Thursday, 21 August 2014

Dorothy Whipple

Or I could have called this blog:  "No Caravans", as the gypsies seem to have left. They stayed a couple of weeks last time. Its a shame, as I was hoping to get to their doors next week.   Went to Rustington - shopped, and tackled a steep flight of stairs.

I have just been re-reading Dorothy Whipple and can't recommend her books enough.  "They Were Sisters" and "Someone at a Distance" especially.  Good short stories too.  Bea, the ones you read here were "After Tea and Other Stories".   Apparently she wrote 3 volumes of short stories, and I hope one day to find the other two.

This is an excellent review of Sisters:

She also wrote a memoir: "The Other Day".  It ends with Dorothy still a child and I don't know that she wrote any more. But, maybe, one day, I will come across Part 2 in a second hand bookshop somewhere.

The book ends like this:

"It is winter.  There are no cows to get into the wood. There is almost no wood.  It has thinned away almost to nothing.  The grey levels of the lake are but sparsely barred by naked trees.
  In the field there is a ring of bitten turnips and the sheep limp forlornly in the frozen grass.
  But in the garden one snowdrop is out, praying under the veronica bush.
  Spring will come back.  Not - to speak in metaphor - to me.  But spring itself will come, and that is enough."

She loved the beauty of the creation - she wonderfully evokes the seasons - and it will all come back to her when Jehovah wakes her from the sleep of death.

Will she write more novels then?      Who knows?    At the moment, we really have only one plot. Things go wrong and they get put right again.  It might be that misunderstandings part the lovers until the last few pages - or that someone is murdered and, in the last chapter, the murderer is unmasked and brought to justice - and so on.  And in these post modern times, when we have lost hope, things just go wrong, and they don't get sorted.

But its basically the same plot.   Can we imagine any other story?  That is the story we, the children of Adam, are living.  Things went terribly wrong in Eden - we are waiting for the Kingdom of God to put them right again.  Which is why we say the Lord's prayer.

When Paradise is restored there will be new things. Things we can't even dream of now.  And so perhaps new stories.

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