30 Following


Currently reading

Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Norman Rush
The Unknown University
Roberto BolaƱo, Laura Healy
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960 (20/21)
Amy Hungerford
The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
James Wood

About those cows and sheep?

Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

“Flora inherited, however, from her father a strong determination and from her mother an attractive ankle.” (CCF, p.1) when likened to, ““The immense accretion of flesh which had descended on her in middle life like a flood of lava on a doomed city had changed her from a plump active little woman with a neatly-turned foot and ankle into something as vast and august as a natural phenomenon, ” (Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence  and, My God, do I love that sentence) has me wondering what it might be about ankles, women’s ankles in particular, that I must have missed, and might, therefore, have contributed to the development of my peculiar ways of considering the world, and those in it, on it thereupon.


So, after all the years spent wondering if my nature had been determined by the startling realization that Peter Pan, in the first version of Peter Pan I saw,  was played by Mary Martin (MARY Martin), I could now wonder about my inattention to Mary’s ankles. How could I have missed them? “The dirt which had been lying on the floor of the trap for the last twenty-five years was being kicked out into the road by a small foot with an attractive ankle” (CCF, p.20) Attentiveness meet Tentativeness (an anagram courtesy of wiktionary) Ankles, or rather the lack of them, might be the culprit, the source of things which make me me.


So, perhaps, a little something about the book. Something which previous Brief reviews would have commenced with “Briefly:”. <—is not a rage against PoMo punctuation, minimal or maximal.


So, perhaps, a little something about the book: I have to tell you, this one is just kinda magical. Does Austen do it for you? (She does me—words I never thought I’d use, when considered in the light of pervious previous comments above) Does Emily Brontë liven your heart? CCF is Austen-y. It’s Brontë-y. It’s Austen & Brontë, on the rocks, with a splash of bitters. The text has the familiar “just between us” feel—comfortable and familiar. (“Flora gave her a copy of The Higher Common Sense with a suitable message written inside the cover.” Suitable. I like that. Free indirect style. It’s the little things, right?)


I ask you, Is this not the image of a competent writer, one who one simply knows can be relied upon to provide an entirely suitable text?


Entirely suitable. Now, off to order  Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm as I would, eventually, like to find out why the cows' body parts were occasionally lost and if the sheep died.