some thoughts about the letters, and a few questions. And no spoilers
Posted by Kate on October 29, 1997 at 07:04:05:
Firstly, the letters that we have are not complete, they are an edited version...
The reason I make this assumption are the two extracts from letters that appear earlier in the book, in Chapter 8, one from Ash and one from Christabel. These are actually both very important letters. His is about love, and hers is the riddle of the egg. Where do they fit into the correspondence? His obviously later, but after they have met or not? Hers seems to come earlier, when she is explaining her need for independence and autonomy. And yet the correspondence as produced in chapter 10 seems so seamless, it's hard to know where these missing pieces drop in.
I was struck by Ash's description of the moment when he suddenly SAW Christabel. She had said to him that she was writing a poem, something people obviously told him a lot (an occupational hazard I would think) and he gives a stock reply and then suddenly he is transfixed
"suddenly you spoke -- of the power of vers and the Life of the Language--and quite forgot to look shy or apologeticm but looked, forgive me, magnificent-- it is a moment I shall not easily forget while this machine is to me"
It's interesting that, like Darcy he seems to have been attracted by both her intelligence and her "fine eyes"... and that her intelligence seems to have gain his attention for her appearance, perhaps in the same way.
Also, does anyone know what "while this machine is to me" means?
Another question. What do you all make of the "vision" in Richmond Park?
Another thought, which will really be for later when we discuss the poetry. He says after he has been to visit her house that he is writing a poem about a dragon and that "It is to do with you-- as everything I do these days, or think, or see or breathe is to do with you -- but it is not addressed to you -- those poems are to come." It will be interesting to see if we can see how the poetry after her is affected by this "to do with you"-ness. Also, do we have any of the poetry addressed to her? The scholars speak of "Ask to Embla" as his great romantic poem, but it doesn't seem to appear here anywhere.
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