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An Ridire Risteard
Observing the concealed self… skilled in the art of self-effacement. (p 226)On another tack, I did get a reactive melancholic spark thinking how the idea and value of correspondence has changed so much since James’ time.
Both ladies, in the early months of 1892, sent one another short, brittle, witty messages. (p 246)
He had become like the eternal city itself: he was dented by history, he had responsibilities and layers of memory, he was watched and examined and in much demand (a sample of artlessness, p 274)
In the shadowy light of the apartment, he veered between displaying a vulnerability, an extraordinary, half-blank handsomeness and a strangely thoughtful introspection. (Colm’s favourite technique of compound word-lists, p 282)
Anderson was perhaps too young to know how memory and regret can mingle, how much sorrow can be held within, and how nothing seems to have any shape or meaning until it is well past and lost and, even then, how much, under the weight of pure determination, can be forgotten and left aside only to return in the night as piercing pain. (As Jamesian as it gets, staggering his commas to extend sentences, especially as the book wears on, though that entire section about Anderson is tediously drawn out, one might even say pointedly futile and crying out for editorial intervention of the sharpest kind, p287).
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Alternatively, read about it at: The Slow Review or the long blog. Or even Nurture Health