Download PDF by Herbert Edward Read: A Coat of Many Colours: Occasional Essays

By Herbert Edward Read

ISBN-10: 1138913618

ISBN-13: 9781138913615

This booklet, first released in 1947, is choice of severe essays by way of Herbert learn that had no longer been formerly released in ebook shape. The essays disguise numerous assorted topic components, together with literature, artwork, structure, and movie, from a span of two decades. This name should be of curiosity to various readers.

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But if Colonel Lawrence is not the " hero " of this epic, can we discern one in the A r a b nation ? Surely not. W e learn from this book, as from Arabia Deserta, that the Arabs have qualities which we can admire, such as a capacity for hardship a n d endurance : the possibilities, at least, of fine perceptions ; a n d a real religious force. But these qualities cannot for long blind us to the overwhelming venality, pettiness, fanaticism a n d ignorance of the mass of them. This realization is present in Colonel Lawrence's own mind, a n d acts as a blight on whatever there is of epic quality in that fine effort of strategy a n d cunning which culminated in the fall of Damascus.

Art claims the whole of life as its field, but once in the field it is selective. Art delimits, particularizes, formalizes. Such, at least, was the faith u p o n which J a m e s acted ; a n d the whole problem was for him the problem of carrying out this necessary operation without killing the patient. T h e patient, indeed, h a d to be given new life—life lucid, intelligent, a n d reformed. In a word, life was, by means of art, to be given a meaning. T h e r e was life of a sort in The Newcomes, The Three Musketeers, or War and Peace.

Surely not. W e learn from this book, as from Arabia Deserta, that the Arabs have qualities which we can admire, such as a capacity for hardship a n d endurance : the possibilities, at least, of fine perceptions ; a n d a real religious force. But these qualities cannot for long blind us to the overwhelming venality, pettiness, fanaticism a n d ignorance of the mass of them. This realization is present in Colonel Lawrence's own mind, a n d acts as a blight on whatever there is of epic quality in that fine effort of strategy a n d cunning which culminated in the fall of Damascus.

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A Coat of Many Colours: Occasional Essays by Herbert Edward Read


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