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Literary Lapses



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I've just re-read 'My Financial Career' and while the laughter is still on me I thought I'd just say how marvellous Leacock was. Like Neil Munro he had a genuine sense of fun. He was an ironist and very clever yet there is nothing nasty or malicious in his writing. It's a gentle shared humour. There is a self-deprecatory tone often present which draws the reader to him. He was quite as witty and more concise than Dickens and not driven by Dickens rather self-important crusading zeal. But if you smile with Dickens and are impressed by his skill, Leacock makes you laugh and his learning seems hidden at first. Wit like his could dart off down anarchic lanes of absurdity. The first paragraph of 'Gertrude the Governess' is much parodied and paralleled but Leacock got there first.

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