Olivia Laing

To the River

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To the River is the story of the Ouse, the Sussex river in which Virginia Woolf drowned in 1941. One midsummer week over sixty years later, Olivia Laing walked Woolf's river from source to sea. The result is a passionate investigation into how history resides in a landscape — and how ghosts never quite leave the places they love.Along the way, Laing explores the roles rivers play in human lives, tracing their intricate flow through literature and mythology alike. To the River excavates all sorts of stories from the Ouse's marshy banks, from the brutal Barons' War of the thirteenth century to the 'Dinosaur Hunters', the nineteenth-century amateur naturalists who first cracked the fossil code. Central among these ghosts is, of course, Virginia Woolf herself: her life, her writing and her watery death.
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    Julia Eremeevamembuat kutipan2 bulan yang lalu
    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.
    Laura Sánchezmembuat kutipantahun lalu
    You couldn’t see the bottom; you could barely make out your own limbs, and perhaps it was this opacity which made it seem as though the river was the bearer of secrets: that beneath its surface something lay concealed.

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