➿ Pilgrimage, Volume 2: The Tunnel and Interim Free ➶ Author Dorothy M. Richardson – 9facts.co.uk

Pilgrimage, Volume 2: The Tunnel and Interim More of the same Miriam is not a very nice person, the story is not that interesting but at least Interim was a quick read for me. Includes The Tunnel And Interim The Tunnel, one of the longer books Miriam now works at a dental centre, the book reflects her thoughts about life, her family and those around her.Interim, is just that a short book in which Miriam goes away to a boarding house There she meets a group of characters including a doctor from Canada She spends much of her time watching the other people staying at the house It s interesting to read what she thinks of others and how she feels later in the book to hear their impressions of her. Miriam settles as an independent young woman, working as a dentist s assistant and living in a boarding house She wrestles with feelings of inadequacy while relishing the opportunity to learn through attending lectures Sometimes Richardson writes about feelings which absolutely echo thoughts that I might have had, but I felt that there were passages in these volumes which I had trouble identifying with at all But after finishing The Tunnel I wroteI love these books I agree they are like a Miriam settles as an independent young woman, working as a dentist s assistant and living in a boarding house She wrestles with feelings of inadequacy while relishing the opportunity to learn through attending lectures Sometimes Richardson writes about feelings which absolutely echo thoughts that I might have had, but I felt that there were passages in these volumes which I had trouble identifying with at all But after finishing The Tunnel I wroteI love these books I agree they are like a cosy cup of tea but I look forward to spending time with Miriam I recognise a lot of myself in the young Miriam her social anxiety, her observations of others, her excitement at intellectual activities and her love of reading I had noted both the quotes Gail has cited, too I have a young granddaughter working alone in London and I gave her the first two volumes last night I am looking forward to finding out what she thinks of them Has anyone got any ideas about why this section is called The Tunnel Is it because she has built herself a burrow I have just finished Interim, and found it harder going Sometimes I was confused about what was going on But then there would be a passage where I would recognise something that I had also experienced but never articulated She saw herself relinquishing efforts, putting on a desperate animation, professing interests and opinions and talking as people talk, while they watched her with eyes that saw nothing but a pitiful attempt to hide an awful fate, lonely poverty, the absence of any opening prospect, nothing ahead but a gloom deepening as the years wound themselves off.Or another quote which I loved Walking along Oxford Street with a read volume of Ibsen held against you is walking along with something precious between two covers which makes you know you are rich and free And Mrs Bailey was busily thinking behind her voice These passages make me love Richardson All that has been said and known in the world is in language, in words all we know of Christ is in Jewish words all the dogmas of religion are words the meaning of words change with people s thoughts Then no one knows anything for certain Everything depends upon the way a thing is put, and that is a question of some particular civilization Culture comes through literature, which is a half truth People who are not cultured are isolated in barbaric darkness The Greeks were cultured but th All that has been said and known in the world is in language, in words all we know of Christ is in Jewish words all the dogmas of religion are words the meaning of words change with people s thoughts Then no one knows anything for certain Everything depends upon the way a thing is put, and that is a question of some particular civilization Culture comes through literature, which is a half truth People who are not cultured are isolated in barbaric darkness The Greeks were cultured but they are barbarianswhy Whether you agree or not, language is the only way of expressing anything and it dims everything So the Bible is not true it is a culture Religion is wrong in making word dogmas out of it Christ was something But Christianity which calls Him divine and so on, is false It clings to words which getandwrongthen there s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be quite sure of rejoicing about The Christians are irritating and frightened This is an odd series of books to try and review without falling too heavily into repetition That s not to say that there is not a great deal of depth here there is and I m going to touch on exactly why that is in a moment , and I m sure one could write loads of criticism based on what Richardson is doing and the topics she explores but I m not trying to write criticism, I m just trying to briefly cover why these books are excellent and move on.As noted in my review of volume one, these books contain a massive depth of interiority Specifically Miriam s Pretty much no matter what events are occurring whether at her clerical job, sitting having tea, writing a letter to her sister, walking the streets of London, tutoring in French the real action is all in Miriam s head Real life basically pales in comparison to her specifically filtered view of real life It is a very vibrant combination of interior strength, and societal embarrassment, and frustration there is both fragility as well as a core of independent intellectual strength to Miriam There is also, in great quantities, an immense depth of rage at societies views of, expectations for, and general dismissals in regards to women Miriam Dorothy Richardson pulls no punches in her scathing critique of male dominated society, as some of the best passages in these books positively boil with indignant rage These books ache, and they make me ache when I read them There is just so much bearing down, the intimate claustrophobia of an other snippets and fragments and feelings that are familiar and recognizable, but with that there is an alienness that shifts the perspective just enough to put me out of phase The weight is almost too much at times.All of that is to say that they are excellent But, again, I m not sure how many other ways I m going to be able to say it if it continues for the next eight books I might just start picking quotes out and letting them stand alone If, by one thought, all the men in the world could be stopped, shaken, and slapped There must, somewhere, be some power that could avenge it allbut if these men were right, there was not Nothing but Nature and her decrees Why was nature there Who started it If nature took good care this and thatthere must be somebody If there was a trick, there must be a trickster If there is a god who arranged how things should be between men and women, and just let it go and go on I have no respect for him I should like to give him a piece of my mindThere was nothing to turn to Books were poisoned Art All the achievements of men were poisoned at the root The beauty of nature was tricky femininity The animal world was cruelty Humanity was based on cruelty Jests and amusements were tragic distractions from tragedy Religion was the only hope But even there there was no hope for women No future life could heal the degradation of having been a woman Religion in the world had nothing but insults for women Christ was a man If it was true that he was God taking on humanity he took on male humanityand the people who explained him, St Paul and the priests, the Anglicans and the Nonconformists, it was the same story everywhere Even if religion could answer science and prove it wrong there was no hope, for women And no intelligent person can prove science wrong Life is poisoned, for women, at the very source Science is true and will find outand , and things will growandhorrible Space is full of dead worlds The world is cooling and dying Then why not stop now When alerted to the fact that a book has no narrative , two albeit similar question arise 1 Will I want to keep on reading if there s no central narrative thread to pull me through and 2 Will the lack of drama and events leave me bored The answer to question one, as regards Dorothy Richardson, is a very firm Yes Her writing style despite my having read in some places about its being difficult is very easy to read By this I mean that it is not clunky nor digressive nor intentionally comp When alerted to the fact that a book has no narrative , two albeit similar question arise 1 Will I want to keep on reading if there s no central narrative thread to pull me through and 2 Will the lack of drama and events leave me bored The answer to question one, as regards Dorothy Richardson, is a very firm Yes Her writing style despite my having read in some places about its being difficult is very easy to read By this I mean that it is not clunky nor digressive nor intentionally complex it is mellufluous, thought provoking, hilarious and beautiful That is not to say that question two will not arise at some point as you read on, thoroughly enjoying her writing but wondering to yourself is this going any where Then suddenly, you get it This isn t someone simply divulging all their deepest thoughts and telling you what they do from day to day, thoughtlessly and lazily adopting the epistolary form, nor is it its opposite she isn t experimenting with form to make you admire her writing style What she has done is attempt to write a psychological novel without pandering to the reader she parachutes you into siutation after situation without ever explaining what is happening and one has to draw one s own conclusion a hugely rewarding manner of writing Authors such as Henry Green, Christine Brooke Rose and Carole Maso, much later in the 20thC would go on to remove nouns or write with an obstruction, to highlight particular issues with society or with the novel itself, often resulting in admirable butoften difficult novels Richardson succeeds where others fail Sure, you need to be open minded, certainly you need to be able to enjoy the kind of novel in which no one kills anyone, but aside from that, this book is akin to any other novel which seeks to get to the core of human nature but, perhaps, so.In short, she is has created a remarkably readable, extremely enjoyable novel which using an intruging form allows us to see and hear the inner voice with precision, without feeling as if we are reading a novel Having only read The Tunnel and having just begun Interrim, shie is already one of my favourite authors She is less stylistically obsessed than Woolf, less digressive than Proust and funnier than both, but I would place her somewhere betwixt the two It s such a tremendous shame that she is so neglected Hopefully the upcoming centenary of the first part of this book, and the fact that Oxford appear to be reissuing it it is, otherwise, a print on demand title and thus pretty hard to find will see her gradually gain back a reputation which she most certainly deserves She s fabulous read her


About the Author: Dorothy M. Richardson

Richardson was born in Abingdon in 1873 Her family moved to Worthing, West Sussex in 1880 and then Putney, London in 1883 At seventeen, because of her father s financial difficulties she went to work as a governess and teacher, first in 1891 for six months at a finishing school in Germany In 1895 Richardson gave up work as a governess to take care of her severely depressed mother, but her mother committed suicide the same year Richardson s father had become bankrupt at the end of 1893.Richardson subsequently moved in 1896 to Bloomsbury, London, where she worked as a receptionist secretary assistant in a Harley Street dental surgery While in Bloomsbury in the late 1890s and early 1900s, Richardson associated with writers and radicals, including the Bloomsbury Group H G Wells 1866 1946 was a friend and they had a brief affair which led to a pregnancy and then miscarriage, in 1907 While she had first published an article in 1902, Richardson s writing career, as a freelance journalist really began around 1906, with periodical articles on various topics, book reviews, short stories, and poems, as well as translation from German and French During this period she became interested in the Quakers and published two books relating to them in 1914.In 1915 Richardson published her first novel Pointed Roofs, the first complete stream of consciousness novel published in English She married the artist Alan Odle 1888 1948 in 1917 a distinctly bohemian figure, who was fifteen years younger than she From 1917 until 1939 the couple spent their winters in Cornwall and their summers in London, and then stayed permanently in Cornwall until Odle s death in 1948 She supported herself and her husband with freelance writing for periodicals for many years In 1954, she had to move into a nursing home in the London suburb of Beckenham, Kent, where she died, forgotten, alone and ignored, in 1957.


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