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Gamel Woolsey (1895–1968)

Teoksen One Way of Love tekijä

8+ teosta 167 jäsentä 5 arvostelua

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Sisters by a River (1947)eräät painokset241 kappaletta

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Account of living in Malaga at the start of the Spanish civil war - the author clearly loves Spain and the local people around, and poetic sensibility infuses the text, giving it an additional dimension. The horrors and occasional humour make for an engaging book - and on page 197 I was introduced to Father Francisco de Vittoria, "the father of International Law", by Dr Johnson no less. For this alone the book was well worth reading.
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DramMan | 1 muu arvostelu | Jun 4, 2024 |
Orphaned and homeless, but with a small income, Mariana, raised very alone by her grandmother at the failing seaside plantation in South Carolina, goes to New York. There she attracts a young Englishman, Alan Douglas. Mariana is elf thin, dark haired and dark-eyed, bewitching to him, but he has a 'cold' nature. He is in love with her and reasonably kind, but his aim is to bed her - he is interested in little else about her, other than the lust she arouses in him, precisely because she is, to paraphrase, a wild thing, and not at all prepared for or interested in sex. Woolsey makes it clear though that Alan loves her as much as he has loved anyone, that he opens up to her and makes an effort that is met in part. One of the joys of the novel is that nothing is in black and white. Having just read a novel about a woman with an ardently sexual nature, it is interesting to read about a (beautiful) woman with no interest. Lonely Mariana has a child's desires and outlook and unfortunately much of her attraction to men are these qualities - a very dark implication. Alan and Mariana marry, they are not happy together but no one speaks openly about it, she gets pregnant..... the doctors won't allow it to go on, Mariana's health appears to be pre-tubercular (is that possible?) and to everyone's relief (Alan loathes pregnant women) the child is aborted. The description of the procedure is a demonstration Mariana's deep immaturity for she feels nothing but relief and rather shocks the doctors and nurses with her cheerfulness.
There is a dreamy distance to the narrative, it's a fairly close third person and yet due to this quality of Mariana's personality the reader feels some of the same 'at arm's length' that her lovers feel. The sex act, for her, is always uncomfortably close to rape - she does not ever dare say no, as she feels that this is her 'payment' for what she wants, really, a warm place on the hearth, no more no less..... I can understand why publishing firms didn't want to touch it eighty years ago; there is a childlike frankness about sex, a naivete that makes Mariana's felt experience quite explicit and the implications are shocking. I've never read anything quite like it, a very original work. ****1/2

I'm adding a link to this fascinating place: Hervey . There is much about the book that is clearly directly derived from Woolsey's own experience - Mariana and Alan and then Mariana alone spend a lot of time at this colony (thinly disguised) in the summers and autumns....... utterly fascinating!!!!!
… (lisätietoja)
7 ääni
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sibylline | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 28, 2012 |
A beautifully written and deeply emotional modernist piece that wrestles with eternal questions about love, sex, and selfhood. There were so many startlingly beautiful moments in this novel as Mariana tries to balance her own needs with her desire to find a meaningful relationship with a lover. I'm so glad Virago rescued this suppressed manuscript and decided to publish it after 50+ years.
4 ääni
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sansmerci | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 6, 2011 |
A book by an American woman living in Spain before and at the start of the Spanish Civil War. Great humanity in the way that she observes something which affects those she lives among much more than it affects her.
1 ääni
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wandering_star | 1 muu arvostelu | Nov 13, 2006 |


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