Thursday, 22 December 1994

James Sutherland, Ltd.

Fiction ~ short story
Published December 1902
Approx. 6,400 words
(First read 22/12/1994)

About 95% dry-as-dust and, to one who has never come anywhere near understanding how the stock market works (or what the point of it all is), utterly incomprehensible.  The only good moments it has are when EFB is describing the literary outpourings of the hero (Sutherland):
He constructs on the gigantic scale: heaven, earth, and the things under the earth, are grist to his insatiable mill, so that with so various a feast spread afresh about every six months, it is no wonder that myriads of guests besiege and clamour for dinner tickets.  [etc.]
Anyway, the point I wanted to make was: To what extent, when painting characters such as these (Sutherland is far from the only hack writer in EFB's output), was he merely lampooning the likes of Marie Corelli ... and to what extent was he sufficiently self-aware as to recognize that he was, to a certain degree, lampooning himself
The story is available in Fine Feathers and Other Stories (1994).  For more Bensonian stock market shenanigans, try Mammon & Co.

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