Cordelia, Sebastian’s Sister (Age: 10)

“You are fond of wine?”

“Very.”

“I wish I were. It is such a bond with other men. At Magdalen I tried to get drunk more than once, but I did not enjoy it. Beer and whisky I find even less appetizing. Events like this afternoon’s are a torment to me in consequence.”

“I like wine,” said Cordelia.

Alas! BR, Chapter III

  • I returned home for the Long Vacation without plans and without money.

To Be In Such a World! BR, p. 50

It’s not like self is even getting that much of a Catholic vibe, to be honest.

What she is getting a lot of are the aesthetics of being young, male, white, and attending Oxford:

It was the last Sunday of term; the last of the year. As I went to my bath, the quad filled with gowned and surpliced undergraduates drifting from chapel to hall. As I came back they were standing in groups, smoking; Jasper had bicycled in from his digs to be among them.

I walked down the empty Broad to breakfast, as I often did on Sundays, at a tea-shop opposite Balliol.

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Oxford University, November 2018

Sentence of the Day: BR, p. 37

While the narrator and his boring chum Collins take themselves to Ravenna (which no one will be going to for the duration because COVID-19) for the summer:

  • I wrote long letters to Sebastian and called daily at the post office for his answers.

Ah, the pining!

Stay tuned.

A Word of Advice, Cousin

Brideshead Revisited, p. 36:

“None of these people you go around with pull any weight in their own colleges, and that’s the real test. They think because they’ve got a lot of money to throw about, they can do anything.

And that’s another thing. I don’t know what allowance my uncle makes you, but I don’t mind betting you’re spending double. All this,” he said, including in a wide sweep of his hand the evidence of profligacy about him. It was true. My room had cast aside its austere winter garments, and by not very slow stages, assumed a richer wardrobe. “Is that paid for?” (the box of a hundred cabinet Partagas on the sideboard) “or those?” (a dozen frivolous, new books on the table) “or those?” (a Lalique decanter and glasses) “or that peculiarly noisome object” (a human skull lately purchased from the School of Medicine, which, resting on a bowl of roses, formed, at the moment, the chief decoration of my table. It bore the motto Et in arcadia ego inscribed on its forehead.)

“Yes,” I said, glad to be clear of one charge. “I had to pay cash for the skull.”

“You can’t be doing any work. Not that that matters particularly if you’re making something of your career elsewhere — but are you? Have you spoken at the Union or at any of the clubs? Are you connected with any of the magazines? And your clothes!”

For Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month. These are the women (prose) authors on self’s 2020 Reading List:

  • Liane Moriarty
  • Diane Gabaldon
  • Edwidge Danticat
  • Mathangi Subramanian
  • Jacqueline Woodson
  • Jung Chang
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Sally Rooney
  • Peg Alford Pursell
  • Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Dacia Maraini
  • Shahrnush Parsipoor
  • E. R. Ramzipoor
  • Elizabeth Tallent
  • Sadie Jones

Also: Caroline Kim-Brown’s short story collection, which won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, coming this fall: The Prince of Mournful Thoughts. You can read the title story now, in Ms.Aligned Vol. 3.

Women self has read so far 2020:

  • Dodie Smith
  • Katherine Addison
  • Jia Tolentino
  • Kathryn Ferguson

Advice for the Oxford Freshman

Book One, Chapter One:

  • ‘Change your rooms.’ — They were large, with deeply recessed windows and painted, eighteenth-century panelling; I was lucky as a freshman to get them. ‘I’ve seen many a man ruined through having ground-floor rooms in the front quad,’ said my cousin with deep gravity. ‘People start dropping in. They leave their gowns here and come and collect them before hall; you start giving them sherry. Before you know where you are, you’ve opened a free bar for all the undesirables of the college.’

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pick A Topic From This Photo

Cee Neuner: Pick a topic from this photo.

Possible topics: black and white, tree, sky, road, vanishing point, landscape, horizon, clouds, weather, country side, early morning, or come up with your own topic.

Self picked SKY.

All from her first visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico, late December 2019

20191228_131900

Museum Hill, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 28 December 2019

20191228_152856

On the I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, 28 December 2019

20191228_154410

Still on the I-25, Still 28 December 2019

Check out these other takes:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Eights Week, Oxford

Brideshead Revisited, Book One, Chapter One: Et in Arcadia Ego

“Gentlemen who haven’t got ladies are asked as far as possible to take their meals out in the next few days,” he announced despondently. “Will you be lunching in?”

“No, Lunt.”

 

Being in the British Army (1944)

Brideshead Revisited, p. 14:

  • I slept until my servant called me . . .

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