Marx-Engels Correspondence 1879
Source: Marx Engels On Literature and Art, Progress Publishers, 1976;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden;
Since my arrival here I have not looked at any newspapers and have, in fact, read nothing apart from the first volume of Carleton’s Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry. It was labour enough to get through the first volume and I shall put the second aside until a better time. The work consists of unconnected tales, in which Irish peasant life is illustrated now from this side and now from that; so the book is not the sort one can swallow at one gulp. For this very reason it is a book which one must buy and possess in order au fur et à mesure [according to need] to regale oneself now with this dish, now with another. Carleton is neither a good stylist nor a master of composition; his originality lies in the truth of his descriptions. As the son of an Irish peasant he knows his subject better than the Levers and Lovers.