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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Saturday, 8 December 2012

Heavyweight literature

Thursday, December 8th., Cadogan Square.

Feuchtwanger came for tea at 4.40. Also Hugh Walpole.

Feuchtwanger and cat
Lion Feuchtwanger (1884 – 1958) was a German-Jewish novelist and playwright. A prominent figure in the literary world of Weimar Germany, he influenced contemporaries including playwright Bertolt Brecht. Feuchtwanger's fierce criticism of the Nazi Party—years before it assumed power—ensured that he would be a target of government-sponsored persecution after Adolf Hitler's appointment as chancellor of Germany in January 1933. Following a brief period of internment in France, and a harrowing escape from Continental Europe, he sought asylum in the United States, where he died in 1958. Feuchtwanger is often praised for his efforts to expose the brutality of the Nazis and occasionally criticized for his failure to acknowledge the brutality of the rule of Joseph Stalin.

Dorothy came in at 4.45 from her matinee.
Feuchtwanger looks just like a cat. He talked about himself almost the whole time. But Dorothy, when she came, put him on to the subject of me, and kept him there. He is certainly very intelligent.

I was writing today about Disraeli, who might have become even a greater journalist than he was a novelist; only, he put his journalism into his fiction.

I have just had Endymion in "The Bradenham Edition" (Peter Davies, 10s.6d.), with a very Guadellan prefatory adornment by Philip Guedalla.

The Bradenham edition is handsome and imposing. It is too imposing. It is almost exactly the size of a volume of the Dictionary of National Biography. Why should a novel be as unwieldy as a work of reference? This book cannot be held in one hand for reading. It could not be read in bed without employing a system of cranes. Why do publishers insist on ignoring the important fact that a book exists to be read in comfort, not merely to be beheld with pride on a shelf?

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