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

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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Life and death

Monday, June 4th., Cadogan Square, London.

I worked in the morning on proofs and instructions concerning my Mediterranean book. Good sleep after lunch. I went on with work on the Mediterranean book. At last decided on a title for the book, "Mediterranean Scenes". Then I finished up the proofs, illustrations, etc.

I've been reading "Endymion". Opening too descriptive and too generally narrative, not individual enough in event and description. But it can be read.

Yesterday Dorothy and I went down to Beaverbrook's at Cherkley for lunch, and found a lot of gloomy and silent people there. We enlivened them somewhat, but not enough. However we had a nice drive.
See also, 'Leading the High Life' - September 18th. http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/leading-high-life.html

It was a great relief for me to learn from the managing director and the producer, Dupont, of British International Films Ltd. that "Piccadilly" the film which I have written for them is absolutely perfect from their point of view. I have never before seen men so enthusiastic about any work of mine as they were. They immediately asked me to write another film for them. But my policy in such a case is always to hang fire, to make difficulties, to say that I cannot etc. But I shall probably write them another film all the same. The difficulties and the delays only whet their appetite.

Piccadilly is a 1929 British silent drama film directed by Ewald André Dupont, written by Arnold Bennett and starring Gilda Gray, Anna May Wong, and Jameson Thomas. The film was produced by British International Pictures and released by Wardour Films Ltd. in the UK, and distributed in the US by Sono Art-World Wide Pictures. It is best remembered for the performance by Anna May Wong as a vamping dancer, Shosho, who becomes the star of the Piccadily Club and the obsession of Valentine Wilmot (Jameson Thomas), the owner of the club.

I had an article in the Daily News on Saturday entitled "Where are the Dead?" It amounted to a sort of response to, an article the previous day by E. A. Knox, formerly Bishop of Manchester, who propounded a conventional Christian view of the 'afterlife'. I of course expressed little interest in congregations of spirits. Believing, as I do, that matter and spirit are inseparable, two sides of the same coin, I conclude that dissolution of material organisation means dissolution of spiritual. It seems to me that any normally intelligent person, not unduly constrained by social convention, can see at a glance that ideas of resurrection and 'eternal life' are laughable. The stories of organised religion would not deceive a sensible ten year old child were they not wrapped up in an envelope of  ritual, tradition and mumbo-jumbo.

The Daily News was a national daily newspaper in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1846 by Charles Dickens, who also served as the newspaper's first editor and was conceived as a radical rival to the right-wing Morning Chronicle. The paper was not at first a commercial success. Dickens edited 17 issues before handing over the editorship. Charles Mackay, Harriet Martineau, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, G.K. Chesterton and Arnold Bennett were among the leading reformist writers who wrote for the paper during its heyday. In 1901, Quaker chocolate manufacturer George Cadbury bought the Daily News and used the paper to campaign for old age pensions and against sweatshop labour. As a pacifist, Cadbury opposed the Boer War – and the Daily News followed his line. In 1906, the News sponsored an exhibition on sweated labour at the Queen's Hall. This exhibition was credited with strengthening the women's suffrage movement. In 1909, H. N. Brailsford and H. W. Nevinson resigned from the paper when it refused to condemn the force feeding of suffragettes

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