Monday, 16 June 2014

Barbara Pym

I have been wanting to put this quote from "Jane and Prudence" into my blog for a while, to show how funny she is.

Hopefully this does not require a Spoiler Alert.  I don't know that we read, and re-read, Pym for the plot as such.   In this extract Jane meets Prudence's latest boyfriend, and finds a suitable quotation.  Or is it?

Here is Prudence talking to Jane about the young man she is about to introduce to her:


"'Oh, there's nothing negative about it. Quite the reverse!  We shall probably hurt each other very much before its finished,but we're doomed really.'  There was a smile on Prudence's face as she said these words, for the experience of being in love with such an ordinary young man as Geoffrey Manifold was altogether new and delightful to her.

'Therefore the Love which us doth join
   But Fate so enviously debars
 Is the conjunction of the Mind
   And Opposition of the Stars,'

said Jane.  'Is that it, perhaps?'  How much easier it was when one could find a quotation to light up the way; even Prudence seemed satisfied with Marvell's summing-up of the situation.

As they approached the building where Prudence's office  was, Jane noticed a thin, dark young man wearing a rain-coat standing in the doorway, and Prudence introduced him.  And so Jane shook hands with Geoffrey as she had shaken hands with Arthur some months ago, and was amazed, as she had been then at the wonder of love.  What object could Fate possibly have in enviously debarring love between Prudence, and such an ordinary and colourless young man as this appeared to be?"


It's overcast this morning and the Channel is calm.  I am extraordinarily and worryingly tired.  There are so many things I want and need to do, but am only managing the basics.  I have just parcelled up another Butterfly Report - a request from Audrey - Butterfly Audrey - and that has reminded me that I must ring up non-Butterfly Audrey today re her books.  The meeting yesterday was lovely - but I did little else all day.

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