(Sir) Noël (Pierce) Coward Paul Fussell - Essay

Paul Fussell

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

At first I thought I wouldn't like [The Noël Coward Diaries], anticipating—correctly, it turned out—yards of theatrical gossip and name-dropping, the unrelenting celebration of great moments in the author's social life, and the general flight from the significant to be expected in an artificer of lyrics and light comedies. But I changed my mind fast when I also encountered the author's pleasure in reading James's The Portrait of a Lady, Wordsworth's longer poems, and Keats's odes, and found him saying that Congreve's Love for Love is "appallingly over-written," a fact that requires intelligence and taste to perceive and a degree of cultural bravery to say, even in a diary. By the time I found...

(The entire section is 911 words.)