Simon Raven Julian Symons - Essay

Julian Symons

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The Survivors is the tenth and last volume in Simon Raven's 'Alms For Oblivion' sequence, and the death of culture is somehow mixed up in it with the extinction of the English gentleman. 'Such gentlemen as survive, though honourable and decent men, can only be seen as futile anachronisms when once one properly appreciates the present conditions of society,' Mr Raven wrote 15 years ago. His view has hardened since then, and his gentlemen are no longer honourable and decent….

The view of society put forward in these novels is not dissimilar to that found in the work of another Tory with a romantic view of the English gentleman, Evelyn Waugh. Both writers hankered to be 'gentlemen' themselves,...

(The entire section is 471 words.)