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Oxford Reading

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 1 August 1930



LOST CAUSES.—They find a home in Oxford, we are told: “lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties.” Every bookcase is haunted by some antic ghost, which peers fleetingly from your friend's shoulder as he talks of literature, and cannot be exorcised by aspersions of laughter. Here sits a phantom Galsworthy, toying with a gold albert; there flit the twin spirits of Mrs. Woolf and Miss Sackville‐West, and “like smoke vanish away, twittering”; my own room is beset, as you see, by the sober shade of Arnold; and the banshee shriek of Shaw is still loud in the land. These survivals have a piquant inconsistency, and we take a perverse pride, like Pater's Marius, in murmuring old rites and feeding the hoary Lar which drags its slow colubrine length about our hearth But not every author becomes a private deity. Millions now living are already dead: often, indeed, they themselves make it difficult to diagnose the continuance of life.


HIGHET, G. (1930), "Oxford Reading", Library Review, Vol. 2 No. 8, pp. 417-422.




Copyright © 1930, MCB UP Limited

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