Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Does happiness 'write white'?

The other day, I came across this review of JL Carr's A Month In the Country. It's a novel (well, more like a novella) that I've loved for many years, ever since coming across a copy in Coalville Library, and Ingrid Norton does a wonderful job of capturing what's so special about it.

I like what she has to say about how Carr writes about happiness. Henry De Montherlant's oft-quoted aphorism 'Happiness writes white' (actually 'happiness writes in white ink on a white page') has some truth in it, of course, in novels, poems and song lyrics, but there are ways to avoid it. Carr, as Norton describes here, does just that. Interestingly, his other novels are often much more pessimistic in outlook.

But anyway, I'd like to hear suggestions of other writers, or pieces pf work, that avoid the problem De Montherlant identifies. Over to you...

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