Of Art, of Literature, of Mr. Henry James
Too Long; Didn't ReadThe Garden by the Sea chapter was to have gone on discursively with a discussion upon this project of a conference upon the Mind of the Race. The automobile-ful of gentlemen who had first arrived was to have supplied the opening interlocutors, but presently they were to have been supplemented by the most unexpected accessories. It would have been an enormously big dialogue if it had ever been written, and Boon’s essentially lazy temperament was all against its ever getting written. There were to have been disputes from the outset as to the very purpose that had brought them all together. “A sort of literary stocktaking” was to have been Mr. Archer’s phrase. Repeated. Unhappily, its commercialism was to upset Mr. Gosse extremely; he was to say something passionately bitter about its “utter lack of dignity.” Then relenting a little, he was to urge as an alternative “some controlling influence, some standard and restraint, a new and better Academic influence.” Dr. Keyhole was to offer his journalistic services in organizing an Academic plebiscite, a suggestion which was to have exasperated Mr. Gosse to the pitch of a gleaming silence.