The Lost Girl: A Novel (Modern Library Classics)
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Then it began to grow unintelligible to me, as after metempsychosis do the thoughts of an earlier existence; the subject of the book detached itself from me, I was free to apply myself to it or not; immediately I recovered my sight and I was amazed to find a darkness around me soft and restful for my eyes, but perhaps even more so for my mind, to which it appeared a thing without cause, incomprehensible, a thing truly dark. I would ask myself what time it might be; I could hear the whistling of the trains which, remote or nearby, like the singing of a bird in a forest, plotting the distances, described to me the extent of the deserted countryside where the traveler hastens toward the nearest station; and the little road he is following will be engraved on his memory by the excitement he owes to new places, to unaccustomed ctivities, to the recent conversation and the farewells under the unfamiliar lamp that follow him still through the silence of the night, to the imminent sweetness of his return.
I would rest my cheeks tenderly against the lovely cheeks of the pillow, which, full and fresh, are like the cheeks of our childhood. I would strike a match to look at my watch. Nearly midnight. This is the hour when the invalid who has been obliged to go off on a journey and has had to sleep in an unfamiliar hotel, wakened by an attack, is cheered to see a ray of light under the door. In a moment the servants will be up, he will be able to ring, someone will come help him. The hope of being relieved gives him the courage to suffer. In fact he thought he heard footsteps; the steps approach, then recede.
And the ray of light that was under his door has disappeared. It is midnight; they have just turned off the gas; the last servant has gone and he will have to suffer the whole night through without remedy. I would go back to sleep, and would sometimes afterward wake again for brief moments only, long enough to hear the organic creak of the woodwork, open my eyes and stare at the kaleidoscope of the darkness, savor in a momentary glimmer of consciousness the sleep into which were plunged the furniture, the room, that whole of which I was only a small part and whose insensibility I would soon return to share.
Or else while sleeping I had effortlessly returned to a period of my early life that had ended forever, rediscovered one of my childish terrors such as my great-uncle pulling me by my curls, a terror dispelled on the day—the dawn for me of a new era—when they were cut off. I had forgotten that event during my sleep, I recovered its memory as soon as I managed to wake myself up to escape the hands of my great-uncle, but as a precautionary measure I would completely surround my head with my pillow before returning to the world of dreams.
Formed from the pleasure I was on the point of enjoying, she, I imagined, was the one offering it to me. My body, which felt in hers my own warmth, would try to find itself inside her, I would wake up. The rest of humanity seemed very remote compared with this woman I had left scarcely a few moments before; my cheek was still warm from her kiss, my body aching from the weight of hers. If, as sometimes happened, she had the features of a woman I had known in life, I would devote myself entirely to this end: to finding her again, like those who go off on a journey to see a longed-for city with their own eyes and imagine that one can enjoy in reality the charm of a dream.
Little by little the memory of her would fade, I had forgotten the girl of my dream. A sleeping man holds in a circle around him the sequence of the hours, the order of the years and worlds. He consults them instinctively as he wakes and reads in a second the point on the earth he occupies, the time that has elapsed before his waking; but their ranks can be mixed up, broken. If toward morning, after a bout of insomnia, sleep overcomes him as he is reading, in a position quite different from the one in which he usually sleeps, his raised arm alone is enough to stop the sun and make it retreat, and, in the first minute of his waking, he will no longer know what time it is, he will think he has only just gone to bed.
If he dozes off in a position still more displaced and divergent, after dinner sitting in an armchair for instance, then the confusion among the disordered worlds will be complete, the magic armchair will send him traveling at top speed through time and space, and, at the moment of opening his eyelids, he will believe he went to bed several months earlier in another country.
It was the second of his unfinished novels to be published posthumously in It tells the story of a couple, David and Catherine Bourne, who meet a woman on their honeymoon in the south of France, with whom they both fall in love. Ultimately David begins an affair with the woman as his relationship with his wife deteriorates to the point of separation.
It was immediately accepted by a publisher upon completion and became a literary smash. Inspector Maigret is the fictional police detective based in Paris, which has been serialised several times by both the French and the English most recently by Rowan Atkinson on British TV.
Jilly Cooper is much loved and her story of librarian Imogen, who grabs the opportunity to holiday with two couples on the Riviera, is full of light-hearted observations about the stereotypes she finds there; the tennis ace, the playboys, the models. Wharton scandalised society with her tale of romance, intrigue and betrayal in s New York.
Can Homer's Iliad speak across the centuries?
This book tells the story of Lily Bart, who needs to find a husband to keep her in the manner to which she has become accustomed in New York high society. It tells the story of Larry Darrell, who was traumatised during World War I, and sets out to find meaning in his life.
American Book Award. Irish Times International Fiction Prize. Governor General's Literary Award.
Somerset Maugham Award. Image: Writers of Faith. WH Smith Literary Award. Horror: The Best Books. Martin Beck Award. Bram Stoker Award. Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction. World Fantasy Award Nominee. Crimezone's Canon van de Misdaadliteratuur. Trillium Award. Irish Times Literature Prize. Atlantic Canada's Greatest Books. Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist. Scotiabank Giller Prize Winner.
British Fantasy Award Nominee. Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Gaylactic Spectrum Nominee. Seattle Getaways: 12 Essential Northwest Books. Salon Book Award. Guardian Fiction Prize.
La Maison Anglaise
World Fantasy Nominee. Deo Gloria Award. Canada Reads Nominee. Aga Khan Prize for Fiction.
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