Аналитическое чтение учебно-методическое пособие для студентов отделения заочного обучения




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He won't be caught by the door trick again. There aren't any loose stones. All solidly concreted in. I suppose he thought of that as well as of everything else.


I've spent most of today thinking. About me. What will happen to me? I've never felt the mystery of the future so much as here. What will happen? What will happen?

It's not only now, in this situation. When I get away. What shall I do? I want to marry, I want to have children, I want to prove to myself that all marriages needn't be like D and M's. I know exactly the sort of person I want to marry, someone with a mind like G.P.'s, only much nearer my own age, and with the looks I like. And without his one horrid weakness. But then I want to use my feelings about life. I don't want to use my skill vainly, for its own sake. But I want to make beauty. And marriage and being a mother terrifies me for that reason. Getting sucked down into the house and the house things and the baby-world and the child-world and the cooking-world and the shopping-world. I have a feeling a lazy-cow me would welcome it, would forget what I once wanted to do, and I would just become a Great Female Cabbage. Or I would have to do miserable work like illustrating, or even commercial stuff, to keep the home going. Or turn into a bitchy ginny misery like M (no, I couldn't be like her). Or worst of all be like Caroline, running along pathetically after modern art and modern ideas and never catching up with them because she's someone quite different at heart and yet can never see it.

I think and think down here. I understand things I haven't really thought about before.

Two things. M. I've never really thought of M objectively before, as another person. She's always been my mother I've hated or been ashamed of. Yet of all the lame ducks I've met or heard of, she's the lamest. I've never given her enough sympathy. I haven't given her this last year (since I left home) one half of the consideration I've given the beastly creature upstairs just this last week. I feel that I could overwhelm her with love now. Because I haven't felt so sorry for her for years. I've always excused myself – I've said, I'm kind and tolerant with everyone else, she's the one person I can't be like that with, and there has to be an exception to the general rule. So it doesn't matter. But of course that's wrong. She's the last person that should be an exception to the general rule.

Minny and I have so often despised D for putting up with her. We ought to go down on our knees to him.

The other thing I think about is G.P.

When I first met him I told everyone how marvellous he was. Then a reaction set in, I thought I was getting a silly schoolgirl hero-pash on him, and the other thing began to happen. It was all too emotional.

Because he's changed me more than anything or anybody. More than London, more than the Slade.

It's not just that he's seen so much more life. Had so much more artistic experience. And is known. But he says exactly what he thinks, and he always makes me think. That's the big thing. He makes me question myself. How many times have I disagreed with him? And then a week later with someone else I find I'm arguing as he would argue. Judging people by his standards.

He's chipped off all (well, some of, anyway) my silliness, my stupid fussy frilly ideas about life and art, and modern art. My feyness. I've never been the same since he told me how he hated fey women. I even learnt the word from him.


List of the ways in which he has altered me. Either directly. Or confirmed alterations in progress.

  1. If you are a real artist, you give your whole being to your art. Anything short of that, then you are not an artist. Not what G.P. calls a ''maker''.

  2. You don't gush. You don't have little set-pieces or set-ideas you gush out to impress people with.

  3. You have to be Left politically because the Socialists are the only people who care, for all their mistakes. They feel, they want to better the world.

  4. You must make, always. You must act, if you believe some­thing. Talking about acting is like boasting about pictures you're going to paint. The most terrible bad form.

  5. If you feel something deeply, you're not ashamed to show your feeling.

  6. You accept that you are English. You don't pretend that you'd rather be French or Italian or something else. (Piers always talking about his American grandmother.)

  7. But you don't compromise with your background. You cut off all the old you that gets in the way of the maker you. If you're suburban (as I realize D and M are – their laughing at suburbia is just a blind), you throw away (cauterize) the suburbs. If you're working class, you cauterize the working class in you. And the same, whatever class you are, because class is primitive and silly.

(It's not only me. Look at that time Louise's boy-friend – the miner's son from Wales – met him, and how they argued and snarled at each other, and we were all against G.P. for being so contemptuous about working-class people and working-class life. Calling them animals, not human beings. And David Evans, all white and stammering, don't you tell me my father's a bloody animal I've got to kick out of the way, and G.P. saying I've never hurt an animal in my life, you can always make out a case for hurting human beings, but human animals deserve every sym­pathy. And then David Evans coming up to me last month and actually admitting it had changed him, that evening.)

  1. You hate the political business of nationality. You hate everything, in politics and art and everything else, that is not genuine and deep and necessary. You don't have any time for silly trivial things. You live seriously. You don't go to silly films, even if you want to; you don't read cheap newspapers; you don't listen to trash on the wireless and the telly; you don't waste time talking about nothing. You use your life.

I must have always wanted to believe in those things; I did believe in them in a vague sort of way, before I met him. But he's made me believe them; it's the thought of him that makes me feel guilty when I break the rules.

If he's made me believe them, that means he's made a large part of the new me.

If I had a fairy godmother – please, make G.P. twenty years younger. And please, make him physically attractive to me.

How he would despise that!


It's odd (and I feel a little guilty) but I have been feeling happier today than at any time since I came here. A feeling – all will turn out for the best. Partly because I did something this morning. I tried to escape. Then, Caliban has accepted it. I mean if he was going to attack me, he'd surely do it at some time when he had a reason to be angry. As he was this morning. He has tremendous self-control, in some ways.

I know I also feel happy because I've been not here for most of the day. I've been mainly thinking about G.P. In his world, not this one here. I remembered so much. I would have liked to write it all down. I gorged myself on memories. This world makes that world seem so real, so living, so beautiful. Even the sordid parts of it.

And partly, too, it's been a sort of indulging in wicked vanity about myself. Remembering things G.P. has said to me, and other people. Knowing I am rather a special person. Knowing I am intelligent, knowing that I am beginning to understand life much better than most people of my age. Even knowing that I shall never be so stupid as to be vain about it, but be grateful, be terribly glad (especially after this) to be alive, to be who I am – Miranda, and unique.

I shall never let anyone see this. Even if it is the truth, it must sound vain.

Just as I never never let other girls see that I know I am pretty; nobody knows how I've fallen over myself not to take that unfair advantage. Wandering male eyes, even the nicest, I've snubbed.

Minny: one day when I'd been gushing about her dress when she was going out to a dance. She said, shut up. You're so pretty you don't even have to try.


____________________


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