Think of this - that the writer wrote alone, and the reader read alone, and they were alone with each other. True, the writer may have been alone also with Spenser's golden apples in the Faerie Queene, Proserpina's garden, glistening bright among the place's ashes and cinders, may have seen in his mind's eye, apple of his eye, the golden fruit of the Primavera, may have seen Paradise Lost, in the garden where Eve recalled Pomona and Proserpina. He was alone when he wrote and he was not alone then, all these voices sang, the same words, golden apples, different words in different places, an Irish castle, un unseen cottage, elastic-walled and grey round blind eyes.
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He was a compact, clearcut man, with precise features, a lot of very soft black hair, and thoughtful dark brown eyes. He had a look of wariness, which could change when he felt relaxed or happy, which was not often in these difficult days, into a smile of amused friendliness and pleasure which aroused feelings of warmth, and something more, in many women.
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She grew up in the ordinary paradise of the English countryside. When she was five she walked to school, two miles, across meadows covered with cowslips, buttercups, daisies, vetch, rimmed by hedges full of blossom and then berries, blackthorn, hawthorn, dog-roses, the odd ash tree with its sooty buds.
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Perhaps if I had made his life more difficult, he would have written less, or less freely. I cannot claim to be the midwife to genius, but if I have not facilitated, I have at least not, as many women might have done, prevented. This is a very small virtue to claim, a very negative achievement to hang my whole life on.
You will not be here-I shall not be here-much longer.' 'Let us not think of time.' 'We have reached Faust's non-plus. We say to every moment "Verweile doch, du bist so schandoumln, " and if we are not immediately damned, the stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike. But it is open to us to regret each minute as it passes.' 'We shall be exhausted.' 'And is not that a good state to end in?
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Once upon a time, when men and women hurtled through the air on metal wings, when they wore webbed feet and walked on the bottom of the sea, learning the speech of whales and the songs of the dolphins, when pearly-fleshed and jewelled apparitions of Texan herdsmen and houris shimmered in the dusk on Nicaraguan hillsides, when folk in Norway and Tasmania in dead of winter could dream of fresh strawberries, dates, guavas and passion fruits and find them spread next morning on their tables, there was a woman who was largely irrelevant, and therefore happy.
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I have always believed I cd diagnose this state of being in love, which they regard as most particular, as inspired by item, one pair of black eyes or indifferent blue, item, one graceful attitude of body or mind, item, one female history of some twenty-two years from, shall we say, 1821-1844-I have always believed this in love to be something of the most abstract masking itself under the particular forms of both lover and beloved. And Poet, who assumes and informs both. I wd have told you-no, I do tell you-friendship is rarer, more idiosyncratic, more individual and in every way more durable than this Love.
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You will not be here-I shall not be here-much longer.' 'Let us not think of time.' 'We have reached Faust's non-plus. We say to every moment "Verweile doch, du bist so schön, " and if we are not immediately damned, the stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike. But it is open to us to regret each minute as it passes.' 'We shall be exhausted.' 'And is not that a good state to end in?
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Above his head at street level, he saw an angled aileron of a scarlet Porsche, its jaunty fin more or less at the upper edge of his window frame. A pair of very soft, clean glistening black shoes appeared, followed by impeccably creased matt charcoal pinstriped light woollen legs, followed by the beautifully cut lower hem of a jacket, its black vent revealing a scarlet silk lining, its open front revealing a flat muscular stomach under a finely-striped red and white shirt. Val's legs followed, in powder-blue stockings and saxe-blue shoes, under the limp hem of a creªpey mustard-coloured dress, printed with blue moony flowers. The four feet advanced and retreated, retreated and advanced, the male feet insisting towards the basement stairs, the female feet resisting, parrying. Roland opened the door and went into the area, fired mostly by what always got him, pure curiosity as to what the top half looked like.
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The children mingled with the adults, and spoke and were spoken to. Children in these families, at the end of the nineteenth century, were different from children before or after. They were neither dolls nor miniature adults. They were not hidden away in nurseries, but present at family meals, where their developing characters were taken seriously and rationally discussed, over supper or during long country walks. And yet, at the same time, the children in this world had their own separate, largely independent lives, as children. They roamed the woods and fields, built hiding-places and climbed trees, hunted, fished, rode ponies and bicycles, with no other company than that of other children.
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She was a logical child, as far as children go. She did not understand how such a nice, kind, good God as the one they preyed to, could condemn the whole earth for sinfulness and flood it, or condemn his only Son to a disgusting death on behalf of everyone. This death did not seem to have done much good.
words have been all my life, all my life-this need is like the Spider's need who carries before her a huge Burden of Silk which she must spin out-the silk is her life, her home, her safety-her food and drink too-and if it is attacked or pulled down, why, what can she do but make more, spin afresh, design anew...
Blackadder was fifty-four and had come to editing Ash out of pique. He was the son and grandson of Scottish schoolmasters. His grandfather recited poetry on firelight evenings: Marmion, Childe Harold, Ragnarok. His father sent him to Downing College in Cambridge to study under F. R. Leavis. Leavis did to Blackadder what he did to serious students; he showed him the terrible, the magnificent importance and urgency of English literature and simultaneously deprived him of any confidence in his own capacity to contribute to, or change it. The young Blackadder wrote poems, imagined Dr Leavis's comments on them, and burned them.
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Now and then there are readings that make the hairs on the neck, the non-existent pelt, stand on end and tremble, when every word burns and shines hard and clear and infinite and exact, like stones of fire, like points of stars in the dark-readings when the knowledge that we shall know the writing differently or better or satisfactorily, runs ahead of any capacity to say what we know, or how. In these readings, a sense that the text has appeared to be wholly new, never before seen, is followed, almost immediately, by the sense that it was always there, that we the readers, knew it was always there, and have always known it was as it was, though we have now for the first time recognised, become fully cognisant of, our knowledge.
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He had been violently confused by her real presence in the opposite inaccessible corner. For months he had been possessed by the imagination of her. She had been distant and closed away, a princess in a tower, and his imagination's work had been all to make her present, all of her, to his mind and senses, the quickness of her and the mystery, the whiteness of her, which was part of her extreme magnetism, and the green look of those piercing or occluded eyes. Her presence had been unimaginable, or more strictly, only to be imagined. Yet here she was, and he was engaged in observing the ways in which she resembled, or differed from, the woman he dreamed, or reached for in sleep, or would fight for.
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Se amava quel viso non indulgente, era perche era netto, espressivo e risoluto. Vedeva, o gli sembrava di vedere, come tali qualite fossero state mascherate o soffocate da atteggiamenti pie¹ convenzionali: una modestia simulata, un'appropriata pazienza, un disprezzo che si spacciava per calma. Al suo peggio - oh, lui la vedeva chiaramente, malgrado la possessione che esercitava su di lui - al suo peggio guardava in basso e di traverso e sorrideva timidamente, e questo sorriso era quasi una smorfia meccanica, perche era una bugia, una convenzione, un breve forzato riconoscimento delle aspettative del mondo. Lu aveva visto subito, cose¬ gli pareva, cie² che lei era in essenza, seduta alla tavola di Crabb Robinson ad ascoltare dispute maschili, credendosi osservatrice inosservata. Se, riflette, la maggior parte degli uomini avesse visto la durezza e la fierezza e la tirannia, se¬, la tirannia di quel volto, se ne sarebbe ritratta. Il suo destino sarebbe stato di essere amata solo da timidi inetti, segretamente desiderosi che lei li punisse o li comandasse, o da anime candide, convinte che la fredda aria di delicato riserbo esprimesse una sorta di purezza femminile che tutti a quei tempi facevano mostra di desiderare. Ma lui aveva capito immediatamente che lei era per lui, che lei aveva qualcosa in comune con lui, lei com'era veramente o avrebbe potuto essere, se fosse stata libera.
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You know, all poetry may be a cry of generalised love, for this, or that, or the universe - which must be loved in its particularity, not its generality, but for its universal life in every minute particular. I have always supposed it to be a cry of ;unsatisfied love; - and so it may be indeed - for satisfaction may surfeit it and so it may die. I know many poets who write only when in an exalted state of mind which they compare to ;being in love;, when they do not simply state, that they are in love, that they seek love - for this fresh damsel - or that lively young woman - in order to find a fresh metaphor, or a new bright vision of things in themselves. And to tell you the truth, I have always believed I could diagnose this state of ;being in love; which they regard as ;most particular;, as inspired by item, one pair of black eyes or indifferent blue, ;item;, one graceful attitude of body or mind, ;item;, one female history of some twenty-two years from, shall we say 1821-1844 - I have always believed this ;in love; to be of something of the most abstract masking itself under the particular forms of both lover and beloved. And Poet who assumes and informs both.
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