Group Read: Pilgrimage by Dorothy Richardson, vol 4 (Oberland; Dawn's Left Hand; Clear Horizon; Dimple Hill; March Moonl
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The thirteen magnificent novels that comprise Pilgrimage are the first expression in English of what was to be called 'stream of consciousness' technique, predating the work of both Joyce and Woolf, echoing that of Proust with whom Dorothy Richardson stands as one of the great innovatory figures of our time. These four volumes record in detail the life of Miriam Henderson. Through her experience - personal, spiritual, intellectual - Dorothy Richardson explores intensely what it means to be a woman, presenting feminine consciousness with a new voice, a new identity.
We began in December, 2015, reading one novella per month through 2016. For most of us, this reading experience has had its ups and downs but we have supported one another throughout, and have often come to appreciate this work more because of the insights shared on these threads.
This thread will cover the five novellas that make up Pilgrimage v.4 in the Virago Modern Classics edition:
* August: Oberland
* September: Dawn's Left Hand
* October: Clear Horizon
* November: Dimple Hill
* December: March Moonlight
We are in the home stretch now! Just think what a sense of accomplishment we will all feel come December!
Edited to update the touchstone. But hey, the Chalet School was in the Oberland apparently! Or was at one time ...
I'll do a composite review on my blog and link it here when it's up!
Feels good to have caught up!
And don't we all have that internal monologue going when we are staying in a hotel and observing the comings & goings of other guests? But since these books are spent entirely inside Miriam's head, and she is very analytical and prone to overthinking, it was somewhat devoid of plot, character development (except for Miriam), and emotion. Very much like all of the other books, but I guess I would prefer it to be less cerebral.
I say that at more length here: https://beyondedenrock.com/2016/09/12/oberland-by-dorothy-richardson-1928/
1. The long-awaited scene with Hypo seemed to leave Miriam cold. There seemed to be little passion and she appeared to be turned off by seeing him naked. Did others interpret her reaction the same way?
2. Is their affair still going on at the end of the novel? Does Alma know of it, and of Hypo's infidelities in general? I thought it was quite odd the three of them still visiting together even as she and Hypo were sneaking off.
3. I didn't quite "get" the Amabel segments other than that she and Miriam seemed to be infatuated with one another.
2. I think so! More goes? Not sure.
3. No, seemed pretty random to me!
I think those are general enough answers not to hide them!
I'm still committed to finishing this series because I've invested so much time in it and we are so close to the finish line. But there are times it feels like some sort of punishment ...
Talk about putting the important parts of your life in parenthesis!
'Now that's wise of you.' Had Miss Roscola told him of
her breakdown? ... She had not told him. He regarded her as a paying guest on a fortnight's holiday ...
For heaven's sake, Dorothy. The way you skip over major life events and drop these little bombshells! If we are supposed to be inside Miriam's head, why did we not know this?
On the other hand, I enjoy reading about Miriam's enjoyment of homemade buns and cakes. The language is really quite lovely.
I am none the wiser. But I've done it. Am going to read that book I bought about her, although that looks Hard, too. Might shed some light.
I DID IT!
Once a few of us have finished we should celebrate our collective accomplishment. It would also be interesting to share reflections on the work as a whole.
I'm glad I read it, and it was indeed interesting, but it takes considerable strength and commitment -- and/or fabulous reading buddies -- to get through it.
I'm not quite done with Dorothy Richardson yet, because I brought Gloria Fromm's biography home from the library yesterday - I had to pick it up before the TBR Dare starts - and I have the Virago short stories to read too.