[Vwoolf] "Mrs. Amyot's last brilliant lecture on the influence of something upon somebody"

Jean Mallinson annaj at telus.net
Sun Jul 15 12:07:02 EDT 2012

This is priceless! The two examples  are brilliant and very funny. It 
makes me want to read Edith Wharton again.
Jean Mallinson
On 7/15/2012 4:53 AM, Stuart N. Clarke wrote:
> From Edith Wharton's "The Pelican" (1898):
> 'Matthew Arnold had introduced the habit of studying the "influence" 
> of one author on another. She had tried lecturing on influences, and 
> had done very well as long as the public was satisfied with the 
> tracing of such obvious influences as that of Turner on Ruskin, of 
> Schiller on Goethe, of Shakespeare on the English drama; but such 
> investigations had soon lost all charm for her too-sophisticated 
> audiences, who now demanded either that the influence or the 
> influenced should be absolutely unknown, or that there should be no 
> perceptible connection between the two. The zest of the performance 
> lay in the measure of ingenuity with which the lecturer established a 
> relation between two people who had probably never heard of each 
> other, much less read each other's works. A pretty Miss Williams with 
> red hair had, for instance, been lecturing with great success on the 
> influence of the Rosicrucians upon the poetry of Keats, while somebody 
> else had given a "course" on the influence of St. Thomas Aquinas upon 
> Professor Huxley."
> Stuart
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