Sunday, July 9, 2006

"THE Oxford novel..."

Well, despite my previous delight with Scoop, I never could dig into Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh. Perhaps it was the tattered copy I borrowed from the library, its inner reserve betrayed by a lime-green-and-racy-red cover...or perhaps I enjoyed Scoop for it's subject matter rather than its execution. Anyhow, I give it a mixed bag of five thumbs up.


"'I have left behind illusion,' I said to myself. 'Henceforth I live in a world of three dimensions -- with the aid of my five senses.'
I have since learned that there is no such world, but then, as the car turned out of sight of the house, I thought it took no finding, but lay all about me at the end of the avenue."

"My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time.
These memories, which are my life -- for we possess nothing certainly except the past -- were always with me. Like the pigeons of St Mark's, they were everywhere, under my feet, insgly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl."

"'Sometimes,' said Julia, 'I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there's no room for the present at all.'"

"'A lifetime between the rising of the moon and its setting. Then the dark.'"

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