Friday, July 27, 2012

TRAGIC OPTIMISM OR THE TIREDNESS OF COODER

Last night, we had no internet/cable service due to the storm warnings. Hence, no posting. That needn't have stopped me from writing, but it kinda did. J was in boisterous spirits having had a very promising job interview. M was tired but happy because of said interview and probably because there was celery soup to eat for dinner so she could sit and relax. And me? In a reasonable mood as I had managed to unpack a couple more boxes and make progress in room organization, although you would know it if you looked into my room.

We "battened down the hatches" such as they were, removing the picnic table umbrella on the deck, shutting the windows around the house (and there are quite a few), and then sat around sweltering in the humidity as we waited for the storm to hit. I could have probably driven down to Brooklyn as planned.






Cooder enjoyed the day. She likes to have some physical contact with me, even if it is hot.

I saw an article in some publication yesterday that some unpublished Katherine Mansfield stories had been located. I think I read a nice old British Penguin edition of In A German Pension and was suitably impressed by the writing. Having forwarded this news tidbit to M, I received last eve, The Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield, in order that I might further whet and satisfy my curiosity.

In between our lazy banter and the musing guitar strummings of J as we companionably sat through the storm, (happily, we still had electricity),  I read the first story in the collection, The Tiredness of Rosabel. For nineteen, KM was blazing. Here is the concluding paragraph:

"And the night passed. Presently the cold fingers of dawn closed over her uncovered hand; grey light flooded the dull room. Rosabel shivered, drew a little gasping breath, sat up. And because her heritage was that tragic optimism, which is all too often the only inheritance of youth, still half asleep, she smiled, with a little nervous tremor round her mouth."


How much do you love that phrase "tragic optimism, ... the only inheritance of youth"? That struck a chord as I am so recently reviewing my life's path that led me to my current circumtances. Tragic optimism sounds about right.


I have often confused Katherine Mansfield and Katherine Anne Porter (I mean, haven't you?). Perhaps wading and wafting through these stories will change that for good. Meanwhile, I need to get back to Proust for next week's book group.

And off to see Emmylou.


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