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Tony Grist

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And No Man's Wit: Rose Macaulay [Oct. 28th, 2010|10:04 am]
Tony Grist
In Spain, on the eve of the Second World War, a group of English lefties and a right-wing Spanish aristocrat travel from town to town in search of an International Brigader who disappeared at the end of the Civil War. Very little happens, there is a great deal of entertaining talk about politics, history and geography and- towards the end, suddenly, surprisingly- a profoundly moving eruption of what we would now call magical realism.

Rose Macaulay published her first novel in 1906 and her last in 1956.  She was considerably more famous in her lifetime than she is now. A while back I posted it as my opinion that novelists lose the plot once they turn sixty. And now along comes Macaulay to prove me wrong. Her early novels are excellent, but the last three are masterpieces. This is the first of them. It came out in 1940 and - as far as I can make out- has never been reprinted- which is shocking. The other two are The World My Wilderness and The Towers of Trebizond. 
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Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2010-10-28 07:05 pm (UTC)
I must try to get them from the library. I remember being intrigued by the Towers of Trebizond.
How are things with the house - it sounds like major major upheaval?
We visited the House of Commons on Tuesday and sat near the Chancellor later in the day. Ian didn't like his wallet being too close to little George!
Do hope you are both well...
Love Jenny x
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-29 08:08 am (UTC)
The workmen are finishing off the first week's work. They've completed the structural alterations to the kitchen. There's still a lot more to come.

Did you go to parliament as tourists or did you have business there? The House of Commons reminds me of Lancing- all grim and gothic with cabbage smells in the corridors. I think it's a horrible place.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-10-29 06:52 pm (UTC)
We went as visitors. Ian wanted to research the place because he is hoping to run Suffragette walks. Yes, it feels like I imagine a public school to be - somewhere school-institutionalised boys go to to feel at home in their adult life.
Glad you have the weekend free... Yippee!
love Jenny x
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-30 08:20 am (UTC)
The Palace of Westminster encourages our politicians to be cliquey and juvenile. We should move them out of it- into a building with glass walls- like the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff- and turn it into a museum or something.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-10-29 07:23 pm (UTC)
I loved Towers of Trebizond - although it has some very black aspects
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-29 08:52 pm (UTC)
It's a very sad book- and hilariously funny. I'm re-reading it now.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-10-30 08:00 am (UTC)
one of the few of my favourites that I don't own - must remedy that
Please come to my virtual birthday party - today - in my journal!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-10-30 08:11 am (UTC)
Thank you for the invitation. I'll certainly drop by. Happy birthday!
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