Vanessa Risoli Risoli itibaren Sri Padang, Rambutan, Tebing Tinggi City, North Sumatra 20998, Endonezya
"But to be quite oneself one must first waste a little time." What a coincidence--I just stumbled onto this group at the precise moment I'm reading The House in Paris! In the 90s, I wrote my diss on Bowen and other neglected British women authors (Olivia Manning, Storm Jameson, Antonia White, Betty Miller [Jonathan's mother:], Rebecca West), but mainly Bowen; she was my portal into the work of these women writing in Woolf's shadow. Last week, I reviewed Victoria Glendinning's biography of Bowen and was reminded that for all her resemblance to James, Bowen was an Impressionist, which approach Glendinning attributes in some degree to the fact that Bowen was extremely nearsighted and hated to wear her glasses. Thus those long, blurry, inferential descriptions of landscapes and interiors, as well as the extremely detailed accounts of faces (Max's, for instance). As with James, the reader has to surrender to Bowen's primary sensibility of life with the lid on--what's going on inside, what heated it, what's radiating unseen, how powerful those invisible, usually unconscious motives. You have the easiest time if you just let her take you where she's going (right down to the bone); those moments when you suddenly find yourself trying to decode pronoun reference happen when you come up for air, try to frame what you're reading in some more familiar shape. You just get in your own way. That said, I must also confess that The House in Paris is the one of her novels I remembered having tried twice to get through and failing both times, chiefly because Henrietta and Leopold didn't seem like children but like miniature adults. But this time, she got me with "It is never natural for children to smile at each other." Now I am loving what a workout she is. And planning to reread several others, the more obscure (Eva Trout, To the North) as well as my well-worn favorites, The Heat of the Day and The Little Girls. P. S. The end is brilliant. She earns everything. I wouldn't spoil it for you even if I hated you.
Kills me softly.