To have money is becoming of more and more importance in a literary career

Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone. I would like to know what "To have money is becoming of more and more importance in a literary career" means in the following sentences:

‘Without it, one spends the best part of one’s life in toiling for that first foothold which money could at once purchase. To have money is becoming of more and more importance in a literary career; principally because to have money is to have friends. Year by year, such influence grows of more account. A lucky man will still occasionally succeed by dint of his own honest perseverance, but the chances are dead against anyone who can’t make private interest with influential people; his work is simply overwhelmed by that of the men who have better opportunities.’

- George Gissing, New Grub Street, Chapter 3

In this novel, which was published in 1891 in the United Kingdom, Jasper Milvain, the protagonist who was aspiring to become a literary critic, met Marian Yule, the daughter of the established literary critic Alfred Yule, on the walk. And Jasper began to tell her the importance of money in succeeding in a literary career.

In this part, I could not understand what exactly "to become of importance" means.
How is the expression different than just saying "to become important"?
In short, I am curious to know the usage of "of importance" here.
The author must surely prefer the "of + noun" form, because at the second line, he again says "grows of more account."

I would very much appreciate your help. :)
 
  • QuasiTriestino

    Senior Member
    American English
    In this part, I could not understand what exactly "to become of importance" means.
    How is the expression different than just saying "to become important"?
    It's not all that different.

    She was of great importance v. She was very important

    I will say that "of great importance" does seem a little more important than just "very important". It seems a touch grander, probably because it sounds a little antiquated and a little poetic.

    The viking ship was of great length.

    Would translate (roughly) to "yeah... it was a long ship, dude," but by using a noun instead of an adjective, you focus more attention of that particular attribute of the ship. Again, it also sound a little antiquated, epic, and poetic.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear QuasiTriestino,

    Thank you very much for the explanation!
    Then the expression has the same meaning (being important), but sounds a little antiquated and poetic.
    I sincerely appreciate your help. :)
     
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