Strange you didn't ask why??
Posted by Karen R on November 05, 1997 at 19:22:55:
In response to Karen, Karen, Karen, written by Cassia on November 04, 1997 at 15:47:51
Actually, this time around I find I don't like Ash and Maud's thoughts about how could a man write letters to his wife like that when he's away with another woman struck me as very duplicitous. As I've been doing my own "Line by Line," a la Roland, these little things have been popping up at me. He says one thing and does another. He was initially attracted by her words, but within a short nanosecond he's on to some other, more physical area.
I definitely felt the same as you all did until this reading. I also saw something on the great Romantic poets (Byron and Shelley), who both left their first wives and lived with them on the continent. These women were intelligent as well, e.g., Mary Godwin Shelley. If Ash really loved her, that's what should have happened. But he never even would let it. He told her right off the bat that it wasn't going anywhere. Oh, yes, what's that about love can't live if like a flame it doesn't have any air (in his final scrap of a letter).
One of the worst things about him is that while he keeps talking about her mind, he is making thrusts at invading her private space, but he wants to be invited over (how proper!!) It then moves quickly into the realm of the physical and he initiates each and every step.
But then, the worst thing he did was betray he. He said that talking about her would be a betrayal. And then what does he do? Within a year, he feels he must unburden himself to his wife. He betrays his "grand love."
In that last letter, he is so analytical about what happened to their relationship. But even he uses terms like duplicity. He misses the point of love; that it is not rational; that it cannot be analyzed. He's a pretend Romantic, who cannot think of a coup de foudre (or thunderbolt), but instead calls it a force galvanic--so scientific.
No backbone--at all. I've known men who have cheated on their wives for long periods of time. They do it because one provides something that the other does not. Ellen had intelligence, she could have discussed the great issues with him. The only thing she could not give him was sex. I think back on a great love--Isak Dinesen and Finch Hatton, and as I recall, Denis would not let her talk of the daily trials and tribulations of running a farm. He only wanted to her thoughts, her imaginings, etc. Ash and Christabel could have continued to have a wonderful relationship through their letters.
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