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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Thomas Vladesco


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Thomas Vladesco : [article on Henrik Ibsen]

'28th September 1928 (Friday). I have been reading an article on Ibsen by Thomas Vladesco in the ?Mercure de France?. The writer sets out to prove Ibsen a bon bourgeois, a person with a wholesome respect for human institutions who merely created ?characters? and balanced individualisms. Whilst to my mind, thus denuding Ibsen of all the greatness, which the world has attributed to him, the writer claims rather to be clearing him of false and foul charges of anarchism, so heightening his renown by a purification of his ideas and intentions. The article is a rank failure. The writer proves nothing, ?clears? Ibsen of all sorts of ?charges? which no thinking reader makes against him, and gives him a philosophy, small, and shallow, which a most superficial acquaintance with his work would show to be untrue of the dramatist. Even the oft repeated claim that he belauds individualism is unsound. What Ibsen does do is to show in ?Peer Gynt? and in ?Brand? that both by individualistic and by self-effacing methods of life man fails to attain the goal. Man?s end is failure (though perhaps a great failure). He sets the question and there leaves it. Ibsen is a questioner. In that, Shaw goes beyond him, for Shaw has always an answer though it is Shaw?s answer.'

Century: 1900-1945     Reader/Listener/Group: Gerald Moore      Print: Newspaper


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