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Under the influence of nourishing books, her mind, sustained and stimulated, became nervously active. It had a trick of flashing off from the subject she was studying to something wholly irrelevant. In those days her mind was continually under the influence of any author she cared about, particularly if his style were mannered. Involuntarily, while she was reading Macaulay, for instance, her own thoughts took a dogmatic turn, and jerked along in short, sharp sentences. She caught the peculiarities of De Quincey too, of Carlyle, and also some of the simple dignity of Ruskin, which was not so easy; and she had written things after the manner of each of these authors before she perceived the effect they were having upon her.
Her English became turgid with Latinities. She took phrases which had flowed from her pen, and were telling in their simple eloquence, and toiled at them, turning and twisting them until she had laboured all the life out of them; and then, mistaking effort for power, and having wearied herself, she was satisfied. Being too diffident to suspect that she had any natural faculty, she conceived that the more trouble she gave herself the better must be the result; and consequently she did nothing worth the doing except as an exercise of ingenuity.
She was serving her apprenticeship, however — making her mistakes. Instead of appropriating English for her own use, she is being appropriated by Macaulay and De Quincey.
By giving Angelica a twin brother, Diavolo, Sarah Grand was able to demonstrate the equality of the sexes and to contrast the cultural strategies used by boys and girls. Angelica also experiences patriarchal culture as an existential hindrance.
It is a perfect nuisance to have to think in inverted commas all the time. And Shakespeare is the greatest bore of all.
The whole of life could be set to his expressions — that cannot be quite right; what I mean is the whole of life could be expressed in his words. Diavolo and I tried once to talk Shakespeare for a whole day. I made the game. But it was in these days, nevertheless, that she began to write with decision. She had come back from Ilverthorpe with a burning idea to be expressed, and it was for the shortest, crispest, clearest way to express it that she tried. Foreign phrases she discarded, and she never attempted to produce an eccentric effect by galvanising obsolete words, rightly discarded for lack of vitality, into a ghastly semblance of life.watch
A GIRL BECOMES A COMMA LIKE THAT
Her own language, strong and pure, she found a sufficient instrument for her purpose. When the true impulse to write came, her fine theories about style only hampered her, so she cast them aside, as habitual affectations are cast aside and natural emotions naturally expressed, in moments of deep feeling; and from that time forward she displayed, what had doubtless been coming to her by practice all along, a method and a manner of her own.
Style has an ethical dimension: authors of genius have no special writing skills, for their style is the reflection of their character. Beth does not try to coin a new language, for her moral worth and the nobility of her political commitments will give shape to her ideas. Grand does not attempt the risky task of giving a sample of either her writing or her public speaking in her novel, for that would require her own novel to be a work of genius. The following exchange between Beth and her sweetheart Sammy, to whom she recites her improvised poems, is typical:.
Sammy listened with his mouth and eyes open, but when she had done he shook his head. I tell you it came to me. In the earlier part of the book, Beth was said to be closer to the magical roots of language than she ever would be. This attitude was new to her; and yet all that was said she seemed to have heard before, and known from the first. Beth may have to resist strange and foreign words, but her genius is said to connect her with others through sympathy 20 and atavism.
In the context of the late-nineteenth century debate over the insanity of genius and degenerate artists, writing about female genius was a task fraught with disturbing implications. This hypothesis is potentially valid in the context of the s, in an author who was strongly influenced by evolutionary theories.
When she reflected about the dream, she marvelled at her special power in the following terms:. Was it recollection? Or is there some more perfect power to know than the intellect — a power lying latent in the whole race, which will eventually come into possession of it; but with which, at present, only some few rare beings are perfectly endowed. It may have been hereditary memory, a knowledge of things transmitted to her by her ancestors along with their features, virtues, and vices; but, at any rate, she herself was sure that she possessed a power of some kind in her infancy which gradually lapsed as her intellectual faculties developed.
She was conscious that the senses had come between her and some mysterious joy which was not of the senses, but of the spirit. There lingered what seemed to be the recollection of a condition anterior to this, a condition of which no tongue can tell, which is not to be put into words, or made evident to those who have no recollection; but which some will comprehend by the mere allusion to it. All her life long Beth preserved a half consciousness of this something — something which eluded her — something from which she gradually drifted further away as she grew older — some sort of vision which opened up fresh tracts to her; but whether of country, or whether of thought, she could not say.
Ellen Moers observed that this was a constant feature of the representation of female genius. Rather than making her the inventor of a language, she placed her in an unusual position of enunciation: a woman speaking in public with a political purpose. Her impromptu speeches are meant to translate into action, leaving no trace behind them except in their effects on the listeners. Beth is a monolinguist of an uncolonizing sort, since her words produce no long-lasting oppressive linguistic structure.
The same can be said of New Woman fiction, a movement whose cultural and political importance was immense, but which has resisted canonization.
- The Structural Study of Myth and Totemism!
- Publisher Description.
- A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That by Lisa Glatt;
- Catalog Record: A girl becomes a comma like that : a novel | HathiTrust Digital Library.
- A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That;
- ISBN 13: 9780743257756.
- Celebrating Women Authors Since 1982.
Patrick Mensah. Stanford: Stanford UP, It was even more successful in the United States of America. Women suspected of being prostitutes could be arrested in the street and had to undergo a medical examination. The Acts were repealed in Great Britain in , the year when the novel ends, but remained valid in India until References to the novel will appear in the text in parentheses. Translated by Patrick Mensah. Eliot, however, takes epigraphy to new, self-authorizing extremes. The two facts are but two aspects of a larger biological fact — the greater variability of the male.
In the West Indies he would certainly have been set down as a quadroon.
A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That: A Novel - Lisa Glatt - Google книги
Plan Phase 1. The less foreign languages. Phase 2. Learning strange language through mimicry. Phase 4.
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