Beerbohm's "Diminuendo" reads like a speech given at a retirement dinner. It suggests the turning over of a new page, the aim of a new life style, and the acceptance of replacement by a younger generation. However, it is written not at the end of a long, illustrious career but at the the graduation from University, usually viewed as the beginning of one's so-called real life. How does Beerbohm substitute the language of completion with the actuality of his commencement into the real world and what effect does this have on the reader? When he writes:
Once, in the delusion that Art, loving the recluse, would make his life happy, I wrote a little for a yellow quarterly [
Do we believe him? Does Beerbohm truly believe that his time has come to give way to a younger and fresher generation of writers? If not, then what does the irony of his statements suggest?
Last modified: 16 October 2003