Connolly was an English man of letters.He was born in Coventry in
Warwickshire to a wealthy family of Anglo-Irish extraction. He was
educated at St Cyprian's School and Eton College, at both of which
he was an exact contemporary of George Orwell, who remained a life-long
friend. Connolly later attended Balliol College, Oxford.
regular contributor to the leftist New Statesman in the 1930s,
Connolly went on to co-edit, with Stephen Spender and Peter Watson,
the influential literary magazine Horizon from 1939 to 1950. He
was at one time the literary editor for The Observer, and, after
1950, the chief book reviewer for the London Sunday Times.
wrote only one novel, The Rock Pool (1935) a satirical work which
was generally well received. Perhaps his best known work is the
autobiography The Enemies of Promise (1938), in which he attempted
to explain why he failed to produce the literary masterpiece which
he and others believed he should have been capable of writing.
He died in 1974.
1976, Connolly's papers and personal library of over 8,000 books
have been housed at the University of Tulsa.
of us who were brought up as Christians and have lost our faith
have retained the sense of sin without the saving belief in redemption.
This poisons our thought and so paralyses us in action."
our elaborate and dominating bodies are given us to be denied
at every turn, if our nature is always wrong and wicked, how ineffectual
we are -- like fishes not meant to swim."
Expulsion from Eden is an act of vindictive womanish spite; the
Fall of Man, as recounted in the Bible, comes nearer to the Fall
person who is master of their passions is reason's slave."
must select the Illusion which appeals to our temperament and
embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy."
in Hell must distort every judgement on this life."
are all serving a life-sentence in the dungeon of self."
civilized are those who get more out of life than the uncivilized,
and for this we are not likely to be forgiven."
to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the
public and have no self."
reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication: that is
why so many bad artists are unable to give it up."
nice to those younger than you, because they are the ones who
will be writing about you."