Hannibal was a brilliant military mind emerging from the fringes to nearly take down Rome. Margaret Anderson was a small-town girl who managed to center herself at the heart of modernism. The only discernible difference lies in the number of elephants used.
From ‘The Dead Ladies Project’
A recent read that I enjoyed. Rebecca West and Stravinsky appear in it, along with William James, Nora Barnacle and Jean Rhys being irritating. There are some excellent quotes, and arabesques across the chapters of lives, times and memories.
“Trieste has become boring,” Magris tells me, and you can feel it in the quiet of the evening. It’s the boringness of a morning spent in bed with a cup of tea and a book you’re not entirely engaged with…The boredom of a long walk to a place you know well, with a plentiful supply of water and a pocket full of almonds. It is a boredom of adequacy.
“Thank god for the boredom,” he says after a pause.
In each chapter, Crispin finds something to mirror her mental state through the city she is visiting, or a wider lesson to draw from her fellow émigrés, triggering intense wanderlust.
“The most striking thing about Soldat..is that every instrument is allowed to be itself. The cornet is not trying to be an oboe. He doesn’t hammer the bassoon down to fit the part of a flute. Nothing is being used as a poor substitute for things he really wishes he had…He forgives the clarinet for not being a cello. We must all forgive our clarinet for not being a cello.”