Wednesday, September 21, 2016

With greater intensity

"The other Dona was dead too, and this woman who had taken her place was someone who 
lived with greater intensity, with greater depth, bringing to every thought and every 
action a new richness of feeling, and an appreciation, half sensuous in its quality, 
of all the little things that came to make her day."
(Du Maurier, Daphne: Frenchman's Creek, Penguin, Harmondsworth1962, p.96)

The joys of reading a book that someone lent you ("I thought you should read this"), the randomness of it - and to be reading it outside, in the last squeezes of summer sunshine. It just occurred to me how fitting it is to be reading about pirates when I have gone back to the illustrations for the children's poem about pirates (and maybe not a coincidence that the author of said poem lent me this?).

I cannot believe that I haven't read of all Daphne du Maurier' books yet. Frenchman's Creek reminds me why I love her writing so much. This is a romance-adventure story with a philosophical slant, about what it feels like to escape one's 'normal' life and its accompanying duties, and it contains all the elegance and dreamlike quality I am familiar with from Rebecca. The book is beautifully evocative in its description of the sea and Cornwall, and its two central characters are unforgettable.

Maybe I have been trying to make her books 'stretch', save some of her work for an undefined later. With Jean Rhys I gorged on all her writing within a short space of time and then felt bereft when it hit me that there wouldn't be any more. But then there are so many other writers still to discover and way more books I want to read than will fit into a lifetime, so from now on I shall just read, read, read.

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