BJ. William Plomer

37. Spender, Stephen. Review of The Autobiography of William Plomer (24). New York Times Book Review, 27 June 1976, pp. 6, 10, 12, 14, 16.

Spender believes Plomer’s ‘guardedness’ in both life and work was ‘affirmed’ in Japan, and that his ‘Japanese style of living’ and relationship with Fukuzawa Morito (see 10c) offer evidence that ‘differences of race or class so far from filling [Plomer] with a sense of his own superiority, or of alienation, stimulated his vital imaginative sympathy’. Spender’s relation with Plomer may be traced to 1930 and Plomer’s lecture on modern Japanese literature before the university English club at Oxford, given at the invitation of Spender, then the twenty-year-old secretary of the club (40, p. 164). Spender himself travelled to Japan in the fifties, but the only published result is a brief essay, ‘Notes on My Ignorance of Japan’ (Japan Quarterly 5 [1958]: 37-42]).





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