In Youth Is Pleasure, Denton Welch
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Denton Welch

In Youth Is Pleasure

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First published in 1945, In Youth Is Pleasure recounts a summer in the life of 15-year-old Orvil Pym, who is holidaying with his father and brothers in a Kentish hotel, with little to do but explore the countryside and surrounding area. ‘I don’t understand what to do, how to live’: so says the 15-year-old Orvil – who, as a boy who glories and suffers in the agonies of adolescence, dissecting the teenage years with an acuity, stands as a clear (marvelously British) ancestor of The Catcher In The Rye’s Holden Caulfield. A delicate coming-of-age novel, shot through with humour, In Youth Is Pleasure, has long achieved cult status, and earned admirers ranging from Alan Bennett to William Burroughs, Edith Sitwell to John Waters. ‘Maybe there is no better novel in the world that is Denton Welch’s In Youth Is Pleasure,’ wrote Waters. ‘Just holding it my hands… is enough to make illiteracy a worse crime than hunger.’
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‘Maybe there is no better novel in the world that Denton Welch’s In Youth Is Pleasure. Just holding it in my hands, so precious, so beyond gay, so deliciously subversive, is enough to make illiteracy a worse crime than hunger’
What registers for the secondary process as memory, experience, data-acquisition, is for the primary process, scarring, damage, sticky micro-softed irritations.
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