The name of Ford Madox Ford appears again and again in twentieth-century literature, in many different connections. He was especially renowned as a literary personality, as a brilliant editor, and as an encourager of talented and emerging writers -- “the Only Uncle of the Gifted Young,” as H G. Wells called him. But he was also a major novelist in his own right, a fact which has been increasingly recognized in recent years. In this book, Mr. Meixner, a former assistant professor of English at the University of Kansas, presents an illuminating study of Ford’s novels: descriptive, analytic, and evaluative. In particular he has been concerned -- since the novelist was a highly conscious craftsman -- with elucidating the techniques by which Ford gave (or failed to give) an intality. The reputations of The Good Soldier and of Ford’s Tietjens novels have steadily risen in the last decade. Mr. Meixner’s appraisals of these works are the fullest and probably the most perceptive yet published. A shortened version of his Good Soldier essay evoked much critical interest when it appeared in The Kenyon Review under the title “The Saddest Story.” Mr. Meixner also examines such interesting novels as the Fifth Queen trilogy, Ladies Whose Bright Eyes, Mr. Fleight, Mr. Apollo, A Call, and The Marsden Case. During his lifetime, from 1873 to 1939, Ford published 76 books, including not only novels but poetry, memoirs, history, travels, biography, and literary criticism. He collaborated on three novels with Joseph Conrad, was an early, constant champion of Henry James, introduced D. H. Lawrence to the literary world, and published the first sections of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. He was editor of both The English Review and the transatlantic review (on which he appointed Ernest Hemingway as his assistant editor).
Subjects: Language & Literature
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