Some of you may remember that a few months ago I attempted to attach a Forum to this website, so that discussions could be generated and pursued. Unfortunately, the experience showed me beyond a doubt the limits of my virtual capacity, and we had to give it up. And the Comments feature of this News blog-page is not ideal either, as it periodically attracts inedible hogsheads of spam from places like Indonesia. So here is the fallback suggestion: if you have things you'd like to discuss or see discussed, send your reactions to me at the Webmaster e-mail address on the home page, and I will try to put them on the "Discussion" page -- that way, a sort of a Forum can be maintained, with your faithful WebServant schlepping the buckets.
Tirelessly, our Melbourne friend labours on. He has now furnished us with a long essay on that complex novel, Sparkenbroke. (It will not have escaped Morganians that the title of the book, also that of the protagonist, is a variant of the title of Morgan's first play, The Flashing Stream.) For Nigel Jackson's text on the novel, see his page under DIscussion.
Morgan-lovers will be interested to see that our Melbourne friend Nigel Jackson has furnished us with a new essay on The Fountain. Readers will find it on his page in the "Discussions" section of the website. We should be very interested in any reactions readers may have, especially those who have read the novel. Although our efforts to add an interactive Forum to this website have not (yet?) borne fruit, the format of this page, with its possibility of adding Comments, is one way around the problem; you can also e-mail me at the firstname.lastname@example.org address, and I can then add your reactions either here or in the "Discussions" section itself.
Nigel informs us that he is planning to collect his essays into a book on CM's works, and we wish him insight and strength. Stay tuned.
As you can see, we have added a whole new page to the website. The occasion was the permission, received from the Morgan estate, to publish in its entirety a work with which not all Morganians are familiar: the 1935 essay Epitaph on George Moore. This seemed to call for its own space, like My Name is Legion, so it now has its own page just after the earlier work. Rereading it, I was struck by its directness, its charm, and the precision of its perceptiveness -- the latter notably in the discussion of Moore's style. We are grateful to have this small gem, and hope readers will enjoy it.
Tireless as always in our research, we have unearthed an interesting 1960 review of CM's posthumous A Writer and his World by the actor and literary scholar Robert Speaight, who made many fine poetry recordings and knew CM personally. You can find it in the Old News section.
We have just been informed by the auction house of Dominic Winter that the lot described in the previous post here has been withdrawn from the July 21 auction. Any lovers of Morgan's work should not, however, feel depressed about this because the collection has been sold by private treaty and will eventually go to the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Meanwhile, I remind enthusiasts that such websites as Abebooks or AddAll regularly have interesting copies of Morgan's works for sale at (for the time being) still-reasonable prices.
.We have just been informed that an unprecedented Charles Morgan collection or archive will be sold by Dominic Winter Auctioneers on July 21 of this year (i.e. in TEN DAYS). It is Lot 762 in that day's book auction: see their website here.
To tempt you, I reproduce the lot description here:
A comprehensive archive of first editions, proof copies, presentation copies, manuscript material and desiderata, mostly circa 1919-1967,
including over 50 first editions, proof copies and presentation copies, many in dust jackets and including a copy of 'The Gunroom', 1st edition, 1919 in scarce dust jacket, plus over 30 books, newspapers and periodicals with contributions by Morgan, over 20 manuscript items including a typescript of an unpublished poem, 'The Woman and the Child', 21 pp., 4to, 6 holograph manuscripts from 'Letters to Utopia', a total of 57 pp., plus a copy of the bound printed volume of 'Everyman' containing the printed versions of these letters, autograph letters to Mrs Wheeler, W.H. Graham, Hugh Walpole, St John Irving, F.A. Symons, plus typed letters to W.H. Graham, Miss Merchant, Mrs Sassoon, C.B. Purdom, Gilbert H. Fabes, etc., plus a group of over 40 mostly first edition translations of Morgan's work, mainly acquired from Charles Morgan's own shelves but with the only markings being language notes in the hand of his wife.
The contact person for the sale at DW's is Chris Albury.
Two good things have happened to the Morgan community so far this spring. In the first place, Nigel Jackson has sent us another essay, this time on the novel version of The RIver Line, which all Morganians will find fascinating and challenging. It's good to have this novel discussed, particularly in view of the not-so-long-ago revival of the play at the Jermyn St theatre in London. I have always fond a special poignancy in Morgan's wartime writings, from some of the essays in Reflections in a Mirror via The Empty Room to the difficult retrospect in The River Line, not to mention the dedication of The Voyage and the Ode to France and the circumstances of its performance.
The other pleasure has been to have a brand-new Morgan admirer join us (via the site's Webmail feature), who is probably the doyen of us all: Klaus Schaefer from Frankfurt tells me that he was born in 1921 and found a copy of Sparkenbroke in Herlitschka's German translation among the books saved from his family's house after it was bombed.
Surprisingly, and annoyingly, the Spambots are still buzzing around. Recently they have been attacking a post on this page from June 19, 2013 -- I can't think why. This was the one that said that the 1934 film of The Fountain could still be found on eBay, on a Spanish DVD. In recent weeks, it has attracted, at last count, 697 "comments", mostly from Indonesia. Dotster tells me these cannot be removed in bulk, only one by one. As life's too short, I replaced the post's text by "SPAMPOT" so that it can go on quietly attracting Spamflies that might otherwise infest the rest of the site. And I have changed the settings so that new Comments will have to go through a Captcha system.
My very first Morgan novel, read when I was 16 or 17, was The Judge's Story, and it made me an instant Morganian. It is short, clear, and gripping. All the more reason, then, to publish Nigel Jackson's latest essay, which deals with it; and we do so today, on the Nigel Jackson page of the "Discussions" section. As part of his argument enters into debate with Henry Charles Duffin's treatment of the novel, we will see if it is possible to reprint at least part of Duffin's text also in that section: a real discussion will have been begun, to which readers, as always, are invited to continue via this blog-style page.
Roger Kuin, stumbling webmaster and lifelong admirer of Morgan's writing.