(Sir) Noël (Pierce) Coward JAMES McCOURT - Essay

JAMES McCOURT

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Ezra Pound defined literature as news that stays news. Literature is achieved by the sweated labors of a temperament facing the facts. Sir Noël Coward, playwright, actor, director, composer, novelist, diarist and for 30 years a short-story writer, was nothing if not a temperament, and for the better part of a generation, with eyes shaded by gesticulant hands trained in a posture of disciplined Tory salute, he faced great avalanches of limelit factual event in peace and war without once facing the fact of the end of the "modern" world. And then, worn out and fairly blinded in the neon atomic-age glare, he turned his back on the theater and walked out in a slow and stumbling rage, pulling off one of the longest reverse...

(The entire section is 455 words.)