Tag Archives: 20th Century

An Eternal Moment

I thought again of our snug place in the leaves under the fallen tree, looking out on to the rising hill with the smoky curtain of rain falling into the stiff still green bracken, and the curiously high squeaking of … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Balloon of Emptiness

It seems astonishing to me the leap that Denton Welch makes in A Voice Through a Cloud. His two earlier novels show a way of observing the world that often provokes and startles. The leap Welch makes in A Voice Through a Cloud is in the … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography, Fiction | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Denton Welch’s Daydreams

The earlier novels are charming, filled with longing and remarkable imagery, but it is in Denton Welch’s A Voice Through a Cloud that his style and way of viewing the world come together to extraordinary effect. His narrator, highly autobiographical, is … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography, Fiction | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Holding Fast to Laughter

But this laughter is the reason why the Tuscans invented science and the clear Tuscan drawing in their cool paintings; laughter means distance. Conversely: where laughter is absent, madness begins. Every time I’ve had a chance to observe an outbreak … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literature in Translation, Visual Arts | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Disturbing Fiction

It must have been at thirteen, fourteen at most that I found a piece of fiction both repugnant and riveting in equal measure. I remember the fiction. It was Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Perhaps I was too young to read Kafka, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Literary Criticism, Literature in Translation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Few Scraps of Wisdom

What else, indeed, have I learned from the masters who taught me, the philosophers I have read, the societies I have visited and even from that science which is the pride of the West, apart from a few scraps of … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

With Long Rests

That portrait of Gerard Hopkins in the Lit. Sup., so quiet, so thoughtful, so almost prettily devout. Strange to think that many, many years ago he actually sat in that position, with folded hands (although they are not there), with … Continue reading

Posted in Diaries and Journals, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Denton Welch’s Maiden Voyage

I resolved to read Denton Welch this year, enthused by Des’s advocacy, though the timing was determined by catching sight of a rather distinctive edition of Maiden Voyage, his first novel, in one of the Cecil Court bookshops: an American first … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Ideology of the Trivial

Another writer, quintessentially English I believe, on my reading radar is Barbara Pym. Any Pym enthusiasts care to stoke my curiosity? This passage from Judy Little’s The Experimental Self: Dialogic Subjectivity in Woolf, Pym, and Brooke-Rose interested me, both by its … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Literary Criticism | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Woolf’s The Voyage Out and Denton Welch

Time to sample a new writer’s work. After two rewarding months in the company of old chestnuts WG Sebald and Virginia Woolf, next on my reading list is Denton Welch’s Maiden Voyage. Des, curator of The Far South Project Blog, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment