THE QUINTESSENCE OF G.B.S. by Stephen-Ed. Winsten


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This is a baffling book to report, because- though in a sense it is fascinating-one cannot help but wonder how it will be used. George Bernard Shaw's voluminous writings, over a long life, have offered many facets of the man and his beliefs. A neighbor, an admirer, a scholar, has sifted this mass of material and selected what he feels offers ""the quintessence of G.B.S."" His introduction explains- rather lamely- his scheme of arrangement, his attempts to present what Shaw thinks and feels and is- what he has said in the fields of philosophy, economics, religion. The subtitles of his divisions range from the highly personal ""About Myself""- ""I Become an Author""- ""On Being Merry"" -- to subjects of such wide range as ""Education""- ""Culture""- ""Theatre""- ""Books"" etc. And reading bits here and there makes one feel that the divisions are necessarily arbitrary, and that very often, it has been assumed that it is G.B.S. speaking through the words of one or another of his characters in his plays, his comments on the wide range of topics on which he has written. Just how a book of this sort will be indexed- if at all- will perhaps determine whether it will be used as a sampler of Shaw, or a reference book. Anyhow, it certainly persuades one to turn back to the old master himself.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1949
Publisher: Creative Age