logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: modern-classics
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-08-17 17:42
The Complete Stories (Penguin Modern Classics) - Truman Capote

These stories show a great capacity for capturing time, place and character. Highly evocative. On the whole I think I prefered the Depression era Alabama childhood stories to the more recently set ones, but the one set in a cemetary was great. This volume has made me take a wider interest in Capote's work.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-08-09 18:43
Reading progress update: I've read 244 out of 297 pages.
The Complete Stories (Penguin Modern Classics) - Truman Capote

A passing reference to a character that might possibly have been inspired by the same person who inspired Boo Radley...

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-08-08 23:16
Reading progress update: I've read 240 out of 297 pages.
The Complete Stories (Penguin Modern Classics) - Truman Capote

Among the Paths to Eden: not sure why I find this story so delightful.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-08-08 17:24
Reading progress update: I've read 230 out of 297 pages.
The Complete Stories (Penguin Modern Classics) - Truman Capote

An encounter in a graveyard.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-04 11:20
The Return of the Soldier (Virago Modern Classics) - Rebecca West

Kitty and Jenny sit at home, awaiting the end of the war and the return of Chris, Kitty’s husband and Jenny’s cousin. However he returns to them sooner, suffering amnesia from shell-shock. He can remember Jenny and Margaret, his first love, but has no recollection of Kitty. Between the women they have to decide if they should allow Chris to remain 15 years in the past or to find a cure. That cure will be an act of love.

 

It is little wonder that Chris resorts to only remembering his past. It is a coping mechanism, his brain’s way of allowing him to heal, by remembering the happiest time of his life. It is telling perhaps that his mind does not remember the early courtship with his wife, though she is inextricably linked to the loss of his son.

 

The house and it’s grounds are idealised. It is the house of old that Chris longs to return to, a place for him to be comfortable and to heal. Jenny marvels at its beauty in the present day, at the wonderful grounds and the many changes wrought by Kitty. With Chris’ situation her eyes are opened to the fact that these changes may not be as welcome to him as once believed.

 

The house and it’s setting are also used to juxtapose the battlefields. Rebecca West doesn’t attempt to portray the horror of war. It is mentioned briefly by Jenny, referring to the film reels seen and the dreams they cause. However the reader is left to imagine the scenes, stark in their absence, when compared with the idyllic life Chris has left behind. To Jenny it is a haven, a cocoon to keep them safe. The house is in a perpetual golden glow if her descriptions are to believed but it becomes more apparent that it may be something of a gilded cage.

 

Kitty isn’t a particularly likeable character. She seemed less concerned with Chris’ mental health than how it affected her. She thinks that by draping herself in the jewels he bought her, he will suddenly remember her. Her avoidance of him seems more caused by petulance than anxiety. She is discourteous to Margaret, though this seems less to do with jealousy and more to do with snobbery. Jenny is a more complex character. She views Margaret initially with disdain, a disdain towards her poverty and obvious signs of beauty than anything else. She is quick to assume that Margaret is unhappy with her life in her pokey little house, that her lack of style and money has leached her of beauty. She misses the signs of fidelity that are briefly brought before her when Margaret and her husband interact. She fails, initially, to see the beauty behind the shabby clothes. But she gets to know Margaret, learns the history of her and Chris and soon comes to rely on her. Margaret is ultimately selfless. She does attend on Chris in part to remember happier days, to relive her youth and in some respects to obtain closure or to confirm her life choices. She is also there for Chris, to help him heal. Chris is the tie that binds them together and though he is the focal point for the women, it is those women that are very much the focal point of the novel.

 

This is a slim volume, but nonetheless is an effecting story, despite it’s size. It is a quiet, beautifully told story of love and war. Recommended.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?