She lay on his shoulder in this ugly room, folded up with almost imperceptible breathing like seagulls settled on the water cock over gentle waves. Looking at her head and body, richer far than her rare fur coat, holding as he did to these skins which enfolded what ruled him, her arms and shoulders, everything, looking down on her face which ever since he had first seen it had been his library, his gallery, his palace, and his wooded fields he began at last to feel content and almost that he owned her.

Lying in his arms, her long eyelashes down along her cheeks, her hair tumbled and waved, her hands drifted to rest like white doves drowned on peat water, he marvelled again he should ever dream of leaving her who seemed to him then his reason for living as he made himself breathe with her breathing as he always did when she was in his arms to try and be more with her.

It was so luxurious he nodded, perhaps it was also what she put on her hair, very likely it may have been her sleep reaching out over him, but anyway he felt so right he slipped into it too and dropped off on those outspread wings into her sleep with his, like two soft evenings meeting.

Henry Green
Party Going

Prose is not to be read aloud but to oneself alone at night, and it is not quick as poetry but rather a gathering web of insinuations … Prose should be a long intimacy between strangers with no direct appeal to what both may have known. It should slowly appeal to feelings unexpressed, it should in the end draw tears out of the stone …

Henry Green
Pack My Bag

purpose of art

December 9, 2016

cats-and-snow

To me the purpose of art is to produce something alive, in my case, in print, but with a separate, and of course one hopes, with an everlasting life of its own.

Henry Green
Interview with Terry Southern for the Paris Review – summer 1958

serpentarium-by-dihaze

People strike sparks off each other; that is what I try to note down. But mark well, they only do this when they are talking together. After all, we don’t write letters now, we telephone. And one of these days we are going to have TV sets which lonely people can talk to and get answers back. Then no one will read anymore.

Henry Green
Interview with Terry Southern for the Paris Review – summer 1958

seat

Prose is not to be read aloud but to oneself alone at night, and it is not quick as poetry but rather a gathering web of insinuations which go further than names however shared can ever go. Prose should be a long intimacy between strangers with no direct appeal to what both may have known. It should slowly appeal to feelings unexpressed, it should in the end draw tears out of the stone…

Henry Green
Pack my bag

talking together…

June 7, 2016

Geoffrey Johnson

People strike sparks off each other; that is what I try to note down. But mark well, they only do this when they are talking together. After all, we don’t write letters now, we telephone. And one of these days we are going to have TV sets which lonely people can talk to and get answers back. Then no one will read anymore.

Henry Green
Interview published in the Paris Review, summer 1958.

Synthetic Arrangement - Morris Kantor

…a place from which light was almost excluded now by cobwebs across its two windows and into which, with the door ajar, the shafted sun lay in a lengthened arch of blazing sovereigns. Over a corn bin on which he had packed last autumn’s ferns lay Paddy snoring between these windows, a web strung from one lock of hair back onto the sill above and which rose and fell as he breathed. Caught in the reflection of spring sunlight this cobweb looked to be made of gold as did those others which by working long minutes spiders had drawn from spar to spar of the fern bedding on which his head rested. It might have been almost that O’Connor’s dreams were held by hairs of gold binding his head beneath a vaulted roof on which the floor of cobbles reflected an old king’s molten treasure from the bog.

Henry Green
Loving

a long intimacy…

June 1, 2016

Nicolo Carozzi - Pin

Prose is not to be read aloud but to oneself alone at night, and it is not quick as poetry but rather a gathering web of insinuations which go further than names however shared can ever go. Prose should be a long intimacy between strangers with no direct appeal to what both may have known. It should slowly appeal to feelings unexpressed, it should in the end draw tears out of the stone …

Henry Green
Pack My Bag

night

Diary 16th March

Earlier, a sky the colour of spilled ink, carelessly puddled over sleeping fields. No memory of daylight in its oppressive blindness. No suggestion of a dawn to come…And cold, too…Shivery cold.

The daffodils are out in patches along the hedgerow. I can sense them, not see them, but I know they’re there. It’s like standing in a crypt surrounded by fat cats on the patio. Soon the bluebells will dazzle visitors.

Now, I sit and watch the steam rise from my coffee cup…
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So far this week we’ve been told that foreign travel will become more expensive if we leave the EU. Our ports and airports won’t be able to cope with the influx of “visitors”. My Aunt Mabel’s tit will catch in her mangle…And now today we learn, horror of horrors, the high-flying Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, said yesterday that if the UK exited the EU it would “not be trusted” again.

In any negotiate, he said: “EU leaders would be keen to show to their national audiences which might warm to the idea of leaving the union that such a process would be very ugly, painful and costly.”

And therein lies one of the major problems of the EU. All the politicians recognise how unpopular it’s become – not just in the UK, but right across the board. Yet they do nothing to address this situation…Let sleeping dogs lie; the gravy train must roll on!

Never mind. President Obama is coming to the UK to save the day…
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Recently read: “The Love-Charm of Bombs: Restless lives in the second world war”, by Lara Feigel, who has created an “ensemble piece” about five novelists who endured the bombs and blackouts in London when it was getting the shite kicked out of it by the German Luftwaffe. The novelists are Elizabeth Bowen, Henry Green, Graham Greene, Rose Macaulay and…Hilde Spiel (?).

“London is extraordinarily pleasant these days with all the new spaces, and the rather Mexican effect of ruined churches,” Graham Greene told Anthony Powell in December 1940. One hopes he had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek at the time (although I doubt he did!)…?

Henry Green was a volunteer fireman, Bowen and Greene were ARP wardens, and Macaulay was an ambulance driver.

Sex was a panacea to all that death and destruction surrounding them. The blackout became a time for heavy breathing and furtive couplings. Macaulay had an intense affair with a married man who had once been a Catholic priest. Green and Greene were both inveterate womanisers. Bowen lived with a husband who tolerated her affairs with other men’…only Hilde Spiel remained monogamous in this sea of bombs and adultery…

Enjoyed this gossipy book very much.
#

Bookstack

They were wheeling wheeling in each other’s arms heedless at the far end where they had drawn up one of the white blinds. Above from a rather low ceiling five great chandeliers swept one after the other almost to the waxed parquet floor reflecting in their hundred thousand drops the single sparkle of distant day, again and again red velvet panelled walls, and two girls, minute in purple, dancing multiplied to eternity in these trembling pears of glass.”

Henry Green
Loving