4: shouldn’t be online as I feel uncharacteristically smart & productive and interruptions = doom

…but this George Eliot passage, from a letter to a friend, must be preserved somewhere where I won’t lose it until I can find my quote notebook and write it down:

“Alas for the fate of poor mortals which condemns them to wake up some fine morning and find all the poetry in which their world was bathed only an evening before utterly gone– the hard angular world of chairs and tables and looking-glasses staring at them in all its naked prose. It is so in all the stages of life–the poetry of girlhood goes–the poetry of love and marriage–the poetry of maternity–and at last the very poetry of duty forsakes us for a season and we see ourselves and all about us as nothing more than miserable agglomerations of atoms–poor tentative efforts of the Nature Principle to mould a personality. This is the state of prostration—the self-abnegation through which the soul must go, and to which perhaps it must again and again return, that its poetry or religion, which is the same thing, may be a real ever-flowing river fresh from the windows of heaven and the fountains of the great deep–not an artificial basin with grotto work and gold fish.” –George Eliot

I am desperate to get my hands on her collected letters. Soon, very soon, I will dissect this new mania that I’ve got for the journals and letters of famous dead authors. It’s a bit voyeuristic and perverse, really. Not that thinking that is stopping me.


~ by Not Alice on March 4, 2008.

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