10 FEBRUARY 1961, Page 15


SIR,—In his brief analysis of my Take a Girl Like you, Professor Enright makes three factual errors. They are: 1. He seems to think that to put Beethoven down as twelfth man to a cricket team of bad men shows that 1 am a helpless victim of the sneering habit: But the sneer, if it is one, is made by one of my 'characters, not by me (the author).

2. He says that my hero, who has objections to marriage, is 'ready to marry' the heroine at the end. There is no authorial implication of this and nobody 1.11 the book mentions it, not even the hero—an Inveterate liar, anyway.

3: In the course of explaining that my book belongs to the 'convention of the Nightmare World,' Profes- sor Enright cites as his (only) supporting example the supposed fact that 'the nice headmaster's daughter turns suddenly into a juvenile nymphomaniac.' Now this character is not at any time a nymphomaniac, she is merely very fond of men (compare thpso- °maitre and heavy habitual drinker). Moreover, she 'does not turn into somebody who is very fond of Men, suddenly or gradually. Her fondness for men 1.5 revealed less than two pages after she first appears an the novel,

While 1 am on to you, may I say a word about Professor Enright's long analysis of Mr. William Cooper? (1 am sure Mr. Cooper can look after him- self. but he may not think it worth the trouble to write in.) Professor Enright first explains that Scenes from Provincial Life belongs to a certain convention, and then rounds on Mr. Cooper for not

sticking to it. One might as fairly censure Paradise Lost for its lack of documentary realism. I am sure there is a technical term for this sort of manoeuvre, but the only word that occurs to me at the moment IS one of those 'peculiarly nasty words—one knows they are nasty even if one hasn't met them before' which Professor Enright, to his obvious distress, however, finding in my work. This particular word,


53 Glantnor Road, Uplands, Swansea, Glamorgan