What French Writers Think About England.
In the ' St. James's Gazette ' of the Cth of July it was recommended to M. Jules Lemaitre that ho should employ his spare time in learning English. The same advice might be given to many other leading French writers. It may be of interest to know the opinion of some of those distinguished gentlemen on the matter. As for M Jules Lem&itre, he was once asked to write an article for one of the most important London periodicals. " What for ?" he answered. " I don't care about acquiring any reputation in England. They don't want to know what I think, and I don't want to tell them." The same request made to M. Alexandre Dumas met with this reply : " Bother the English • They take our plays, make a mess of them, and never pay us a Sou," Emile Augier observed: " Pooh ! I don't like the idea of writing for people who don't understand cooking." Renan said : " I profess the deepest interest and respect for England, but I really feel it a, duty to devote to my own cou.ntry the powers which age and infirmities leave me." Said Alphonse Daudet: "How caul write for a country where there is hardly any sun at all V" Paul Bourget, on the contrary, is quite a literary "anglomane." He dreams of rehabilitating the contemporary English novel, which is rather looked down on just now in the oountry of Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, and Zola. This tendency has drawn on hig head a severe rebuke from the two leading French critics, M. Jules Lemaitre, already mentioned, andM. Brunei tiere, ot the ' Revue des Deux-Mondc3.' J " Very pleasant books, indeed, those two I volumes of 'Etudes et Portraits,'" they wrote—or words to that effect; " but why does M. Bourget take so much to English ways and customs?" As for M. Guy De Maupassant, he considers English literature uninteresting, not excluding the works of Shakespeare, which, to speak truth, ho scarcely ever reads, as he happens not to know a word of English, and does not think much of translations.
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What French Writers Think About England., Evening Star, Issue 8010, 12 September 1889
What French Writers Think About England. Evening Star, Issue 8010, 12 September 1889
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