BD. Edmund Blunden
174. Reviews of The Mind’s Eye (42), 1934.
Of several reviews of the work, only three focus on the Japan section, two of which find that one of its effects is demonstration that Blunden—both critics use the same phrase—‘is not a born traveller’. See also the review by Plomer (BJ6).
a. TLS, 3 May, p. 319. Finds the Japan section the ‘weakest part’ of the work. While Blunden has ‘one or two straightforward, informative accounts of Japanese artists and prints’, he ‘clearly . . . felt his three years in Japan as an exile to be lived through by hard work, but without much pleasure—or even violent emotion of any kind’. The section demonstrates as much as anything that Blunden ‘is not . . . a born traveller’.
b. Gibson, Wilfred. Observer, 3 June, p. 9. Gibson finds Blunden’s ‘slight essays on Japanese themes’ wanting: ‘Mr. Blunden is not the born traveller, and is certainly least at home when he is abroad’; particularly weak are the descriptions of ukiyoe, Gibson believes, for ‘the “literary” picture may be dull, but there is no dullness to compare with the dullness of the verbal description of pictures’.