Posted by Cassia on October 30, 1997 at 16:41:40:
In response to What Bea Knows, written by Karen R on October 30, 1997 at 15:38:49
I don't think that everything relates to sex, especially as it relates to Ellen's motivations for carefully crafting a household journal that established her role relative to the great man that was her husband.
I believe that she also didn't want anyone else to know Ash as well as she did. Because she doesn't enjoy the sexual side of life, she doesn't feel that she can be jealous in that field but she may be jealous of everything else. The bafflement is her way of screening the man she thought of as hers and she wasn't about to share their life with anyone, especially someone she doesn't know. Ellen, despite her thinking herself as fragile, is a tough old bird. She'll set screens and lull her reader nearly to sleep with her writing but for her any revelation would be a loss.
] Regarding Beatrice and her understanding of Ash. She really understood him and Ellen. "Ash told her and she heard him." It was a shame that she was not allowed to write her dissertation on Ask to Embla. As she wrote in her Finals paper: "There are poets whose love poems seem to be concerned...with true conversation between men and women." Later she comments that "Reading those poems...offered her a painful and as it seemed illicit glimpse of a combination of civilized talk and raw passion..." There is another word that could be interchanged for conversation in this context, but is it allowed here?
Something I been mulling over ever since I took part in the debate on whether Darcy knew Elizabeth could hear him or not seems appropriate here: I've always felt that Darcy could not see Elizabeth when she was sitting by watching the others dance. That only in motion could she capture something in his imagination and become a specific woman rather than just another young lady. Maybe Ash expirenced the same kind of shock when he met Christabel. He saw her and could just imagine what life with her would be all in a single moment, their minds meeting and mingling to become one.
And yet another parallel: Beatrice and Val. For different reasons both of them don't pursue their life's work. Bea, because in her time women were happy to take any academic leavings as long as they could stay attached to the Univers(e)ity. Val, because her love of Roland even over powered her love of Graves.
Has anyone read any Barbara Pym? Beatrice Nest reminds me of one of Pym's characters grown old.
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