(Sir) Noël (Pierce) Coward St. John Ervine - Essay

St. John Ervine

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Mr. Coward, who has often been held up as himself the prototype of the post-war young man, does not fulfil the popular conception of an irritable and irritating person, dispirited and boneless, who drifts about asking people what he shall do to be saved. If anybody has worked in the past sixteen years, Mr. Coward indisputably has. In spite, however, of the profound dissimilarity between him and the young men whose prototype he is said to be, there is, I think, ample warrant for regarding him as their prototype. More clearly than any of his contemporaries he expressed the harsh and impatient cynicism of the young who grew to early manhood in the War. A world was wrecked, and in it they, weakened by malnutrition and...

(The entire section is 1883 words.)