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New Grub Street Paperback – Sep 30 1976
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“The most impressive of Gissing’s books . . . England has produced very few better novelists.” —George Orwell
From the Publisher
Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Why do I say this so confidently? Well, as Gissing was particularly self-aware and as he was particularly oppressed when writing "New Grub Street," in this novel he writes about what it's like to be a writer in London in the 1880's and 1890's. He essentially writes about his own life and those he find around him, all of whom are trying to make a living on writing.
Gissings seems to portray himself through the main character, Reardon. When the story opens, Reardon is struggling. His sophisticated wife is getting fed up with their impoverished lifestyle and with her husband's inability to write decent material. Reardon, a sensitive soul, is floundering under mounting pressure and stress. He is torn between his desire to write sophisticated, meaningful material and the public demand for "fluff." The more stressed laid on him, the less he is able to create and stick with any plausible fiction novel. He becomes more and more fererish and unable to work, and he is devastated as he loses his wife's love and respect.
Around this central character Reardon, Gissing builds a very full and weighty cast of characters.Read more ›
The anti-heroes of "New Grub Street" are presented to us as the novel begins - Jasper Milvain is a young, if somewhat impoverished, but highly ambitious man, eager to be a figure of influence in literary society at whatever cost. His friend, Edwin Reardon, on the other hand, was brought up on the classics, and toils away in obscurity, determined to gain fame and reputation through meaningful, psychological, and strictly literary fiction. Family matters beset the two - Jasper has two younger sisters to look out for, and Edwin has a beautiful and intelligent wife, who has become expectant of Edwin's potential fame.Read more ›
"New Grub Street" is the contrapuntal narrative of two literary figures, Edwin Reardon, a struggling novelist who aspires to write great literature without regard to its popular appeal, and Jasper Milvain, a self-centered, materialistic striver whose only concern is with achieving financial success and social position by publishing what the mass public wants to read. As Milvain relates early in the novel, succinctly adumbrating the theme that winds through the entirety of "New Grub Street":
"Understand the difference between a man like Reardon and a man like me. He is the old type of unpractical artist; I am the literary man of 1882. He won't make concessions, or rather, he can't make them; he can't supply the market. I-well, you may say that at present I do nothing; but that's a great mistake, I am learning my business. Literature nowadays is a trade. Putting aside men of genius, who may succeed by mere cosmic force, your successful man of letters is your skillful tradesman. He thinks first and foremost of the markets. . . . Reardon can't do that kind of thing, he's behind his age; he sells a manuscript as if he lives in Sam Johnson's Grub Street.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Five stars was how I rated New Grub Street by George Gissing.
The book is about the publishing industry back in the times of the author. Read more
George Gissing, together with Thomas Hardy, has always been said to have written some of the gloomiest Victorian novels. And in a sense, it's really true. Read morePublished on May 4 2001 by C. N. Seong
"(W)e must be thankful for the piece of youthful folly which turned him aside from a comfortable middle-class career and forced him to become the chronicler of vulgarity,... Read morePublished on May 19 2000 by S. Dougherty
How nice for once to see the cynical characters proved right and the dreamy idealists cast aside. Rather less melancholy than your average Dickens but a terrific Victorian take on... Read morePublished on Dec 2 1999