Read Five Novels by Ronald Firbank Free Online
Book Title: Five Novels|
The author of the book: Ronald Firbank
ISBN 13: 9780811207997
Edition: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Date of issue: May 1st 1981
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 627 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
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"Just because I want so much, it's extraordinary how little
I require," says a player in Firbank's fantasia, "Valmouth,"
wherein the bedizened denizens at a UK spa pleasure themselves
with misalliances and infatuations. Capt. Dick Thoroughfare,
heir to Hare-Hatch House, doesn't appear at his wedding - he has a special jolliness w teen sailor Jack Whorwood - and the bride is last seen in pursuit of a butterfly. Meantime, Lady Parvula explains her unconcealed emotions for a shepherd: "I know I should despise myself, but I don't."
Plot? It doesn't matter. Firbank (d. 1926, age 39) is about linguistic style and the dance of words. Edmund Wilson called him one of those English writers "most likely to become a classic." He impressed Waugh, Norman Douglas, Brigid Brophy and, importantly, Joe Orton. Mixing cultures, gender and race, Firbank ignored social-moral conventions.
His hilarious "Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli" reaches a climax with foreshadowing of Orton dialogue as a cleric chases a choirboy named Chicklet :
"You'd do the handsome for me, sir?" the lad asks.
"You'd be surprised at the stinginess of some."
"I'll give you the slipper, child, if you don't come here."
"Ole, your Purpleship!"
Firbank creates an X-rated Dizzyland. Or as Chicklet teases His Eminence, "Oh, tral-a-la, sir."
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Read information about the authorBritish novelist Ronald Firbank was born in London, the son of society lady Harriet Jane Garrett and MP Sir Thomas Firbank. He went to Uppingham School, and then on to Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He converted to Catholicism in 1907. In 1909 he left Cambridge, without completing a degree.
Living off his inheritance he travelled around Spain, Italy, the Middle East, and North Africa. Ronald Firbank died of lung disease while in Rome.
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