Sunday, March 21, 2010


From Cyril Connolly, Enemies of Promise. New York: Persea Books, 1938—

The shock, for an intelligent writer, of discovering for the first time that there are people younger than himself who think him stupid is severe. Especially if he is at an age (thirty-five to forty-two) when his self-confidence is easily shattered. The seventh luster is such a period, a menopause for artists, a serious change of life. It is the transition from a being a young writer, from being potentially Byron, Shelley, Keats, to becoming a stayer, a Wordsworth, a Coleridge, a Landor. It would seem that genius is of two kinds, one of which blazes up in youth and dies down, while the other matures, like Milton or Goethe's, through long choosing, putting out new branches every seven years.