Thursday, May 13, 2010

What I Meant to Say Was....

A letter from Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf:

1st September 1939
Partridge-shooting begins

Virginia darling,
Harold came back. So my Newhaven scheme fell through. I had meant to ring you up and ask if Nigel and I might come to luncheon tomorrow, but my best-laid plans have gone agley and seem likely to go agley-er and agley-er for some years to come. So what can one say? I know you must feel all that I feel, and that millions feel. I keep thinking of Vanessa, with Quentin as a young man and Julian already gone. Perhaps she will now not feel so bitter about Julian's lost life, because he did at least sacrifice voluntarily for a cause he believed in, which is nobler than being conscripted against his will into a general holocaust.
I do sympathise with you in the minor but still exasperating worry of removing from Tavistock to Mecklenburgh Square.
Well, - there it is, - and I must now go and arrange to darken our windows. Luckily there is a certain amount of comic relief always - and I find myself still able to laugh over ludicrous things which occur. This is called "Keeping the brave British smile" by the Daily Sketch, but I find myself keeping it at moments without conscious effort. I wonder how much longer we shall keep it?


I do hope Potto doesn't mind the Second German War too much.
Shall you stay at Rodmell? It would be folly to go to London unnecessarily.

In 1946 Faulkner specifically named Herman Melville as one of the four greatest influences on his work. Yet because no one has shown more than a possible passing knowledge by Faulkner - especially, early in his career - of Melville's writings other than Moby-Dick, commentators have been handicapped in their comparisons of these two literary titans. While the more marked similarities in style and thought have been noted, relatively little has been made of Melville's role as source and inspiration; such analyses are restricted principally to Moby-Dick and the later Faulkner. Since influence presumes awareness, this neglect is understandable.
- Ronald Wesley Hoag, Expanding the Influence: Faulkner and Four Melville Tales

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