James Hanley -
Detail from a painting
by his son Liam Hanley.
"When James Hanley died in November 1985, a year younger than the century, The Times headlined its obituary with "Neglected Genius of the Novel". Only in England, perhaps, could such a summation fail to arouse guilt. "Neglected Genius" is accepted merely as the catagory to which Hanley belongs: neglect is so regularly accorded to some of our best writers - Rex Warner and William Sansom come immediately to mind - that we complacently acquiesce in it as a necessary aspect of our culture. The geniuses who are neglected are usually the geniuses who disturb, and we do not like to be disturbed. The Times obituary accurately referred to "the integrity and disturbingly acute though gloomy vision of his best books" and prophesised that they "will certainly be remembered in the chronicle of the century's literature". Chronicled, then, though not read."
~ Anthony Burgess in his Introduction to the 1990 reprint of Hanley's early novel Boy (1931)
This page was created by Chris Gostick, Buckinghamshire, UK in May 1998
and last revised February 2003 - E-Mail ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
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