(Edward Montague) Compton Mackenzie Kenneth Young - Essay

Kenneth Young

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The story of Jenny in Carnival] is an amalgam of Mackenzie's experience and observation. (p. 12)

The real tragedy … lies not in the murder of Jenny by gunshot, but in the gradual murder of her vivacity, sharp wit, and sheer brightness, her marvellous aliveness, by a kind of inertia in herself: it was too easy for her to stay in the chorus at the Orient with her friends and admirers around her rather than to move forward into the more taxing world of dancing…. It is this wastefulness—which lies in nature—that saddens the reader. But there would be no sadness, no sunt lacrimae rerum, without Mackenzie's astonishing insight into the character of a small child who grows into a...

(The entire section is 1123 words.)