1 The constraints: 1) No more than
one hour. 2) No more than 20 lines.
The result ? Genius or Not.

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17 January 2011

By Anthony Banks | 2011 January 17

"But they were not alone, nor had they been from the start, from the start of their love. Their time sat in the third place at their table. They were the creatures of history, whose coming together was of a nature possible in no other day – the day was inherent in their nature. Which must have been always true of lovers, if it had taken till now to be seen. The relation of people to one another is subject to the relation of each to time, to what is happening. If this has not always been felt – and as to that who is to know? – it has begun to be felt, irrevocably. On from now, every moment, with more and more of what had been 'now' behind it, would be going on adding itself to the larger story. Could these two have loved each other better at a better time? At no other would they have been themselves; what had carried their world to its hour was in their bloodstreams. The more imperative the love, the deeper its drafts on beings, till it has taken up all that ever went to their making, according to what it draws on its nature is. In dwelling upon the constant for our reassurance we forget that the loves in history have been agonizingly modern loves in their day. War at present worked as a thinning of the membrane between the this and the that, it was a becoming apparent –but then what else is love?" (Bowen, Heat of the Day, 194-5)  

The last sentence reminds of me one I had noted down from a previous chapter: "The wall between the living and the living became less solid as the wall between the living and the dead thinned."  

Recently the copying out of passages has become part of my reading practice. Perhaps it's just Elizabeth Bowen – there is an oddness to her turn of phrase that makes me want to examine it forensically. "Is she really putting it like that," I ask myself. Prime example from this long passage above: "The more imperative the love, the deeper its draft on beings, till it has taken up all that ever went to their making, and according to what it draws on its nature is."

Elizabeth Bowen, Reading, Copying

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