Canongate Books

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It struck me as curious then, the idea of a whole town of people attending to their business, a whole town of people driving cars or walking the streets, their faces only partially betraying the magic lantern show that flares in utter privacy within the confines of each skull. Do animals think in these bright spools of colour, I sometimes wonder? Do they walk in their minds through landscapes known and unknown, both during waking hours and within the course of dreams? They do not replay conversations, or add great registers of numbers in their heads, but do they revisit past emotions or think on faces that have gone? It seems astonishing to me how alone man is, though he can touch and talk and gaze on others of his kind. But that picture theatre within his head: no one but he will ever see it played, and there is no medium on earth that can accurately catch its luminosity or speed
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the sense that arises from this residue of words is of an abiding love, comprised in equal parts of affection and intellectual stimulation.My inviolable centre, Virginia called Leonard, and the last words she wrote were to him alone: a testament, against all the odds, to the happiness they’d shared. The title of one of the many books about the Woolfs’ liaison is The Marriage of True Minds, a line drawn from Sonnet 116, itself an ode to enduring love. The sentiment is accurate enough, but it is a couplet later in the poem –

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

– that I think may be even more appropriate, all things considered.
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I kept seeing notices on telegraph posts offering a ‘substantial reward’ for a lost Siamese cat. It wasn’t until I passed the third that I realised the date was 8 September, almost a full year back. They added, those signs, to the sense of stopped or stoppered time that is anyway the knack of midsummer, the fulcrum of the year, when everything seems to brake for a moment before swinging through ripeness and into decay.
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