The study and appreciation of the life, works and times of Arnold Bennett

From the Journals of Arnold Bennett 1904

Article Written:

Paris: Monday, February 29th

Last night seemed to be one of the bitterest we have had in the present cold spell; yet I noticed a number of people sitting out quite unconcernedly on the terrasses of the cafes on the Grand Boulevard.  Some cafes had thick mats spread over the terrasse, and one had a coke brazier red and smoky, set among the tables.

Paris: Sunday, February 28th

I finished another section of ‘A Great Man’ yesterday at 3.30 p.m., having written nearly 10,000 words in a week.  I ought easily to complete the book by March 20.  It seems amusing enough, and very good in places.  But if I treated this as a draft, and rally thought out types and made the bookseller, I could make it much better.  However, I had a mania for producing a lot just now.  And further, this sort of book, though I can do it, is scarily my natural genre. I do not take quite the same satisfaction out of a passage which I know to be well done.  And often I have the greatest difficulty in starting my day’s work. I am all right when I have started.  But the starting is penible.

Paris: Friday, February 26th

Same industrious sort of day as previous days.  I finished at 11.30. I have been reading more of Mercier’s ‘Tableau de Paris’.  It is a charming book.  The chapters ‘Heures du jour’ and ‘Marchandes des modes’, for example, are perfectly wonderful illustrations of how, exactly, that light, descriptive, worldly witty, higher-journalism kind of thing out to be done.  Thisbook and ‘Notes sur Angleterre’, and about four newspapers a day, constitute  all my reading just now.

Share This Article