One of our forthcoming publications will include the story ‘The Superfluous Man’ and we’re keen to hear from any member who has information or knowledge about it. We’re particularly interested in finding out more about the context.
What we know: In 1850 Turgenev published The Diary of a Superfluous Man and the concept took hold, being applied to other characters in Russian novels (including earlier works) In 1885 an article in The Star includes a reference as follows: 'An invitation comes for a drawing-room meeting, at which Miss Circe Robinson will deliver a lecture on "Superfluous Man." The voice that once uttered soft nothings on the back staircase at Lady Crushington's now shrieks itself hoarse over the wrongs of woman. The eyes whose starry gleam made her admirers even greater fools than they looked are now hidden by big spectacles. When next again you meet, Circe is walking in an outdoor procession at the head of her shriek- sisterhood, and staggering under the weight of a banner inscribed with the strange device " Down with Man !" '
Barrie’s own 1889 story was serialised in The Young Man magazine.
In 1894 a novel A Superfluous Woman was published by Emma Francis Brooks.
Do you know something more? If you can give us any critical comment or context please comment below or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
SCENE.- The Library of a Piccadilly club for high thinking and bad dinners. Time midnight. Four eminent novelists of the day regarding each other self-consciously They are (1) a Realist,(2) a Romancist , (3) an Elsmerian, (4) a Stylist. The clock strikes thirteen, and they all start...
You can read more by downloading the PDF of the play HERE
In this short play dating from 1890, Barrie takes a humorous look at a number of literary styles. We’d welcome your opeenions about who each of the ‘novelists’ might represent – as well as whether in one sense they represent different parts of Barrie’s own character.
Suggestions are that the Elsmerian is to do with the bestselling novel Robert Elsmere by Mrs Humphrey Ward. We'd welcome your thoughts on this, as well as who the Realist, Romancist and Stylist are. Please add your comments below...