Bored to be Wilde

“…Lady Brandon treats her guests exactly as an auctioneer treats his goods. She either explains them entirely away, or tells one everything about them except what one wants to know.”

“Poor Lady Brandon! You are hard on her, Harry!” said Hallward listlessly. (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

What discussion of aphorism would be complete without Wilde?

Teaching Oscar Wilde.
Peppermint Patty. Not, fortunately, one of my students.

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Proper Smith

‘for something to be proper it must either belong to something else, or be in full possession of itself.’ – Camelia Elias

I found this quotation in Elias’s The Fragment: towards the History and Poetics of a Performative Genre. I was mostly looking for ideas about the fragmentary, but I liked Elias’s definition of the ‘proper’ so much that I decided to digress into a blog post about it.

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‘We’ll Lie Down and Go to Sleep’: Stevie Smith’s Holiday

This week, I’ve been working on Stevie Smith’s last novel: The Holiday.

Smith’s very attracted to the idea of the holiday. Everyday reality could be draining. A friend remembered, ‘She was always exhausted, forcing herself to stay erect when she would have liked to lie down.’

So her characters go away, or fantasise about going away.

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