Philip Hensher article

DiscussãoE. F. Benson

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Philip Hensher article

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Editado: Mar 5, 2008, 7:02 am

Below is a link to an article on E.F.Benson which Philip Hensher wrote for Penguin. Philip is of course himself a successful novelist; The Mulberry Empire is in my library.

See how much you agree or disagree with.,,213732_1_0,00.html
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Mar 23, 2008, 11:43 am

Does not Hensher seem a trifle bitter. Perhaps he is envious?

Mar 23, 2008, 2:56 pm

I feel like saying, "Caro Hensher..."

Mar 31, 2008, 6:00 pm

This article made me think a bit. When I was invited to join this group, I naturally cast my mind back over the Mapp and Lucia books, and (like Henscher) I found myself wondering why I enjoyed them so much. Since Lucia was such an appalling snob and fraud (albeit on a higher plane than Miss Mapp), why didn’t I resent her victories?

I think, as Henscher says, that one of the reasons is Lucia’s energy, which sets her apart from most of the other inhabitants of Riseholme and Tilling. But the main reason for my enjoyment, I think, is that I have the great advantage of simply being a spectator. Like the Luciaphiles in London, I can assume an air of superiority and wonder what nonsense she’s going to come up with next.

Most of all, although (in Henscher’s words) the novels contain “hardly one single generous or kind action” and the characters have “hardly one single redeeming quality between them”, we do have one truly fine character in Olga Bracely. Olga could easily expose and possibly destroy Lucia, but she realizes that if she did so she would spoil Lucia’s fun – and by doing that she would obviously spoil life for Mapp and everyone else as well. So if Olga can forgive Lucia, surely I ought to do so as well.

Mar 31, 2008, 7:56 pm

She is snobby to people of her own class, not to the servants and working classes, so it's funny, not utterly horrible. From having read the first two books, I got the impression that no one was actually hurt by her behaviour, just annoyed. And the other people of the town did play a trick on her, too.

Abr 4, 2008, 1:40 pm

I have never cared to see resplendent butterflies and glistening beetles pinned to a board for dissection. Or, to put it another way: so soon as the rainbowed bubble of Benson's charm and wit comes up against the cold point of critical interpretation, it pops. Some works of art and literature should not be analyzed.

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