mardi 11 octobre 2011

William Dean Howells, THE WORLD OF CHANCE, New York, Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1893, 375 pages.

He was not wrong; for the story was fresh and new, in spite of its simple-hearted, unconscious imitations of the style and plot of other stories, because it was the soul if not the body of his first love. He thought that he had wrapped this fact impenetrably up in so many travesties and disguises that the girl herself would not have known it if she had read it; but very probably she would have known it. Any one who could read between the lines could penetrate through the innocent psychical posing and literary affectation to the truth of conditions strictly and peculiarly American, and it was this which Ray had tried to conceal with all sorts of alien splendors of make and manner. It seemed to him now, at the last moment, that if he could only uproot what was native and indigenous in it, he should make it a strong and perfect thing. He thought of writing it over again, and recoloring the heroine's hair and the hero's character, and putting the scene in a new place ; but he had already rewritten it so many times that he was sick of it; and with all his changing he had not been able to change it much. He decided to write a New York novel, and derive the hero from Midland, as soon as he could collect the material; the notion for it had already occurred to him; the hero should come on with a play; but first of all it would be necessary for Ray to get this old novel behind him, and the only way to do that was to get it before the public.
(p. 28-29)

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