Tag Archives: English Literature

An Exchange That Need Never End

The essay from which I’ve extracted the passage below is from a collection of six Rebecca Solnit essays. This essay on Virginia Woolf is the last of the collection. Had I not persisted to the end, I’d probably have decided … Continue reading

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Street Haunting

Or is the true self neither this nor that, but something so varied and wandering that it is only when we give the rein to its wishes and let it takes its way unimpeded that we are indeed ourselves? Circumstances … Continue reading

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Literary Couplings

The sun is calm and bright, but it isn’t yet quite warm enough to idle outside with Denton Welch’s I Left My Grandfather’s House. So observant Welch’s eye for details of character and architecture, his voice so tender after the cool … Continue reading

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Time, Gin, Denton and Dorothy Sayers

Given the multitude of people on social media confused by the instigation of this year’s British Summer time, we ought be thankful that William Willett’s original proposal to move the clocks forward by 80 minutes, in 20-minute weekly steps on … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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