The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

July 2016


6 July 2016, around 14.01.

A nice girl
‘Her aunt knows she is a nice girl because she fell asleep reading Jurgen

I keep trying to come up with something in favor of the works of James Branch Cabell, something to defend him against his detractors, whose criticisms seemed lodged in personal distaste rather than seasoned appreciation (which is not to say that they are unjustified).1 The obscenity trial regarding Jurgen gave Cabell a notoriety he neither deserved nor wanted, and the books on the whole are more satisfactory when one does not need to worry about defending them. Indeed, there is nothing to say in their favor save that I found their brittle cleverness pleasing, and that they possess the sort of charm which is, as perhaps it should be, entirely out of fashion.

  1. Cabell’s sense of his ability to engage in sustainable world building was sadly misguided, as the overarching dullness of The Biography of the Life of Manuel adequately demonstrates. []

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