Excerpt from book: THE GREAT WORK A WRITER in the Daily News, for reasons of his own, entered a protest lately against what he called the Magnum Opus theory. A man's friends and acquaintance, he complained, were continually urging him to write a Great Work. It was in vain that the victim protested that he did not want to write a Great Work; or that he had written a Great Work which nobody ever heard of; or that he could not live (in this mortal state) by a Great Work, and must produce things which would yield him his daily bread. He might have added that if he did write one, the very last to read it would be these same monitors. That a man's female relations should hug the delusion that he was born for some high emprise and should persist in exhortation is, no doubt, in the order of nature. Butless prejudiced advisers should know better. Certainly censors, whose admonitions get uttered in print, should know better. Believe me, the man who has a Great Work in him does not, save in very exceptional cases, require to have the sides of his intent pricked by the casual friend or the indolent irresponsible reviewer. Once in a way, a George Eliot may wait for the encouragement of a George Henry Lewes to turn from Westminster Reviewing to Scenes of Clerical Life. But in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred it is true that, admonition or no admonition, a man does exactly what he has it in him to do. If a man is not a Balzac, it is in vain that you will urge him to write a Come'die Humaine. If on the other hand he has a Come'die Humaine in him, he will go on writing rubbish for ten years, in the teeth of parental remonstrance and public neglect, sustained by inward consciousness of power in the sure and certain hope that some day he will produce the Great Work and be famous. From gentlemen with a bent ...
|Author:||William Powell James|
|Publisher:||General Books LLC|
|Number of Pages:||90|
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