New Grub Street

994 Words 4 Pages
New Grub Street

New Grub Street is known as
George Robert Gissing’s best and most respected novel. This masterpiece gives its readers a taste of the anti-idealistic principle that is shown all throughout Grub
Street. This society that Gissing has mirrored from his own life experience is one that revolves around selfishness and money.
The reader is supposed to understand that the art of literature cannot exist without good economic means.

The term Grub Street continues to be used in reference to authors and journalists who are compelled to struggle desperately to make a bare livelihood, and also to those who have no scruples about what they write so long as it brings them profit or popularity (Ward 32).

The novel’s
…show more content…
New Grub Street was published in the same year that Gissing married Edith Underwood. This was his second unhappy marriage to an alcoholic shrew. Edith was unhappy because she believed her husband to be a failure. The character of Amy Reardon in New Grub Street also thought her husband to be a failure due to his poverty and small literary success. Therefore, Gissing’s personal life had a huge impact on his writing.

Several reviews were found on this novel that were not optimistic. Jacob Korg did one such review. “The reader is aware of the author at his shoulder, pointing to one detail after another as illustrations of an implicit lesson” (Dimauro 131). Korg is saying that Gissing intrudes being an “all knowing” omniscient narrator. The author’s overwhelming presence is found in the tone, vocabulary, and passages of comment. Gissing’s personal opinions are forced upon the reader in his characters’ thoughts and actions. The intrusions could be irritating to the reader who would like to skip over the seemingly pointless descriptions and historical backgrounds. P.J. Keating did another review that was not favorable.

He was a morbidly autobiographical novelist and this has, perhaps, prevented his best work from receiving the critical attention it deserves. Sometimes, as in the portrait of Reardon, Gissing becomes too personally involved and this is a flaw which needs to be recognized (Michaux
Open Document