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Old 05-29-2011, 11:23 AM   #1
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Wright, Harold B.: The Eyes of the World. V1. 29-May-2011

Harold Bell Wright (May 4, 1872 – May 24, 1944) was a best-selling American writer of fiction, essays, and non-fiction during the first half of the 20th century. Although mostly forgotten or ignored after the middle of the 20th century, he is said to have been the first American writer to sell a million copies of a novel and the first to make $1 million from writing fiction. Between 1902 and 1942 Wright wrote 19 books, several stage plays, and many magazine articles. More than twenty one movies were made or claimed to be made from Wright's stories, including Gary Cooper's first major movie, The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926) and the John Wayne film, The Shepherd of the Hills (1941).

Extract:
It was winter—cold and snow and ice and naked trees and leaden clouds and stinging wind.
The house was an ancient mansion on an old street in that city of culture which has given to the history of our nation—to education, to religion, to the sciences, and to the arts—so many illustrious names.
In the changing years, before the beginning of my story, the woman's immediate friends and associates had moved from the neighborhood to the newer and more fashionable districts of a younger generation. In that city of her father's there were few of her old companions left. There were fewer who remembered. The distinguished leaders in the world of art and letters, whose voices had been so often heard within the walls of her home, had, one by one, passed on; leaving their works and their names to their children. The children, in the greedy rush of these younger times, had too readily forgotten the woman who, to the culture and genius of a passing day, had been hostess and friend.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:51 PM   #2
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Wright's The Eyes Have It and The Grateful Dead

Found this on the blog for UC Santa Cruz Grateful Dead Archive:


Quote:
The Eyes Have It: Harold Bell Wright’s novel The Eyes of the World

Bell’s book is interesting to Dead scholars for indirect, even oblique, reasons—but those reasons lead to themes that are in fact central to the scholarly study of the band as a cultural, historical, artistic phenomenon.

The novel takes place largely in Southern California, focusing on an unlikely friendship between an older novelist and a young painter. The novelist is enormously successful but considers his work corrupt, debased because of its appeal to popular, prurient tastes; he cuts a Faustian figure in the book, constantly goading and chiding his young apprentice but leavening his mordancy with occasional flashes of calm meditation on the meaning of art and the role of the artist in society. It is a frank statement about the Romantic ideal of the purity of art, and the dangers of being seduced by mammon.

Students interested in how the Dead’s art fits into broader arcs in American cultural history will find Bell’s novel an intriguing, if didactic, expression of the debate over high and low culture at the turn of the century. And for those interested in exploring [Robert] Hunter’s extraordinary mindscape, the way these themes find expression and perdure in a phrase whose literary function changed so dramatically over time is especially fascinating.

Last edited by BelleZora; 10-13-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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