Books: The Divided Self

GEORGE MEREDITH AND ENGLISH COMEDY by V.S. Pritchett. 123 pages. Random House. $5.

There are novelists that almost nobody reads and almost everybody feels guilty about. Then there are novelists that nobody reads—and what's more, nobody feels he has to. On this non-must list, the Victorian George Meredith ranks high—unfairly high, argues V.S. Pritchett, an expert craftsman of satirical short stories and, at 69, still Britain's best practicing critic.

Even Pritchett may not be able to start a Meredith revival. He has, nonetheless, brilliantly made Meredith a man who had something to Say to Our Times —although he did not quite know how...

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