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09 March, 2013

sweeping the floor and making tea

Some nice pieces of journalism from around the web.
  1. "With her sinuous deportment and regal, Roman profile, Hewitt is a figure you feel you have seen before, on the side of a Greek vase, or as one of those alluring, slightly mysterious ladies of sensibility John Singer Sargent loved to paint."
    On pianist Angela Hewitt (x)
  2. "And it is true that only someone who leads a deliciously luxurious existence could write such a book. Sensual and satin-soft, reading it is like dropping milk chocolates into your mouth while reclining (naked, naturally) on a goosefeather eiderdown. It presents a world where characters have names like "Mr Beaney" and heartbroken heroines sigh "Alas": this is an author raised on fairy tales, old-fashioned English storybooks and glorious stilettos."
    On Sophie Dahl's The Man with the Dancing Eyes (x)
  3. "Aged 17 he took it one step further. Having got into Cambridge, he deferred entry to take up a two-year apprenticeship with Whiting. "Was I a normal teenager? No, not really. I had a strange, attenuated life – living in the Deanery in Canterbury, which is a vast medieval and Elizabethan house, with 15 bedrooms and a library and 50 portraits of deans on the wall; and there was a curfew bell at 9 o'clock, when the cathedral gates were locked, and you had to be let out by a porter. Early every morning, I'd let myself out the back-garden gate with a key, and walk to the studio of an elderly, austere potter. And I took on the whole thing, sweeping the floor and making tea."'
    On potter/author Edmund de Waal (x)
  4. "He also describes her fairytale, women's magazine attempts to make her house and clothes conform to an idea she has of decorum and elegance. What makes it impossible for her to inhabit her house or her marriage is her romantic sense that there is something more, some more intense experience, some wider horizon if she could only find it. Her desires are formed by her reading and her education."
    A.S. Byatt on Madame Bovary (x)
  5. "Rebecca Sieff fell in love with Castle Howard when she was 14 years old. Every week she was glued to her TV set watching Brideshead Revisited, ITV's epic drama series, filmed at one of England's largest private stately homes. She remembers,"It looked so glamorous and so wonderful, and you thought, I'm not going to end up in a shitty little house anywhere.… I want to live there." The obsession remained. When Rebecca was 20 and a budding socialite, a magazine interviewer asked her where she would like to live. She responded, "Oh, somewhere like Castle Howard." Now, 14 years later, she does."
    The Woman Who Set Out to Marry a House (x)

1 Comment:

Bo Tolbert

Fascinating accounts. Pretty interesting to see how each of those great thinkers deal with their home lives and private lives in their own unique and varied ways. Edmund de Wall, for example, who is able to mix and marry existential crisis with the daily routine of scrubbing and sweeping floors. Thanks for sharing!

Bo Tolbert @ HJS Supply Company

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