an exchange of emails about George Gissing

 

 

Roger W. Smith to Charles Davenport, Jr.

August 6, 2017

 

Dear Mr. Davenport,

You wrote: “In the realm of fiction, George Gissing is in a league of his own; no other author even comes close.”

— Charles Davenport Jr., “I am what I read,” Greensboro News and Record, August 6, 2017

http://www.greensboro.com/opinion/columns/charles-davenport-jr-i-am-what-i-read/article_aceca4ab-fab8-501f-aa2d-7c01f199a6bc.html

I am thrilled to find that someone else shares my high opinion of Gissing. Some of his novels are still popular, as you know, but I feel that he does not get — by any measure — the recognition he richly deserves.

I am a long time fan of his and have read many of the novels plus “The Private Papers of Henry Rycroft.”

Thanks for bringing this to your readers’ attention.

Sincerely,

 

Roger W. Smith

New York, NY

 

P.S. You might get a kick out the following posts of mine:

“George Gissing, book covers”

https://rogersgleanings.com/2015/12/25/george-gissing-book-covers/

“Roger Smith, translation into Spanish of passage from George Gissing’s ‘The Private Papers of Henry Rycroft’ ”

https://rogersgleanings.com/2017/08/07/roger-w-smith-translation-into-spanish-of-passage-from-george-gissing/

 

 

*****************************************************

 

Charles Davenport, Jr. to Roger W. Smith

August 7, 2017

 

Mr. Smith,

It’s a rare and high honor to hear from a fellow Gissing enthusiast! You’ve made my day. “The Private Papers” is probably my all-time favorite book: I weep on one page, and collapse in laughter on the next! No other writer has moved me as deeply or as often as Gissing. I just finished Paul Delany’s “George Gissing: A Life,” which is brilliant, but profoundly sad. It’s hard to believe a writer so gifted — it’s nothing short of necromancy — struggled to pay his bills (and the bills of family members). It’s a cruel, unjust world.

I can’t wait to read the links you provided. How did you hear of my News & Record piece up there in New York?

Cordially,

Charles Davenport Jr.

 

 

*****************************************************

 

Roger W. Smith to Charles Davenport, Jr.

August 7, 2017

 

Dear Mr. Davenport,

Thanks much for your email. I was very glad to hear from you.

Thank you so much for telling me about Paul Delany’s biography of Gissing. I did not know about it.

You undoubtedly know about Gissing scholar Pierre Coustillas. He has published a three volume biography of Gissing, which is intended to be the definitive biography. I have purchased only the first volume so far. I made several stabs at reading it. It is incredibly detailed and also dry. I could not get past the first hundred pages or so.

Like you, I love “The Private Papers of Henry Rycroft.” The diarist is — I am certain — Gissing, which is to say, the book is autobiographical. Among other things, I admired Gissing’s prose style.

I have some difficulty keeping the many novels of Gissing that I have read separate in my mind. They are all good. The starving writer in “New Grub Street” is, of course, Gissing. Has there ever been a truer picture of the literary vocation?

I am eager to read “Workers in the Dawn,” which I understand to have been Gissing’s first novel. I just ordered a copy from an on line bookseller.

I have revised my post

“Roger W. Smith, translation into Spanish of passage from George Gissing.” It is at

https://rogersgleanings.com/2017/08/07/roger-w-smith-translation-into-spanish-of-passage-from-george-gissing/

Thanks again for responding to my message.

 

Sincerely,

Roger W. Smith

 

 

note: Mr. Davenport, a long time Gissing enthusiast, is a member of the Editorial Board of the Greensoboro News & Record in Greensboro, NC.

 

 

 

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts a websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim Aleksandrovich Sorokin.
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