15 February, 2006

A rediscovered modernist

I have discovered a wonderful author called Dorothy Richardson, by accident in a charity shop. I picked up three old Virago Women's Classics, and read a few pages and was gripped. The books are called Pilgrimage 1, 2 and 3, and are the collected short novels all with the same set of characters. There's a fourth one which wasn't in the charity shop.

The books so far is charming and beautiful. Like another favourite author of mine, Olivia Manning, she has an ability to preserve a moment so that you are there with her: not just in her surroundings, but in her mood. She also reproduces the fleeting, changing moods of early adulthood very well: the central character is a girl of seventeen who is about to start working in a German finishing school and the way she veers from feeling terribly happy to crippled with nervousness is very familiar from when I was that age.

Also there's something very nice about discovering an author for yourself. It's such a change to read something just because it looks good, not because you feel you ought or someone has recommended it. More on this when I finish it...

3 comments:

problemshelved said...

You're not very good at updating your blog, are you?

woodscolt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
woodscolt said...

I just haven't read much recently.