Margery Fisher

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 152

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Burnish me bright does not move on fashionable tram-lines but has the almost inconsequent unpatterned feel of reality in it. The author is wholly committed to her principal characters, a dumb boy grudgingly reared by a mean-minded widow in a small French village, and old Hilaire, once a famous artiste in mime, now living in an isolated, decaying mansion. The old man devotes the last of his strength to teaching the boy his craft and so gives him a new freedom to express himself and to help the chemist's frail little daughter to conquer her listlessness…. The indirect plea for charity shines through a text cut with economy out of a unique living language. Simple words carry a wealth of meaning, of landscape detail and of human feeling. This is a special book for thoughtful readers, who must accept it as an organic whole. (p. 1759)

Margery Fisher, in her Growing Point, July, 1971.

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