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Enemies of Promise
     

Enemies of Promise

by Cyril Connolly, Alex Woloch (Foreword by)
 

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“Whom the gods wish to destroy,” writes Cyril Connolly, “they first call promising.” First published in 1938 and long out of print, Enemies of Promise, an “inquiry into the problem of how to write a book that lasts ten years,” tests the boundaries of criticism, journalism, and autobiography with the blistering

Overview


“Whom the gods wish to destroy,” writes Cyril Connolly, “they first call promising.” First published in 1938 and long out of print, Enemies of Promise, an “inquiry into the problem of how to write a book that lasts ten years,” tests the boundaries of criticism, journalism, and autobiography with the blistering prose that became Connolly’s trademark. Connolly here confronts the evils of domesticity, politics, drink, and advertising as well as novelists such as Joyce, Proust, Hemingway, and Faulkner in essays that remain fresh and penetrating to this day.
 
 “A fine critic, compulsive traveler, and candid autobiographer. . . . [Connolly] lays down the law for all writers who wanted to count. . . . He had imagination and decisive images flashed with the speed of wit in his mind.”—V. S. Pritchett, New York Review of Books
 
“Anyone who writes, or wants to write, will find something on just about every single page that either endorses a long-held prejudice or outrages, and that makes it a pretty compelling read. . . . You end up muttering back at just about every ornately constructed pensée that Connolly utters, but that’s one of the joys of this book.”—Nick Hornby, The Believer
 
“A remarkable book.”—Anthony Powell
 

 

Editorial Reviews

Atlantic Monthly - Christopher Hitchens

“Very ably introduced by Alex Woloch. . . . One of Connolly’s great gifts was self-deprecation, and one of his easier styles was that of the tongue in the cheek. He puts one in mind of two of the great contemporaries about whom he wrote—George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh.”

Guardian - William Boyd

“You cannot read Cyril Connolly for very long without wanting to acquire—and then developing—a relationship with the personality of the man himself. This small, podgy, balding, pug-faced, funny, gossipy, lazy, clever, cowardly, hedonistic, fractious, difficult man somehow manages to enshrine in his words and life everything that we aspire to, and that intellectually ennobles us, and all that is weak and worst in us as well.”

NYRB - V. S. Pritchett

“A fine critic, compulsive traveler, and candid autobiographer. . . . [Connolly] lays down the law for all writers who wanted to count. . . . He had imagination and decisive images flashed with the speed of wit in his mind.”

Believer - Nick Hornby

“Anyone who writes, or wants to write, will find something on just about every single page that either endorses a long-held prejudice or outrages, and that makes it a pretty compelling read. . . . You end up muttering back at just about every ornately constructed pensée that Connolly utters, but that’s one of the joys of this book.”

Anthony Powell

“A remarkable book.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226115047
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
05/28/2008
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
930,104
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Cyril Connolly (1903–74) was one of the most influential critics of his time, who wrote for such publications as the New Statesman, the Observer, and the Sunday Times. He is the author of many books, including The Rock Pool and The Unquiet Grave.
 
 
 

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