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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Max Richter - Woolf Works

Do site da Les Inrockuptibles:

Max Richter, c’est une série d’albums limpides (The Blue Notebooks, Songs From Before, Sleep…) et de BO parfaites (The Leftovers, Le Congrès, Black Mirror…). C’est aussi une collab de temps en temps, dont une nouvelle avec le chorégraphe Wayne McGregor (après Infra et Future Self) qui adapte, du 21 janvier au 14 février à Londres, un ballet basé sur trois romans de Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando, Les Vagues). Max Richter en signe donc la partition musicale, à retrouver le 27 janvier en format album et sous le titre Three Worlds : Music from Woolf Works.

L’extrait dévoilé dans lecteur ci-dessus, accompagné par une vidéo en noir et blanc, laisse deviner le genre d’ambiance à prévoir – du pur Max Richter. Lequel dit ceci dans un communiqué :

“Le travail de Virginia Woolf (…) est très difficile à résumer. Il est profond, visionnaire, audacieux, expérimental, mais parfois ludique, personnel, intime et toujours profondément humain. Son sujet est une sorte de recherche pure sur la nature du langage, de la personnalité, de la voix, et sur la question d’être soi-même. (…) C’est ce qui m’a attiré de manière obsessionnelle dans son écriture lorsque j’avais 20 ans.”

Book Fetish

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Drawn by the distinct, abstract and fluid style of illustrator Aino-Maija Metsola, Vintage Classics commissioned the Helsinki-based designer to work on 6 books by Virginia Woolf.

Here, Aino-Maija expresses her thoughts around working on the cover:

‘I wanted to find a way to translate Woolf’s style of writing and the impressions created in the text into pictures and to discover the atmosphere in each text. Woolf’s writing is very intense and innovative, which was very inspiring for me as an illustrator.

Painting with watercolours enabled me to create pictures that work well with Woolf’s writing. I wanted to use strong colours and combine them with fluid painting that is not completely abstract to give room for interpretation. I’m interested in making pictures with a strong, mysterious atmosphere. I also love playing with colours, and the endless possibilities that they give.

The best moments in my work are the ones when I feel I have made something that is both personal for me and relevant to others. That is not always so easy, but I hope these covers are one of those projects.’

Orlando, A Room of One’s Own, To the Lighthouse, The Waves, Selected Diaries and Mrs Dalloway are published by Vintage Classics on October 6th.

Virginia and Vita

From Sackville-West to Woolf

 

Milan [posted in Trieste]
Thursday, January 21, 1926

 

I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your un-dumb letters, would never write so elementary phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it would lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is just really a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any the more by giving myself away like this—But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it …

 

Please forgive me for writing such a miserable letter.

 

V.

 

From Woolf to Sackville-West

 

52 Tavistock Square
Tuesday, January 26

 

Your letter from Trieste came this morning—But why do you think I don't feel, or that I make phrases? "Lovely phrases" you say which rob things of reality. Just the opposite. Always, always, always I try to say what I feel. Will you then believe that after you went last Tuesday—exactly a week ago—out I went into the slums of Bloomsbury, to find a barrel organ. But it did not make me cheerful. Also I bought the Daily Mail—but the picture is not very helpful. And ever since, nothing important has happened—Somehow its dull and damp. I have been dull; I have missed you. I do miss you. I shall miss you. And if you don't believe it, your a longeared owl and ass. Lovely phrases?

 

You were sitting on the floor this time last week, where Grizzle is now. Somehow, as you get further away, I become less able to visualize you; and think of you with backgrounds of camels and pyramids which make me a little shy. Then you will be on board ship: Captains and gold lace: portholes, planks—Then Bombay where I must have had many cousins and uncles. Then Gertrude Bell—Baghdad. But we'll leave that, and concentrate upon the present. What have I done? Imagine a poor wretch sent back to school. I have been very industrious, no oranges picked off the top of a Christmas tree; no glittering bulbs. For one thing, you must have disorganised my domesticity, so that directly you went, a torrent of duties discharged themselves on top of me: you cant think how many mattresses and blankets new sheets pillowcases, petticoats and dustpans I haven't had to buy. People say one can run out to Heals and buy a mattress: I tell you it ruins a day; 2 days: 3 days—Every time I get inside a shop all the dust in my soul rises, and how can I write next day? Moreover, somehow my incompetence, and shopkeepers not believing in me, harasses me into a nagging harpy. At last, at last,—but why should I go through it again? I sold 4 mattresses for 16 shillings; and have written I think 20 pages. To tell you the truth, I have been very excited, writing. I have never written so fast [To the Lighthouse]. Give me no illness for a year, 2 years, and I would write 3 novels straight off. It may be illusion, but (here I am rung up: Grizzle barks: settles in again—it is a soft blue evening and the lights are being lit in Southampton Row: I may tell you that when I saw crocuses in the Sqre yesterday, I thought May: Vita.) What was I saying? Oh only that I think I can write now, never before—an illusion which attends me always for 50 pages. But its true I write quick—all in a splash; then feel, thank God, thats over. But one thing—I will not let you make me such an egoist. After all, why don't we talk about your writing? Why always mine, mine, mine? For this reason, I expect—that after all you're abundant in so many ways, and I a mere pea tied to a stick.

 

(Do you see how closely I am writing? That is because I want to say a great many things, yet not to bore you, and I think, if I write very close, Vita won't see how long this letter is, and she won't be bored) Have I seen anyone? Yes, a great many people, but by way of business mostly—Oh the grind of the Press has been rather roaring in my ears. So many manuscripts to read, poems to set up, and letters to write, and Doris Daglish to tea—A poor little shifty shabby shuffling housemaid, who ate a hunk of cake, and had the incredible defiance and self confidence which is partly lack of Education; partly what she thinks genius, and I a very respectablevivacious vulgar brain. "But Mrs Woolf, what I want to ask you is—have I in your opinion enough talent to devote my life entirely to literature?" Then it comes out she has an invalid father to keep, and not a halfpenny in the world. Leonard, after an hour of this, advised her, in his most decided voice, to become a Cook. That set her off upon genius and fiction and hope and ambition and sending novels to Tom Eliot and so—and so. Off she went, to Wandsworth; and we are to read her essay on Pope. Raymond I've seen: Clive and Mary. Siegfried Sassoon, Dadie and my French widow [Gwen Raverat].

 

Now Vita's getting bored in Bombay; but its a bald prosaic place, full of apes and rocks, I think: please tell me; you cant think how, being a clever woman, as we admit, I make every fragment you tell me bloom and blossom in my mind.

 

As for the people I've seen, I've fallen in love with none—but thats not exactly my line. Did you guess that? I'm not cold; not a humbug; not weakly; not sentimental. What I am; I want you to tell me. Write, dearest Vita, the letters you make up in the train. I will answer everything.

 

I'm going to have a little dramatic society—I mean a flashy actress came to see me, who having had her heart blighted, completely, entirely, irretrievably, has most unexpectedly got work, and says will I come and see her behind the scenes—I like the astonishing profusion of these poor creatures—all painted, glittering and unreal; with the minds of penny whistles; all desperate, what with being out of work, or in love: some have illegitimate children; one died on Sunday, and another is ill with typhoid. They think me a grotesque, semi-human gargoyle; screwed up like a devil in a Cathedral; and then we have tea, in some horrid purlieus of Soho, and they think this frightfully exciting—my unscrewing my legs and talking like a book. But it won't do for long. Its a snobbery of mine to adorn every society except my own.

 

Now I must finish, for I have to do my lecture for the school at Hayes Common on Saturday. Mary offers to lend me her motor: but no; I wont. I want Vita's motor; I want to be nicely treated by her; and I shant be.

 

Couldn't you write me lots more letters and post them at odd stations as you pass through?

 

But of course (to return to your letter) I always knew about your standoffishness. Only I said to myself, I insist upon kindness. With this aim in view, I came to Long Barn. Open the top button of your jersey and you will see, nestling inside, a lively squirrel, with the most inquisitive habits, but a dear creature all the same—

 

Your Virginia

 

Are you perfectly well? Tell me.

Have You Ever Heard Virginia Woolf Speak?

What follows is the only known surviving recording of Virginia Woolf, part of a BBC radio broadcast from 1937. The talk is titled “Craftsmanship.”

…Words, English words, are full of echoes, of memories, of associations. They have been out and about, on people's lips, in their houses, in the streets, in the fields, for so many centuries. And that is one of the chief difficulties in writing them today – that they are stored with other meanings, with other memories, and they have contracted so many famous marriages in the past. The splendid word "incarnadine," for example – who can use that without remembering "multitudinous seas"? In the old days, of course, when English was a new language, writers could invent new words and use them. Nowadays it is easy enough to invent new words – they spring to the lips whenever we see a new sight or feel a new sensation – but we cannot use them because the English language is old. You cannot use a brand new word in an old language because of the very obvious yet always mysterious fact that a word is not a single and separate entity, but part of other words. Indeed it is not a word until it is part of a sentence. Words belong to each other, although, of course, only a great poet knows that the word "incarnadine" belongs to "multitudinous seas." To combine new words with old words is fatal to the constitution of the sentence. In order to use new words properly you would have to invent a whole new language; and that, though no doubt we shall come to it, is not at the moment our business. Our business is to see what we can do with the old English language as it is. How can we combine the old words in new orders so that they survive, so that they create beauty, so that they tell the truth? That is the question.

 

And the person who could answer that question would deserve whatever crown of glory the world has to offer. Think what it would mean if you could teach, or if you could learn the art of writing. Why, every book, every newspaper you'd pick up, would tell the truth, or create beauty. But there is, it would appear, some obstacle in the way, some hindrance to the teaching of words. For though at this moment at least a hundred professors are lecturing on the literature of the past, at least a thousand critics are reviewing the literature of the present, and hundreds upon hundreds of young men and women are passing examinations in English literature with the utmost credit, still – do we write better, do we read better than we read and wrote four hundred years ago when we were un-lectured, un-criticized, untaught? Is our modern Georgian literature a patch on the Elizabethan? Well, where then are we to lay the blame? Not on our professors; not on our reviewers; not on our writers; but on words. It is words that are to blame. They are the wildest, freest, most irresponsible, most un-teachable of all things. Of course, you can catch them and sort them and place them in alphabetical order in dictionaries. But words do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind. If you want proof of this, consider how often in moments of emotion when we most need words we find none. Yet there is the dictionary; there at our disposal are some half-a-million words all in alphabetical order. But can we use them? No, because words do not live in dictionaries, they live in the mind. Look once more at the dictionary. There beyond a doubt lie plays more splendid than Antony and Cleopatra; poems lovelier than the Ode to a Nightingale; novels beside which Pride and Prejudice or David Copperfield are the crude bunglings of amateurs. It is only a question of finding the right words and putting them in the right order. But we cannot do it because they do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind. And how do they live in the mind? Variously and strangely, much as human beings live, ranging hither and thither, falling in love, and mating together. It is true that they are much less bound by ceremony and convention than we are. Royal words mate with commoners. English words marry French words, German words, Indian words, Negro words, if they have a fancy. Indeed, the less we enquire into the past of our dear Mother English the better it will be for that lady's reputation. For she has gone a-roving, a-roving fair maid.

 

Thus to lay down any laws for such irreclaimable vagabonds is worse than useless. A few trifling rules of grammar and spelling is all the constraint we can put on them. All we can say about them, as we peer at them over the edge of that deep, dark and only fitfully illuminated cavern in which they live – the mind – all we can say about them is that they seem to like people to think before they use them, and to feel before they use them, but to think and feel not about them, but about something different. They are highly sensitive, easily made self-conscious. They do not like to have their purity or their impurity discussed. If you start a Society for Pure English, they will show their resentment by starting another for impure English – hence the unnatural violence of much modern speech; it is a protest against the puritans. They are highly democratic, too; they believe that one word is as good as another; uneducated words are as good as educated words, uncultivated words as good as cultivated words, there are no ranks or titles in their society. Nor do they like being lifted out on the point of a pen and examined separately. They hang together, in sentences, paragraphs, sometimes for whole pages at a time. They hate being useful; they hate making money; they hate being lectured about in public. In short, they hate anything that stamps them with one meaning or confines them to one attitude, for it is their nature to change.

 

Perhaps that is their most striking peculiarity – their need of change. It is because the truth they try to catch is many-sided, and they convey it by being many-sided, flashing first this way, then that. Thus they mean one thing to one person, another thing to another person; they are unintelligible to one generation, plain as a pikestaff to the next. And it is because of this complexity, this power to mean different things to different people, that they survive. Perhaps then one reason why we have no great poet, novelist or critic writing today is that we refuse to allow words their liberty. We pin them down to one meaning, their useful meaning, the meaning which makes us catch the train, the meaning which makes us pass the examination…

Virginia Woolf Goes to the Movies

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The New Republic’s creation coincided with the birth of the movies, and while we didn’t have a regular film critic in the early decades, we did have Virginia Woolf. In this iconic essay, originally titled “The Movies and Reality,” Woolf reflects on the potential and the shortcomings of visual storytelling, as well as the contrast between words and images. While she found many flaws in film, she noted that movies allow us “see life as it is when we have no part in it.” Woolf’s diaries reveal a keen interest in this new art form, citing visits to picture palaces and screenings of avant-garde works by René Claire and Vsevolod Pudovkin. Here she captures the heady early days of film—a year before the first talkie, The Jazz Singer, was to revolutionize the nascent medium once more. 

To mark its 100th anniversary, The New Republic is republishing a collection of its most memorable articles. This week's theme: Going to the movies.

This piece originally appeared at The New Republic on August 4, 1926.

People say that the savage no longer exists in us, that we are at the fag-end of civilization, that everything has been said already, and that it is too late to be ambitious. But these philosophers have presumably forgotten the movies. They have never seen the savages of the twentieth century watching the pictures. They have never sat themselves in front of the screen and thought how, for all the clothes on their backs and the carpets at their feet, no great distance separates them from those bright-eyed, naked men who knocked two bars of iron together and heard in that clangor a foretaste of the music of Mozart.

The bars in this case, of course, are so highly wrought and so covered over with accretions of alien matter that it is extremely difficult to hear anything distinctly. All is hubble-bubble, swarm and chaos. We are peering over the edge of a cauldron in which fragments of all shapes and savors seem to simmer; now and again some vast form heaves itself up, and seems about to haul itself out of chaos. Yet, at first sight, the art of the cinema seems simple, even stupid. There is the King shaking hands with a football team; there is Sir Thomas Lipton’s yacht; there is Jack Horner winning the Grand National. The eye licks it all up instantaneously, and the brain, agreeably titillated, settles down to watch things happening without bestirring itself to think. For the ordinary eye, the English unaesthetic eye, is a simple mechanism, which takes care that the body does not fall down coal-holes, provides the brain with toys and sweetmeats to keep it quiet, and can be trusted to go on behaving like a competent nursemaid until the brain comes to the conclusion that it is time to wake up. What is its surprise, then, to be roused suddenly in the midst of its agreeable somnolence and asked for help? The eye is in difficulties. The eye wants help. The eye says to the brain, “Something is happening which I do not in the least understand. You are needed.” Together they look at the King, the boat, the horse, and the brain sees at once that they have taken on a quality which does not belong to the simple photograph of real life. They have become not more beautiful, in the sense in which pictures are beautiful, but shall we call it (our vocabulary is miserably insufficient) more real, or real with a different reality from that which we perceive in daily life? We behold them as they are when we are not there. We see life as it is when we have no part in it. As we gaze we seem to be removed from the pettiness of actual existence. The horse will not knock us down. The King will not grasp our hands. The wave will not wet our feet. From this point of vantage, as we watch the antics of our kind, we have time to feel pity and amusement, to generalize, to endow one man with the attributes of the race. Watching the boat sail and the wave break, we have time to open our minds wide to beauty and register on top of it the queer sensationthis beauty will continue, and this beauty will flourish whether we behold it or not. Further, all this happened ten years ago, we are told. We are beholding a world which has gone beneath the waves. Brides are emerging from the Abbeythey are now mothers; ushers are ardentthey are now silent; mothers are tearful; guests are joyful; this has been won and that has been lost, and it is over and done with. The War sprung its chasm at the feet of all this innocence and ignorance, but it was thus that we danced and pirouetted, toiled and desired, thus that the sun shone and the clouds scudded up to the very end.

But the picture-makers seem dissatisfied with such obvious sources of interest as the passage of time and the suggestiveness of reality. They despise the flight of gulls, ships on the Thames, the Prince of Wales, the Mile End Road, Piccadilly Circus. They want to be improving, altering, making an art of their ownnaturally, for so much seems to be within their scope. So many arts seemed to stand by ready to offer their help. For example, there was literature. All the famous novels of the world, with their well known characters, and their famous scenes, only asked, it seemed, to be put on the films. What could be easier and simpler? The cinema fell upon its prey with immense rapacity, and to this moment largely subsists upon the body of its unfortunate victim. But the results are disastrous to both. The alliance is unnatural. Eye and brain are torn asunder ruthlessly as they try vainly to work in couples. The eye says: “Here is Anna Karenina.” A voluptuous lady in black velvet wearing pearls comes before us. But the brain says: “That is no more Anna Karenina than it is Queen Victoria.” For the brain knows Anna almost entirely by the inside of her mindher charm, her passion, her despair. All the emphasis is laid by the cinema upon her teeth, her pearls, and her velvet. Then “Anna falls in love with Vronsky”that is to say, the lady in black velvet falls into the arms of a gentleman in uniform, and they kiss with enormous succulence, great deliberation, and infinite gesticulation on a sofa in an extremely well appointed library, while a gardener incidentally mows the lawn. So we lurch and lumber through the most famous novels of the world. So we spell them out in words of one syllable written, too, in the scrawl of an illiterate schoolboy. A kiss is love. A broken cup is jealousy. A grin is happiness. Death is a hearse. None of these things has the least connection with the novel that Tolstoy wrote, and it is only when we give up trying to connect the pictures with the book that we guess from some accidental scenelike the gardener mowing the lawnwhat the cinema might do if it were left to its own devices.

But what, then, are its devices? If it ceased to be a parasite, how would it walk erect? At present it is only from hints that one can frame any conjecture. For instance, at a performance of Doctor Caligari the other day, a shadow shaped like a tadpole suddenly appeared at one corner of the screen. It swelled to an immense size, quivered, bulged, and sank back again into nonentity. For a moment it seemed to embody some monstrous, diseased imagination of the lunatic’s brain. For a moment it seemed as if thought could be conveyed by shape more effectively than by words. The monstrous, quivering tadpole seemed to be fear itself, and not the statement, “I am afraid.” In fact, the shadow was accidental, and the effect unintentional. But if a shadow at a certain moment can suggest so much more than the actual gestures and words of men and women in a state of fear, it seems plain that the cinema has within its grasp innumerable symbols for emotions that have so far failed to find expression. Terror has, besides its ordinary forms, the shape of a tadpole; it burgeons, bulges, quivers, disappears. Anger is not merely rant and rhetoric, red faces and clenched fists. It is perhaps a black line wriggling upon a white sheet. Anna and Vronsky need no longer scowl and grimace. They have at their commandbut what? Is there, we ask, some secret language which we feel and see, but never speak, and, if so, could this be made visible to the eye? Is there any characteristic which thought possesses that can be rendered visible without the help of words? It has speed and slowness; dartlike directness and vaporous circumlocution. But it has also, especially in moments of emotion, the picture-making power, the need to lift its burden to another bearer; to let an image run side by side along with it. The likeness of the thought is, for some reason, more beautiful, more comprehensible, more available than the thought itself. As everybody knows, in Shakespeare the most complex ideas form chains of images through which we mount, changing and turning, until we reach the light of day. But, obviously, the images of a poet are not to be cast in bronze, or traced by pencil. They are compact of a thousand suggestions of which the visual is only the most obvious or the uppermost. Even the simplest image: “My luve’s like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June,” presents us with impressions of moisture and warmth and the glow of crimson and the softness of petals inextricably mixed and strung upon the lilt of a rhythm which is itself the voice of the passion and hesitation of the lover. All this, which is accessible to words, and to words alone, the cinema must avoid.

Yet if so much of our thinking and feeling is connected with seeing, some residue of visual emotion which is of no use either to painter or to poet may still await the cinema. That such symbols will be quite unlike the real objects which we see before us seems highly probable. Something abstract, something which moves with controlled and conscious art, something which calls for the very slightest help from words or music to make itself intelligible, yet justly uses them subservientlyof such movements and abstractions the films may, in time to come, be composed. Then, indeed, when some new symbol for expressing thought is found, the film-maker has enormous riches at his command. The exactitude of reality and its surprising power of suggestion are to be had for the asking. Annas and Vronskysthere they are in the flesh. If into this reality he could breathe emotion, could animate the perfect form with thought, then his booty could be hauled in hand over hand. Then, as smoke pours from Vesuvius, we should be able to see thought in its wildness, in its beauty, in its oddity, pouring from men with their elbows on a table; from women with their little handbags slipping to the floor. We should see these emotions mingling together and affecting each other.

We should see violent changes of emotion produced by their collision. The most fantastic contrasts could be flashed before us with a speed which the writer can only toil after in vain; the dream architecture of arches and battlements, of cascades falling and fountains rising, which sometimes visits us in sleep or shapes itself in half-darkened rooms, could be realized before our waking eyes. No fantasy could be too far-fetched or insubstantial. The past could be unrolled, distances annihilated, and the gulfs which dislocate novels (when, for instance, Tolstoy has to pass from Levin to Anna, and in so doing jars his story and wrenches and arrests our sympathies) could, by the sameness of the background, by the repetition of some scene, be smoothed away.

How all this is to be attempted, much less achieved, no one at the moment can tell us. We get intimations only in the chaos of the streets, perhaps, when some momentary assembly of color, sound, movement suggests that here is a scene waiting a new art to be transfixed. And sometimes at the cinema in the midst of its immense dexterity and enormous technical proficiency, the curtain parts and we behold, far off, some unknown and unexpected beauty. But it is for a moment only. For a strange thing has happenedwhile all the other arts were born naked, this, the youngest, has been born fully clothed. It can say everything before it has anything to say. It is as if the savage tribe, instead of finding two bars of iron to play with, had found, scattering the seashore, fiddles, flutes, saxophones, trumpets, grand pianos by Erard and Bechstein, and had begun with incredible energy, but without knowing a note of music, to hammer and thump upon them all at the same time.

There I Go Again.

 

Beauty anyhow. Not the crude beauty of the eye. It was not beauty pure and simple--Bedford Place leading into Russell Square. It was straightness and emptiness of course; the symmetry of a corridor; but it was also windows lit up, a piano, a gramophone sounding; a sense of pleasure-making hidden, but now and again emerging when, through the uncurtained window, the window left open, one saw parties sitting over tables, young people slowly circling, conversations between men and women, maids idly looking out (a strange comment theirs, when work was done), stockings drying on top ledges, a parrot, a few plants. Absorbing, mysterious, of infinite richness, this life. And in the large square where the cabs shot and swerved so quick, there were loitering couples, dallying, embracing, shrunk up under the shower of a tree; that was moving; so silent, so absorbed, that one passed, discreetly, timidly, as if in the presence of some sacred ceremony to interrupt which would have been impious. That was interesting. And so on into the flare and glare.

 

in Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

"And so on into the flare and glare."

Estive em Londres num hotel em Bedford Place e como é natural, não resisto a transcrever este excerto do "Mrs. Dalloway" da Virginia Woolf, situado ao princípio da noite, no dia de Junho em que decorre a acção. É claro que fiquei também com vontade de reler e rever o "The Hours". Para além de tudo o resto, a maneira como Londres vibra ainda assim quase noventa anos depois, é fascinante:

 

Beauty anyhow. Not the crude beauty of the eye. It was not beauty pure and simple--Bedford Place leading into Russell Square. It was straightness and emptiness of course; the symmetry of a corridor; but it was also windows lit up, a piano, a gramophone sounding; a sense of pleasure-making hidden, but now and again emerging when, through the uncurtained window, the window left open, one saw parties sitting over tables, young people slowly circling, conversations between men and women, maids idly looking out (a strange comment theirs, when work was done), stockings drying on top ledges, a parrot, a few plants. Absorbing, mysterious, of infinite richness, this life. And in the large square where the cabs shot and swerved so quick, there were loitering couples, dallying, embracing, shrunk up under the shower of a tree; that was moving; so silent, so absorbed, that one passed, discreetly, timidly, as if in the presence of some sacred ceremony to interrupt which would have been impious. That was interesting. And so on into the flare and glare.