Monday, February 16

from Jacob's Room


I had a Stendhal Syndrome moment when reading this passage from the first chapter of Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room. She dizzies my head the same way Joyce did.

"Such were Betty Flanders’s letters to Captain Barfoot—many–paged, tear–stained. Scarborough is seven hundred miles from Cornwall: Captain Barfoot is in Scarborough: Seabrook is dead. Tears made all the dahlias in her garden undulate in red waves and flashed the glass house in her eyes, and spangled the kitchen with bright knives, and made Mrs. Jarvis, the rector’s wife, think at church, while the hymn–tune played and Mrs. Flanders bent low over her little boys’ heads, that marriage is a fortress and widows stray solitary in the open fields, picking up stones, gleaning a few golden straws, lonely, unprotected, poor creatures. Mrs. Flanders had been a widow for these two years."

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