the first heavy pennies of rain
October 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
“Only part of us is sane: only part of us loves pleasure and the longer day of happiness, wants to live to our nineties and die in peace, in a house that we built, that shall shelter those who come after us. The other half of us is nearly mad. It prefers the disagreeable to the agreeable, loves pain and its darker night despair, and wants to die in a catastrophe that will set back life to its beginnings and leave nothing of our house save its blackened foundations.”
— Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
And from the same book (I could eat this, I really could):
“Beyond the bridge the river widened out into a curd of yellow water-lilies, edged with a streak of mirror at each bank, in which willow trees, standing above their exact reflections, amazed us by their shrill green and cat-o’-thousand tails forms; they were like static fireworks.”
I’m definitely ordering this now.
- Geoff Dyer’s edited introduction to the book, published in its abbreviated form by the Guardian.
- The NYT review.
- Bits of it are in archives of The Atlantic.
- Christopher Hitchens wrote the introduction to the new Penguin edition, much of which you can preview on Google Books.
- Paris Review interview with the Grande Dame herself.