BJ. William Plomer

6. ‘Mr. Blunden’s Essays’. Review of The Mind’s Eye (BD42), by Edmund Blunden. Spectator 152 (May 1934): 708-710.

Plomer arrived in Japan with a letter of introduction to Blunden from Roy Campbell (see 40, p. 110), was helped by Blunden in various ways (see 2 and 10b), and for a time lived at the Kikufuji Hotel while Blunden was in residence there (see BD166j). Privately, Plomer was not above lampooning the older man whose character was so different from his own (see 27a1), but publicly his praise was warm. He notes here Blunden’s popularity among the Japanese, for ‘not wanting in judgement’ they are ‘well able to recognise the genuine’, and of the ‘number of Englishmen of talent’ who have sojourned in the country, few have been more ‘appreciated’. In return, Blunden, ‘with an eye and ear attuned to the simplicities and subtleties of behaviour and landscape that reveal so much and hint at so much more’, has captured in his essays ‘something of the finer essentials of the atmosphere of Japan’, and Plomer is pleased to find him ‘guiding a firm pen in praise of a much abused race’. See BD29 and BD51 for Blunden’s equally approving appraisal of Plomer’s writing from the country.





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