Friday, 17 January 2014

British Writer Max Beerbohm

Enoch Soames is the name of a short story by the British writer Max Beerbohm. Enoch Soames is also the name of the main character, for which the story-title is eponymous.

The piece was initially published in the May 1916 edition of The Century Magazine, and was later on incorporated in Beerbohm's anthology, Seven Men (1919). It is a humorous-tragedy, concerning elements of both fantasy and science fiction; popular for its smart and comic use of the thoughts of time travel and pacts with the Devil.

The author makes use of a complex blend of fact and fiction to create a sense of practicality. Although Mr. Soames is an imaginary character, Beerbohm takes in himself in the story, which he also tells; and writes it as the reminiscences of a series of real events which he observed and took part in as a younger man.

 The work also includes a written portrait of the real-life artist William Rothenstein, as well as countless references to contemporary-to-1897 events and places. Besides, Rothenstein actually drew the "portrait" of Soames which is mentioned in the text; though the work was possibly created closer to the date of publication, than to the 1895-date given in the story. Beerbohm himself also sketched a cartoon-sketch of Soames, and the two pictures are noticeably of the same "person".

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