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Henry Green: The Best Author You’ve Never Heard Of

First off, thanks to everyone for the kind words last week while I was out with my wife, my 3-year-old and our new little boy. He weighed in at 8 pounds, 15 ounces, and is doing great. At the moment, my life is but one dirty diaper–but I love it!

Second, get over the dangling preposition in the title of this post. I know it’s bothering you, editors.

Now, to the point.

Henry Green: Ever heard of him?

As I mentioned in my preview of Loving, I have no idea who that guy is.

Maybe that makes me an idiot. I don’t know. Are you familiar with him? Be honest.

Anyway, a lot of famous authors have heard of him, and they have great things to say:

Elizabeth Bowen once said of Green: His novels “reproduce as few English novels do, the actual sensations of living”.

W.H. Auden once called Green the greatest English novelist alive.

John Updike had this to say about Green: “So good a writer, such a revealer of what English prose fiction can do.” Updike also called Henry Green a “saint of the mundane.” Do we have another Anthony Powell on our hands?

When you’re beginning to read a novel and a novelist you’re unfamiliar with, it’s at least good to know so much high praise has been heaped upon him.

That said, a lot of high praise was heaped on A Dance To The Music Of Time, and you know how that turned out for me.

I’m in the early pages of this novel, but it feels like a light read to this point. I need that. Plus, Loving is short, only 200 pages. With The Sot-Weed Factor on deck, I need a short read.

More to come on Loving as I get further into the novel.

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18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Never heard of him before, but I’m glad things went well for your family!

    Like

    September 24, 2013
  2. Congratulations to your family on the newest addition. As a step-grandparent, I enjoy the teens and 20-somethings, (probably more than their parents do), but miss the babies, (well, maybe not the diapers).

    Just discovered your site and am looking forward to poking around and following along.

    Like

    September 24, 2013
  3. I missed your there’s a baby in the house or about to be post last week and had wondered what had happened to you. How lovely to be able to send you some congratulations for your new arrival. Hope all of you are coping well.

    And no I hadn’t heard of Henry Green either, thanks for the tip off. Nicola

    Like

    September 24, 2013
  4. Congratulations!

    Like

    September 24, 2013
  5. Congrats! I’m surprised you’re not going on a short sabbatical. Perhaps you’re typing in the wee hours of the morning. 😮

    Like

    September 24, 2013
  6. 5 days off was my sabbatical! And, yep, there might be some early morning writing.

    Like

    September 24, 2013
  7. I’d not heard of him, but thanks to your diligence (despite having a little person screaming in your face and shatting their pants) I have now. And with praise like that I feel tempted to find out more… Look forward to your updates – but take it easy too!

    Like

    September 24, 2013
  8. We read Henry Green’s Partygoing as part of English Honours, some of us loved it, others didn’t quite get past the fog and pigeons… I’d like another go at it.

    Like

    September 24, 2013
  9. never heard of the guy, but i am eager to hear your take on him. Big Congrats for another little junior, I love babies too …..

    Like

    September 24, 2013
    • Thanks Daniella! FYI your book is on the way soon. Sorry for the delay!

      Like

      September 25, 2013
  10. To heck with what editors think about dangling prepositions. I say let the dangling things dangle. What’s the point of having your own blog if you can’t dangle a few preps now and then. And why not split a few infinitives while you’re at it. I mean if it was good enough for Star Trek, why not for us. Anyway great about the newby and happy reading.

    Like

    September 24, 2013
  11. Congrats on the new baby!

    Like

    September 25, 2013
  12. Well done, papa. I pray all continues to go well for your entire family. I enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for it.

    Like

    September 25, 2013
  13. Kelly Allen #

    I’ve never heard of Henry Green before, but I’m definitely intrigued now! It’s great that other great authors are supporting his work and getting his name more recognition.

    Like

    October 2, 2013
  14. Larry Yblehs #

    Henry Green — A Literary Enigma
    He produced 9 novels between 1926 and 1952, when at the age of 47 he stopped writing, though he lived on for over 20 more years.
    He achieved neither commercial success nor wholehearted enthusiasm from literary pundits.
    “…though he commanded, then and now, excitement amounting to passion from certain readers, an oddly assorted group including W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bowen, Terry Southern, Eudora Welty, and John Updike. Such is the respect he commands from his avid readers that they continue to heap praises upon him. John Updike wrote, in an introduction to an omnibus edition of three of Green’s novels: “His novels made more of a stylistic impact upon me than those of any writer living or dead.” (Nothing 15)

    David Lodge describes Green as “an exceptionally gifted and truly original writer.” (119) Sebastian Faulks who wrote an introduction to the UK edition of Green’s three novels calls Green “unique” and writes: “No fiction has ever thrilled me as the great moments in Living and Loving.” (Loving 14)”

    quoted from “The Enigma Called Green” by C. Joanna Pauline, M.A., M. Phil., free PDF downloaded from the web
    Read David Lodge’s “The Art of Fiction” chapter 22 The Experimental Novel (Henry Green )
    Also read: HENRY GREEN : Nine novels and an unpacked bay by JOHN RUSSELL
    Downloaded off the internet. A Must Read!!!

    I’m currently reading his first novel: Blindness, beautiful prose
    –Larry

    Like

    June 8, 2014

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