The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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June 2, 2012

Blissful Saturday reading

      'And dear little Felicity,' said grandmamma. 'Why do you never come and see me?'
      'All absolutely unchanged, even to Lady Angmering's perennial opening question. And yet all somehow quite different because even this large, oppressive room was but a stage in a day which began and ended with Ian. There was always nowadays this curious unreality about the hours of separation, increasing to an almost unbearable pitch as the time of Ian's release approached. More and more of one's inner self seemed to be drawn away to that unknown office in the City, to be watching with Ian for his clock to reach half-past five, and the part that was left behind was often hardly aware of its surroundings, so vague and inattentive had it become.
      However, this never seemed to matter at grandmamma's. Grandmamma always thought the younger generation vague and inattentive, whatever they did; and besides, she and mummie were now fully occupied with each other. New stories about Child were being exchanged for an account of the afternoon's shopping. Presently, they would be telling one another -- for the hundredth time -- of their plans for the rest of the summer. Once it had seemed dull, but now it was merely pleasantly soothing. Was this another thing that marriage did to one?
      And so Felicity finished her tea in silence and gave Ajax a saucer of milk, and then -- her restlessness suddenly returning, wandered out on to the balcony. One could hard compare the big stone loggia with the little balcony at Greenery Street and yet it gave one something of the same sensation to look down from it at the passing traffic. It, also, signalised the difference between oneself and the unreal outside world.
      Still more of Felicity's thoughts:
      'I wonder what Ian is doing now ... Wouldn't it be fun if he were to come suddenly around that corner ... Wouldn't it be fun if when I got back I found that Mr. Hephurn had put us off ... I wonder if Ian and I will ever live in a huge house like this ... I wonder if grandmamma felt at all like me when she first came here ... Wouldn't it be fun if that taxi were to stop here and Ian were to get out of it ..."
      We note a marked deterioration in the general intellectual level of these afternoon imaginings.

from Greenery Street, by Denis Mackail {Persephone no. 35}

1 comment:

Darlene said...

This was one of the first Persephone titles that I bought...still haven't read it yet though, silly me. Enjoy your blissful reading this weekend!

The print of little teacup motifs is so pretty!

Thank you for visiting!

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