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Yet Again

Sir Max Beerbohm

Book Overview: 

This is a diverse collection of essays by English writer Max Beerbohm, whose circle included such famous men as Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Ezra Pound, and Somerset Maugham.

The essays vary considerably in character and subject. They include, among others: a spoof on the bumbling and inarticulate nature of oratory in the House of Commons; a discussion of the writings of James Whistler, the impressionist painter (which Beerbohm considers widely neglected and under-rated); a humorous consideration of why the King of England should make a royal visit to Switzerland; and a description of the delights of frequent attendance at British courts of justice.

The author was among England's best known artists; Section Twenty-Two contains humorous (as well as critical) discussions of nine works of art, including paintings by Reubens, Corot, and Bellini.

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Book Excerpt: 
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Up you go in the lift, realising, as for the first time, your insignificance in infinity, and rather proud to be even a number. You recognise your double on the door that has been unlocked for you. No prisoner, clapped into his cell, could feel less personal, less important. A notice on the wall, politely requesting you to leave your key at the bureau (as though you were strong enough or capacious enough to carry it about with you) comes as a pleasant reminder of your freedom. You remember joyously that you are even free from yourself. You have begun a new life, have forgotten the old. This mantelpiece, so strangely and brightly bare of photographs or 'knickknacks,' is meaning in its meaninglessness. And these blank, fresh walls, that you have never seen, and that never were seen by any one whom you know...their pattern is of poppies and mandragora, surely. Poppies and mandragora are woven, too, on the brand-new Axminster beneath your elastic step. 'Come in!. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is my third Beerbohm book, and I think I have the right to say that Beerbohm is boring. His essays do not sparkle, they do not have vitality, they are not moved by a searching intelligence. In fact, they are boring because he himself often seems bored. It feels as if he can hardly work himself

For dipping into rather than reading at a gulp - and stop at the point where he starts describing pictures. Those essays are truly awful!