Well, I’m working my way steadily through Dorothy Richardson’s “Pilgrimage” sequence. Things have been getting steadily more confusing, and I know at least one of my fellow pilgrims is contemplating picking up a biographical work about the author to try to work things out. I’m not sure about that, given my subscription to the ‘death of the author’ concept, but it is all a bit obscure … News of another challenge below, anyway!
Dorothy Richardson – “Interim”
(From lovely Julie, last year)
The fifth volume of “Pilgrimage” and the last in “Pilgrimage 2” – given that we have eight more books in two volumes, I’m guessing that means nothing else will be as long as the last part, and that demonstrates the way I’m Really Trying Not To Think about these books. I am trying, but I did keep putting this off, and when I did start it, I remembered being confused at the end of the last one and was still confused now, as Miriam, our heroine, seemed to be staying with some random people in a different house for Christmas – not her exciting Bohemian friends in their rooms, not her family??? Anyway, then we were back in London. Miriam’s sister Eve and the dreaded Miss Dear loomed out of the mists, seemingly pushed around the map by Richardson with her thing you push things around on maps with in war films, just to fit the story, which was a shame, as everything else has felt organic. Anyway, she buys a bicycle, goes to some lectures, plays the piano, as there has been some mysterious change in the arrangements of the house that mean she can use the room it’s in now (bit lost there!) and flirts with some Canadian doctors. She also makes an unfortunate connection which gets her gossiped about nastily, and it’s really only here that real life and contemporary morals seem to infringe on Miriam’s wandery life with a big, hard knock.
She also seems to give an early description of depression: nothingness, being nothing, etc. Was I the only one to spot that? A bit reminiscent of “Mrs Dalloway”, perhaps. Anyway, my favourite bits remained her walks around London, and I did also like the descriptions of her room and her thoughts about and relationship with her sisters, however conveniently they are moved in and out of the narrative. So I am going to persist on to the next one …
I’m currently still enjoying good old Roy Jenkins, he’s nearly married now and about to launch into politics. Tonight, I’m starting on my sadly lagging #Woolfalong read – in March and April it’s been Beginnings and Endings, and although Ali’s already put together a round-up post, I’m hoping I’ll be able to sneak onto it.
I’ve got “Between the Acts” and “The Voyage Out” on my Kindle, but I fancy the former most, and then I’ll hopefully get “Night and Day” in, too. I really don’t think I’ve read either of those before, shockingly! May and June is Short Stories, and I won (hooray) Ali’s giveaway copy of “Kew Gardens” and have treated myself to “Mrs Dalloway’s Party” (pictured), which I do have to say is slightly less substantial than I’d expected … but anyway, I’m sure to manage those in two months, right????
What are you reading? If you’re Richardsoning along with me, feel free to post links to your reviews of Interim below. I do love the interaction on this blog – my work blog gets lots of questions about Word and transcription, but when I want people to interact and answer each other’s business questions, they never do! So … happy commenting!