11/21/17

Elizabeth Bowen quotes

Des Lewis’s extensive collection of Elizabeth Bowen quotes, starting here:

Elizabeth Bowen Quotes (1)

Her novel The Death of the Heart is one of my favourite books, but I must admit I’ve only finished one or two others and failed to get into a couple more. I wish that wasn’t the case, but with the exception of The Death of the Heart I keep finding her characters ungrippable, which tends to be a dealbreaker for me unless elements other than character are to the fore of a book.

Anyway, I’ve been enjoying the quotes on their own.

And I recommend The Death of the Heart to anyone who likes fine characterisation, wordsmithing and evocation of place.

06/11/17

“Mr Darcy strips off…”

Some informative and entertaining notes on Regency men’s fashion, by M.M. Bennetts:

https://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2012/02/mr-darcy-strips-off.html

“Just as important was a gentleman’s fitted waistcoat, which would have been made of white or skin-toned fabric–the idea being that if a gentleman were to remove his coat, in his shirtsleeves and from a distance, he would resemble nothing so much as a naked Greek god, muscular, beautiful, carved from marble or stone.”

01/14/16

Night’s Nieces

Night’s Nieces

The Legacy of Tanith Lee

by Storm Constantine

“In the footsteps of the High Priestess of Fantasy…
Tanith Lee – 1947-2015 – was a huge influence on fantasy literature, and a towering inspiration to a generation of writers, who were captivated by her iconic, poetic prose, her deft use of language, her surreal visions and her ground-breaking ideas. Many successful authors claim that discovering the work of Tanith Lee encouraged them to write in the first place. In particular, she was instrumental in giving women writers the confidence to break the staid moulds of the genre – to be evocative, sensual and daring in their work, to smash boundaries.
Its title inspired by Tanith’s Flat Earth sequence of books, (in particular Night’s Master), Night’s Nieces is a collection of stories by female writers, who not only counted Tanith Lee as a close friend, but also as a mentor, a teacher and an inspiration. Tanith, having no children herself, considered these younger women to be her ‘nieces’ and offered her support to their writing.
While the ‘nieces’ included in this book do not encompass all of Tanith’s close writer friends – for she had many – it amply provides a sample of her legacy. Each ‘niece’ has written a short story inspired by Tanith’s work, as well as an accompanying article describing how Tanith influenced her career and sharing fond memories of her friendship. The book also includes previously unpublished photographs from Tanith’s life, as well as artwork by the authors.
Contributors include Storm Constantine, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Vera Nazarian, Sarah Singleton, Kari Sperring, Sam Stone, Freda Warrington and Liz Williams. With an introduction by John Kaiine.”

Night’s Nieces at Immanion Press and Amazon.

08/6/15

Passing English of the Victorian Era

Passing English of the Victorian era : a dictionary of heterodox English, slang and phrase by James Redding Ware (who also wrote as Andrew Forrester), 1909, at archive.org, found via The Public Domain Review. “Here,” begins the preface, “is a numerically weak collection of instances of ‘Passing English’. It may be hoped that there are errors on every page, and also that no entry is ‘quite too dull’.”

A few examples:

Blue o’clock in the morning: Pre-dawn, when black sky gives way to purple
Cartocracy: People distinguished enough to keep carts — especially dog-carts
Double-breasted water-butt smasher: A man of fine bust — an athlete
Introduce shoemaker to tailor: Evasive metaphor for fundamental kicking
Left the minority: No longer with the living
Little Go: First imprisonment, first invented by a fallen university man
O Gomorrah to you! : Play of a word upon “to-morrow”, and said either savagely or jocularly
Rank and smell: common person

Some entries are still familiar, like “lead poisoning” for gunshot wounds, and “squeejee” (yes, the rubber mop — I had no idea the word was so old.)

09/8/13

To detach

“To detach yourself elegantly from the world; to give contour and grace to sadness; a solitude in style; a walk that gives cadence to memories; stepping towards the intangible; with the breath in the trembling margins of things; the past reborn in the overflow of fragrances; the smell, through which we conquer time; the contour of the invisible things; the forms of the immaterial; to deepen yourself in the intangible; to touch the world airborne by smell; aerial dialogue and gliding dissolution; to bathe in your own reflecting fragmentation… ”

– Emil Cioran