can point to one book as showing what rubbish that statement is On the downside I now know why this is cult classic and less just classic I was led to expect much I thought the first section by far the most interesting Connolly s understanding of literature and particularly literary history was ahead of its time and light years ahead of most contemporary polemicists who continue to insist that there s some everlasting ideal of literature and that we ll only get to that if we insert your least favorite literary trend here I go with write memoirs Connolly knew the truth literary trends are entirely reactive Naturalism was followed by modernism which was followed by various anti modernist reactions which were followed by post modernism which is now being followed by various returns to either a sincerity or b modernist techniue Each movement other than naturalism for me will produce a few books worth reading Cyril read everything of his time it seems and his simple categories still work today as we swing between vernacular naturalism anti modernism sincerity and mandarin decadence modernism post modernism neo modernism And he comes up with some odd pairings for instance Maugham Joyce and Lawrence all of whom were fixated on the word grey On the vernacular side he splices together sentences by Orwell Isherwood and Hemingway which is a pretty convincing way of showing how dull they can be The second section describes the situation of the author and is fairly dull The third section is memoir meant to fulfill the rules laid down in part one It doesn t succeed I d much rather read Powell s autobiography four times over I d rather read Powell s Dance to the Music of Time But that s mainly because I don t really think high school is a formative experience for most people it might have been for Connolly but that doesn t come through all that much I should probably re read it though Special bonus marks for recognizing that 18th century prose was the high point of English literature Devoted to Drew years” tests the boundaries of criticism journalism and autobiography with the blistering prose that became Connolly’s trademark Connolly here confronts the evils of domesticit On the upside the next time anyone complains about how The Literary Establishment has always forced people to write in single genres and thus distorted the Genius Writer I can point to one book as showing what rubbish that statement is On the downside I now know why this is cult classic and less just classic I was led to expect much I thought the first section by far the most interesting Connolly s understanding of literature and particularly literary history was ahead of its time and light Marriage by Deception your least favorite literary trend here I go with write memoirs Connolly knew the truth literary trends are entirely reactive Naturalism was followed by modernism which was followed by various anti modernist reactions which were followed by post modernism which is now being followed by various returns to either a sincerity or b modernist techniue Each movement other than naturalism for me will produce a few books worth reading Cyril read everything of his time it seems and his simple categories still work today as we swing between vernacular naturalism anti modernism sincerity and mandarin decadence modernism post modernism neo modernism And he comes up with some odd pairings for instance Maugham Joyce and Lawrence all of whom were fixated on the word grey On the vernacular side he splices together sentences by Orwell Isherwood and Hemingway which is a pretty convincing way of showing how dull they can be The second section describes the situation of the author and is fairly dull The third section is memoir meant to fulfill the rules laid down in part one It doesn t succeed I d much rather read Powell s autobiography four times over I d rather read Powell s Dance to the Music of Time But that s mainly because I don t really think high school is a formative experience for most people it might have been for Connolly but that doesn t come through all that much I should probably re read it though Special bonus marks for recognizing that 18th century prose was the high point of English literature

Summary Enemies of Promise

Oks  “Anyone who writes or wants to write will find something on just about every single page that either endorses a long held prejudice or outrages and that makes it a pretty compelling read You end up muttering back at just about every ornately constructed pensée that Connolly utters but that’s one of the joys of this book” Nick Hornby The Believer “A remarkable book” Anthony Powell  William Boyd said of this Somehow manages to enshrine in his words and life everything that we aspire to and that intellectually ennobles us and all that is weak and worst in us as well

Free read ✓ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ Cyril Connolly

Y politics drink and advertising as well as novelists such as Joyce Proust Hemingway and Faulkner in essays that remain fresh and penetrating to this day   “A fine critic compulsive traveler and candid autobiographer Connolly lays down the law for all writers who wanted to count He had imagination and decisive images flashed with the speed of wit in his mind” V S Pritchett New York Review of Bo I really only found the first third of this book interesting I think it lays out an excellent premise in what Connolly dubs The Predicament The predicament is between a ornate type of writing and a stripped down direct version I found Connolly s dissection of the two styles rather lopsided He seemed to lambaste ornate writing with an excessive fierceness Seemingly chalking its use to insecure writers uncertain of what they were trying to say When he does find merit in this mode of writing he seems to tie appreciation to its work as only being possible in a bygone age and for a ever shrinking leisurely class of readers When he discusses the straight forward journalistic type of writing he recognizes that it is the style in favor at the time and doesn t really expand much further beyond that Connolly then seems to abandon the predicament he s exploring and wraps everything up with a rather convoluted summary indicating that trends between the style are entirely reactive The implication being that writer s fluctuate between the styles to rebel against what is popular during the time essentially motivated by a rebellious ego There s not much expansion on this idea which is a shame as Connolly himself states that egotism spoils a writer s own work He later posits that there is gulf fixed between those who dislike the ornate and those who love it and that the only true crime an author can commit is to to flee from their talent So although Connolly doesn t himself clearly state this the solution to the predicament is to ignore the ebb and flow of the shifting trends of the literary landscape to resist the pull of the ego and the need to set one apart from the pack and simply write authentically without waste Be true to yourself as an artist and consider it no business of yours as to how critics may categorize your writing style That sentiment which Connolly circles around but never really pins down is characteristically Stoic in nature And for that I understand why folks like Ryan Holiday have praised this book so highly This book of rather the first third of it serves as a good distillation of how a Stoic writer should approach their work While interesting and valuable the other 23 of the book are inescapably dull His biography is supposed to demonstrate writing that will last essentially transcending the fluctuation of the two trends Sadly it does not resulting in a uneven book that seems like an abandoned exploration into the predicament writers face

  • Paperback
  • 288
  • Enemies of Promise
  • Cyril Connolly
  • English
  • 10 August 2019
  • 9780226115047

About the Author: Cyril Connolly

Cyril Connolly was born in Coventry Warwickshire in 1903 Educated at Eton and Balliol College Oxford he was a regular contributor to the New Statesman in the 1930s Connolly also co edited Horizon 1939 41 with Stephen Spender and later was literary editor of the The Observer Books by Connolly include the novel The Rock Pool 1938 the autobiographical Enemies of Promise 1938 and The Un