Elizabeth Hardwick Quotes (displaying: 1 - 20 of 20 quotes)
Nevertheless the severance is rather casual and it drops a stain on our admiration of Nora. Ibsen has put the leaving of her children on the same moral and emotional level as the leaving of her husband and we cannot, in our hearts, asssent to that. It is not only the leaving but the way the play does not have time for suffering, changes of heart. Ibsen has been too much a man in the end. He has taken the man's practice, if not his stated belief, that where self-realization is concerned children shall not be an impediment.
In this couple defects were multiplied, as if by a dangerous doubling; weakness fed upon itself without a counterstrength and they were trapped, defaults, mutually committed, left holes everywhere in their lives. When you read their letters to each other it is often necessary to consult the signature in order to be sure which one has done the writing. Their tone about themselves, their mood, is the fatal one of nostalgia--a passive, consuming, repetitive poetry. Sometimes one feels even its most felicitious and melodious moments are fixed, rigid in experession, and that their feelings have gradually merged with their manner, fallen under the domination of style. Even in their suffering, so deep and beyond relief, their tonal memory controls the words, shaping them into the Fitzgerald tune, always so regretful, regressive, and touched with a careful felicity.
The 'swapping' is interesting. This practice one had thought confined to certain earnest Americans in the smaller, more tedious cities, to those wives and husbands who had read sex manuals and radically wanted more of life even if it had to be, like pizza, brought in from around the corner--all of this was accomplished by Bloomsbury in the lightest, most spontaneous and good-natured manner.
The large, gaping flaws in the construction of the stories--mad wives in the attic, strange apparitions in Belgium--are a representation of the life she could not face; these gothic subterfuges represent the mind at a breaking point, frantic to find any way out. If the flaws are only to be attributed to the practicce of popular fiction of the time, we cannot then explain the large amount of genuine feeling that goes into them. They stand for the hidden wishes of an intolerable life.
I often think about bachelors, a life of pure decision, of thoughtful calculations, of every inclination honored. They go about on their own, nicely accompanied in their singularity by the companion of possibility. For cannot any man, young or old, rich or poor, turn a few corners and bump into marriage?