Rebecca West Summary ò PDF DOC TXT eBook or Kindle ePUB free

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Rebecca West Summary ò PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ´ Celebrated novelist acerbic critic and journalist without peer friend and lover of the great and gifted social and sexual rebel observer of modern history's turning points Rebecca West led one of the great lives of the twentieth century In this first fuOf Rebecca West the widely admired biographer Victoria Glendinning captures that life in all its disturbing brilliance and haunting pain. Some interesting light is shed here on West's approach to fiction writing as when Glendinning notes that West said that she wrote her novels to find out what she felt not to display what she knew and demonstrates the effect this had on The Judge which started as one book focused on the titular judge and became a different one altogether because of West's decision to start the book by going backwards in time to focus on the childhood of the judge's mistress and then to focus on the mistress's mother I also appreciated her explanation of her decision not to compress the novel in its final form telling a friend that she could tolerate any criticism that didn't call it unrestrained and too exuberant; I don't see why you can't have rich complex beauty I hate the indiscriminating pursuit of concentration Very interesting as well is the description of her writing process generally Her notebooks were full of paragraphs and passages repeated almost word for word She wrote as if her writing were music tested over and over again for harmony for phrasing for dynamics with herself as composer performer and criticThe most appealing parts of this book are often excerpted lines of West's it was always disappointing to check the endnotes and find that a particular uote came from an archival letter that might well not be publicly available in published form This cannot necessarilybe said to be the fault of Glendinning although other aspects perhaps can; her telling of West's life can rely explicitly or implicitly too heavily on West's version of events but crucially her biography is an accumulation of incident that form a narrative but never exactly seem to resolve into a whole West's career and personal life are portrayed as being on two largely separate tracks and only occasional indication is given as to how they intersected Because of this there is the sense of a timeline or two rather than a story and as a result I didn't come away with the sense of an understanding or even a picture of Rebecca West as a personThis too may not be entirely Glendinning's fault; she discloses in the introduction that West left a signed reuest that two biographies of her should be written a short one by myself and a 'full' biography by Stanley Olson As a result Glendinning concentrated on the early and middle years since to give eual weight to every phase would have made too long a book noting that there is room not only for a detailed biography in the future but for studies of aspects of her life and work which this first biography has not been able to cover fully Glendinning constrained by the length dictated by West and perhaps comforted by Olson's forthcoming work still produced a helpful guide to the facts of West's life; Olson for his part died of a stroke six years after West at age 42 having not begun writing the biography

Victoria Glendinning á 2 Read

Celebrated novelist acerbic critic and journalist without peer friend and lover of the great and gifted social and sexual rebel observer. It was about twenty years ago that I decided to move on from reading mostly trashy novels and became an autodidact in the field of literature It was a good decision and set me on a fabulous adventure Every now and then however I would get in over my head and fall into the abyss of abysmal ignorance Such has been my experience with Rebecca WestPossibly due to a new reissue in 2007 by Penguin Classics of her magnum opus Black Lamb and Grey Falcon possibly due to my frustrated efforts to understand the Bosnian War I obtained a copy of the book; the 1982 Penguin edition I began to read and was defeated before I even made it through the 23 page Prologue What I retained was a mysterious curiosity about the author It was clear to me that here was a genius at workAbout a year later I came across a copy of her novel The Fountain Overflows I was browsing through a used bookstore oh how I miss those days and picked up the book for 49 cents Here was a book of only 313 pages instead of 1150 and a novel at thatI read it and was transported It still stands out in my memory as one of the best books I have ever read The writing is astonishing and the story of the family somehow heartbreaking and soothing at the same time After finishing the novel I made another stab at Black Lamb and Grey Falcon but again was overwhelmed though at least I recognized my trouble I lacked the mental geography for a place once known as Yugoslavia a big black hole also containing the history of Europe before World War I That was about five years agoI kept on reading my odd mix of those old books from the 1940s and 1950s for My Big Fat Reading Project contemporary fiction Will Durant's Story of Civilization series not to mention all the books I might otherwise have never read except for the many reading groups I attend The reading pattern of an autodidact indeedI've also been reading the Blog of a Bookslut for several years Jessa Crispin is a sort of modern Rebecca West who never fails to alert me to books not mentioned on most other bookish sites Last fall she mentioned a biography of Dame Rebecca by the acclaimed literary biographer Victoria Glendinning I procured a used paperback and read it as part of my end of year reading spreeAt last my eyes were opened Yes Rebecca West was a genius She wrote prodigiously for her entire life book reviews journalism novels and non fiction books on many topics She made her living as a writer and a good living it was She was the lover of H G Wells by whom she had son and suffered mightily in her attempts to raise the child while maintaining her career She was the personification of the trap in which most creative and intelligent women of the 20th century livedGlendinning portrays Rebecca West as both an agent for change and a victim of change In a very early article 'Things Men Never Know' she described how girls were reproached for having weaker bodies weaker brains weaker wills and weaker emotions than boys but if a girl decided to put this right and to become strong and clever and brave then she was told she had lost her 'real value' and that no one would love her Introduction p xvI began writing this review on January 9th the birthday of Simone de Beauvoir Rebecca West was born in December 1892 For me it shakes out like this Rebecca West could have been my grandmother; Simone de Beauvoir could have been my mother Neither of them were uite mother material and neither have I been but I am talking about a philosophical maternal lineage It gives me great comfort to claim these women as ancestors of my mind I am enriched encouraged and spurred on to make the most of what gifts they have bestowed upon me in the years remaining to meI will read Black Lamb and Grey Falcon in 2014

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Rebecca WestOf modern history's turning points Rebecca West led one of the great lives of the twentieth century In this first full scale biography. 3 12 stars