Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nothing by Henry Green

Nothing by Henry Green (1950, 162 pages)

I was very happy and more than a little shocked to see the Vintage Books edition of three Henry Green novels Nothing, Doting and Blindness in one of the chain book stores in SM Mega Mall in Quezon City.   The mall is huge on top of huge  but not the sort of place that probably has a lot of buyers of novels by Henry Green.    Green (1905 to 1973, UK, real name Henry Yorke) is considered one of the master prose stylists of the modern novel.   Elizabeth Bowen said he captured better than anyone else the real patterns and rhythm of conversations.   I have previously posted on four of his novels, Living, Loving, Party Going and Back. (There is some background information on Green in my prior posts.)  I now have four Green novels to go and hope to read and post on them all by the end of 2013.

Green would have been a fabulous success as a script writer for the American TV show, Seinfeld, a show about nothing.   Nothing (I am keeping some of my posts briefer than normal for a while as I am behind on my posting) is about a few maybe slightly more than middle class people in post World War II England.   The whole story revolves around a few people and whether or not they will have affairs with each other (when they actually do something, it is somehow more exciting than many explicit sex filled works as the people see so real) and whether or not their adult children will marry and the consequences of remarriage on a beloved child.  Almost all of the plot action of the story is developed in the dialogues.   Nobody utters any real long statements or makes any grand utterances about life,  they just talk and it is wonderful.   I do not think anyone speaks more than twenty words at a time.   

Reading Nothing kind of reminded my having of a Starbucks Strawberry Creme Frappuccino, I really enjoyed consuming it and when I have gone long enough without either one, then I will repeat the experience.

Mel u


Peter S. said...

I love Living and Loving by Henry Green. Thanks for the heads-up on the Green novels available in Megamall. I'll head there soon!

Mel u said...

Peter S. It was in the Fully Booked store, I hope they have a second one. Good to see you back on my blog

Claire B said...

Francine Prose has written an excellent book called Reading Like a Writer, in which she examines the building bricks of good writing, from word choice, to sentence and paragraph structure, all by reference to 100 works of great fiction. Her chapter on dialogue almost exclusively relates to Henry Green's work. Thanks for the reminder, which gives me extra incentive to seek out his work.

@parridhlantern said...

read Party going earlier in the year, may try another at some point.

valerie sirr said...

That's interesting about his dialogue. Must check him out sometime.

Mel u said...

Claire B-I am not at all surprised that Henry Green is considered a master of telling a story through dialogue-thanks so much for sharing this with us

Parrish-Green is really a pleasure to read-I am reading his Doting now

Valerie Sir-Green is for sure a great pleasure to read-most of his novels are under 200 pages