Monday, 14 January 2013

Helen's Herbert




He saw a curious succession of lighted windows, between which jutted the intermediary back premises, scullery and outhouse, in dark little blocks. It was something like the keyboard of piano: more still, like a succession of musical notes. For the rectangular planes of light were of different intensities, some bright and keen, some soft, warm, like candle-light, and there was one surface of pure red light, one or two were almost invisible, dark green. So the long scale of lights seemed to trill across the darkness, now bright, now dim, swelling and sinking. The effect was strange. And thus the whole private life of street was threaded in lights, there was a sense of indecent exposure, from so many backs. p. 51







'Why do you eat so much?' 'I've got to feed up' 'but hunks of bread won't feed you up.' 'Gives the stomach something to work at, and prevents it grinding on the nerves.' 'Surely you don't want to keep your stomach always full and heavy'. 'I do, my boy, I do. It needs keeping solid. I'm losing life if I don't, I tell you I'm losing life. Let me put something inside me.' p. 95







But what's the good of going to Malta, shall you be any different in yourself, in another place? You'll be the same there as you are here.
How am I here?
Why you're all the time grinding yourself against something inside you. You're never free. You're never content. You never stop chafing.
Perhaps I don't.
Then what's the use of going somewhere else. You won't change yourself.
I may in the end.
You'll be yourself whether it's Malta or London.

There's a doom for me. p. 126