Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1947
Genre Fiction
Origin UK
Publisher Faber & Faber
ISBN-10 0571225810
ISBN-13 978-0571225811
My Copy library
First Read October 17, 2013

A Girl in Winter

I'm still in the middle of this, but it's clearly great so far. Larkin's writing is so precise in its details; clarity is a word that comes to mind frequently. That said, I'm halfway through and have little idea where the narrative arc of this story is going.

Noted on October 17, 2013

After reading the rest, it's really very good. The overall arc is really satisfying, and the depiction of the heroine's attempts to isolate herself from the vicissitudes of life, and the results of that, are really compelling.

Noted on October 21, 2013

Having tried for so long to live for herself alone, having concluded that not even the maximum selfishness would secure the happiness she felt herself entitled to, it was disturbing to meet one who valued these things so slightly. It reminded her of a girl she had known who had given up a career to enter a convent. During the one conversation they had had on the subject, the girl had said that care for oneself seemed to her less wicked than stupid - like carrying an umbrella on a cloudless day. Katherine had never forgotten her own surprise at this. If she thought on such matters, it was that one should try to accept any misfortune with equanimity. But this other viewpoint, that flung away at the start all conception of fortune and misfortune, this she found herself reluctantly respecting.

Quoted on October 21, 2013

But did she really care what she did in England? There would be other things for her to do, and whatever it was she would do it unwillingly, obstinately, as if she were working in a field; what she did would be emptied away like a painfully-filled basket, and her time would be spilled away with it. There would be sleep, simply to fresher her again for work; there would be other Miss Greens, Miss Parburys, Mr. Ansteys; all this was inescapable, and it did not matter if she accepted it or not. It accepted her.

Quoted on October 21, 2013

Katherine sought to be reasonable. "I think, if someone is entirely dependent on you, there's something wrong somewhere. It shouldn't be asked, or given." And if she had listened to what she was saying, she would have visualized life and happiness like ration tokens, that once spent are never recovered, and are allotted equally to everyone. "When you make kindness a duty, everybody resents it - it's such a mistake, I think."

Quoted on October 21, 2013

He was not simply trying to impress a foreign visitor: he was more like a millionaire who cannot refrain from saying how much everything that he owns has cost him, with a certain fascinated awe.

Quoted on October 21, 2013

Because Katherine was so young she had hitherto thought love a pleasant thing...

Quoted on October 21, 2013

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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