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Ogni passione spenta

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,195 ratings  ·  143 reviews
«Guardando Lady Slane, veniva spontaneo pensare che a una donna riuscisse facile essere bella e graziosa, così come, del resto, tutte le opere di genio ci persuadono che la perfezione non costa sforzo.»

Per settant’anni Lady Slane ha vissuto al servizio degli altri: il marito, viceré delle Indie e politico influente, e i sei figli, tutti così diversi da lei. È solo quando r
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Paperback, 167 pages
Published 2008 by Il Saggiatore (first published 1931)
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Rowena
“She wondered which wounds went deeper: the jagged wounds of reality, or the profound invisible bruises of the imagination?” - Vita Sackville-West, All Passion Spent

I loved this book, one of the best novels I’ve read so far this year. Former Vicereine, Lady Deborah Slane, is not your typical protagonist. She is 88 years old and is recently widowed after a marriage of 70 years. Lady Slane decides to live the independent life she had always dreamed of, much to the chagrin of her snobby children. S
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Kelly
Geoffrey Scott, one of the many people who fell in love with Vita Sackville-West over the course of her life, said that there was an “indefinable something” about her writing that raised above what it otherwise might have been.

Although he turned out to be a little crazy (that’s a whole other story), I can’t help but think that he was right about that. I certainly felt that way about All Passion Spent.

Many people are not able to resist the powerful temptation to compare this work to Mrs. Dallowa
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S©aP
Le prime 45 sono pagine di ingresso. Vicenda narrata e indispensabile costruzione di atmosfera, avrei capito dopo. Appena più lunghe di quanto la mia attesa fosse disposta a sostenere, in questo periodo. Stavo per lasciare, e riprendere in futuro, archiviando tuttavia nella mente una traduzione gradevole, lineare, in un italiano molto elegante e sobrio, vario e scorrevole. Ma l'incontro con i libri, si sa, non è casuale (o, sovente, non dà l'impressione di esserlo). In un pomeriggio di pioggia n ...more
Mariel
Dec 26, 2013 Mariel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Then, I was happy
Recommended to Mariel by: Then, I was unhappy
She could go on, for a little, secretly continuing to be herself.
Lady Slane, born to elderly children and their too unsafe from death's hand, dying a little girl, a fawn lovingly caught in its own spotlights standstill, the spawn, the question to do you love me yes. My overwhelming feeling about Mrs Henry Holland was that when the voice of the novel describes her as sweet and stupid it was she herself that breathed this as the sweet and stupid air in her lungs.

I had looked forward to tonight al
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Vale
Scriveva Nick Hornby: " A volte un libro non può proprio fare a meno di essere alta letteratura; è impotente contro le proprie complicazioni, perché le idee che contiene mettono alle corde la semplicità espressiva".
Prendiamo questo libro ad esempio, 167 pagine dedicate ad una donna di ottantotto anni e ai suoi ricordi. Si può pensare ad una storia ricca di eventi: la protagonista era stata vice-regina delle Indie, invece gran parte del libro è dedicato ai piccoli piaceri della vita quotidiana ai
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Mummy
Little old lady tries, at last, to make her own life after a lifetime of looking after other people's interests and especially her children. Of course, this only rings true if you are from the class of the little old lady or the author - exactly how much 'looking-after' does the Vicereine of India do? She is once described as arranging flowers though - onerous duties indeed. So here we have a deluded, very wealthy old bat who buys a house in Hampstead and has only one servant in order that she m ...more
Cheryl
This is a novel that looks at ambivalence in our decisions about marriage, children, and work showing the price paid for ignoring the conflicting opposites.

Eighty-eight year old Lady Slane is recently widowed. All six of her children have expectations of how she will live out her life based on the roles of wife and mother she has dutifully performed in the past.

Everyone, including the reader, is surprised when she makes her own decisions about where she will live and how she will fill her remai
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Sarah
Prior to reading this novel, all I really knew about Vita Sackville-West was that she inspired Woolf's Orlando. For that reason, I was expecting something rather dashing and romantic. --So you can imagine my initial disappointment when this turned out to be an uneventful book about old people!

This is a quiet, if assertively feminist, work. It isn't quite my own brand of feminism. I kept thinking, "Yes, I see your point, but I can't quite relate to it." It seems to me, there are worse things than
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Stefania T.

Lady Slane non disdegnava i gigli di campo, signor Gosheron.

Eleganza.
Fragilità.
Rimpianto? E passività. (O contemplazione? Il turbinare delle farfalle)
Lady Slane mi ricorda madame Adelaide degli Aristogatti.
Deborah.
Buona delicata bellissima. Pura.

Qualcosa di intenso, aspro, crudele, quasi. Una specie di pietra dell'onestà.
Suzanne Stroh
Fair Spouse says I am not allowed to while away any more time writing reviews on Goodreads until I tell you about this wise, gentle, funny feminist classic written in 1931 by Vita Sackville-West. Yes, I said "Sackville-West" and "feminist" in the same sentence. The audiobook performance by Wendy Hiller is my favorite of all time. I listened to it again about a year ago, on a trip across the country, and I resented having to get out of my car. The book reads like music. Hiller reads like she's si ...more
Diane Challenor
The words that came to mind while listening to this audiobook were: wonderful and beautiful. Why wonderful? Why beautiful?

I've learned when making broad, one or two word statements, the writer announcing their view must not let their reader down, they must follow their statement with an explanation, particularly if the writer is a book blogger. The reader will need to know the “why” of the blogger’s reading experience.

So, why “wonderful”.

The book tells the fictional story of an elderly woman, of
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ShyPageSniffer
I couldn't resist starting my Virago Modern Classics marathon before I finished Inkdeath---sorry Cornelia Funke. I've accumulated quite a few VMCs, so I figured it was time for a marathon. Ah...my first Virago. How perfect it be this...
This is a novel of independence, feminity, self-satisfaction, {in the best of ways} what living really means, but also of masks and facades and when to tear them off. Lady Slane is a woman after years of being in the public eye and basically babied and severely u
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arcobaleno
...a faccia a faccia con la vita
Sapevo, grazie ad aNobii, di dover considerare le prime pagine semplicemente di introduzione senza farmi scoraggiare; ma… avevo superato abbondantemente la fatidica pag.45 senza tuttavia riuscire ad entrare nella storia… anzi, mi crescevano strane sensazioni alternanti: rabbia nei confronti di Lady Slane per la sua decisione troppo improvvisa quanto imprevedibile e tardiva; incomprensione per la scelta dell’Autrice di ‘datare’ la sua protagonista a un’età così t
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Rosalba
"Così in un batter d’occhio, si era trasformata dalla ragazza che era in un’altra, completamente diversa."


Lady Slane ha speso tutta la sua vita a seguire il marito, Henry Holland viceré delle Indie e uomo politico influente nella Londra dei primi del novecento. Ma ora, alla veneranda età di ottantotto anni, rimasta vedova, può finalmente liberarsi dalle convenzioni, dagli obblighi richiesti dall’etichetta, da ogni compromesso, anche nei confronti dei numerosi figli che l’hanno sempre considerata
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Jenny
Jun 25, 2008 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elizabeth
Recommended to Jenny by: Virago/Book People and my mother
This was a great read - I bought it in a pack of 10 from Book People. All good reads I would think.
This is the story of an 88 year old woman who, when her husband dies, decides she can finally live her own life as she wants. Much to the horror of her children, who are 60 or 70 years old !
The characters are very strong. She has most affection for her son Kay.
I didnt completely agree with the review that was written inside the book, unfortunately at the start so I read it first. I would say it is
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Lee
I found this to be a thoughtful novel about a woman who finally gets to live as she pleases following the death of her husband upsetting the plans of her pompous and calculating children.

The middle part of the book focuses on her contemplation of the past; her life always in the background as the wife of a prominent and charming politician. I found this section to be quite sad as she reflects upon how her spirit was subsumed by the role of wife and mother for the majority of her life. Some of th
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Wealhtheow
The Lady Slane’s husband dies at the ripe age of 92, leaving her a widow with a small pension, six children (all over the age of 60), and innumerable grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Imagine her family’s surprise when this venerable and venerated old woman takes up a small house in London and asks her relatives not to visit her. It’s a quiet, beautifully told vignette of a woman’s last year of life. She had dreamt of being a painter, and retains an artist’s eye, but subsumed herself in her ...more
Linda
I watched the DVD with the divine Wendy Hiller and decided I needed to read the book again. What would Vita's life have been like if she could have inherited Knole? No books, no poems, no Sissinghurst? A home of one's own is so central to her work and it all comes from losing the one that meant the most to her. The subtext is always the real story with her.
Velvetink
It’s a quiet, beautifully told vignette of a woman’s last year of life. She had dreamt of being a painter, and retains an artist’s eye, but subsumed hers. I was disappointed with the outcome, I wanted this woman to pick up her brushes and create something, or at least accept the love an old flame had given her.
Sarah Magdalene
I think this book should be on every school curriculum.
Its a joyous celebration of old age. A hopeful message to all young artists. And a warning.
A kind of touch of fingers between the generations, sending a message. An important message.
Which is if you are an artist that is what you must be, and suffer terribly. That the "normal" world will always resist your choice and judge you a failure. But that "achievement" doesn't matter at all, only spirit and consciousness. So don't worry. Be happy to
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Bronwyn
This is such a beautiful book. The emotions and feelings within it are so real. The story is wonderful. I'm so glad my mom recommended it to me, but I'm sorry it took me so long to finally read. I wish I could read this for the first time again.
Ikebukuro
Un petit livre léger et délicieux sur la vieillesse mais aussi l'art d'envoyer gentiment promener les contraintes de sa famille et de la "bonne société". Comment une vieille dame à la fin de sa vie se rebelle contre le carcan social dans lequel elle s'est trouvée enfermée auprès d'un mari "politiquement correct" diplomate dans les pays du Commonwealth.

Lady Slane, âgée de 88 ans, vient de perdre son mari à qui elle a dédié toute sa vie. Contre toute attente et surtout contre l'avis de ses enfants
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Michela
Nel mio immaginario Vita Sackville-West non ha mai avuto una vita propria, ma ha sempre vissuto in funzione di qualcun altro. L'altro, o altra in questo caso, era Virginia Woolf. Vita per me era la donna con cui la Woolf si scambiava lettere piene d'amore, la donna su cui Virginia aveva modellato il suo Orlando, ma niente di più. Un po' come il marito Leonard, Vita era una prolungamento di Virginia, e non poteva vivere di vita propria. Ma come mi sbagliavo.

Vita era piena di quell'energia che la
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Anne Slater
You know how there are some books that people tell you you ought to read? And you just can't quite bring yourself to do so? This was one of those for me, but when it turned up on the reading list of a Colby College Summer reading week, I thought, "Better try it"

Contrary to my normal practice, I read the introduction, which was historically interesting and informed my reading in a way that did not distract.

Lady Slane, the central character, is 88. Her husband of 71 years has just died after a lo
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Beth_Adele
My adoration of Vita is no secret.

And my love for her dims not. Her wit and inventiveness, both strong in All Passions Spent, tend to be slightly overshadowed by her tenderness and a certain kind of brutality that she slowly unwinds simultaneously in a tale that takes a dig at the social conventions that threatened to suffocate and consume women of the era and examining how well we truly know those closest to us and at times, indeed, even ourselves.

When the enigmatic Lord Henry Sloan (former P
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Arwen56
Nei riguardi dei condannati a morte, la tradizione prescrive un austero cerimoniale, atto a mettere in evidenza come ogni passione e ogni collera siano ormai spente, e come l’atto di giustizia non rappresenti che un triste dovere verso la società, tale da potere accompagnarsi a pietà verso la vittima dalla parte dello stesso giustiziere.
Primo Levi, “Se questo è un uomo”

Curioso, non vi pare, come questa considerazione di Primo Levi, nata ovviamente in altri ambiti e riferita ad altri contesti, si
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Eileen
I don't think I've actually read any Sackville-West before, just heard way too much gossip in the obvious context, so it was nice to find this both well-written and charming. Like Memento Mori, this focuses on characters over the age of seventy; in fact, the main character, Lady Slane, is eighty-eight. This brings the focus completely to the end of life, rest, and slow wandering memories. At the same time, this book was written by Vita Sackville-West, and so, when Lady Slade's eminent and 19th-c ...more
Lynn
I read this for the first time over a rather lonely Christmas holiday, & found such encouragement in it that I repeat the ritual every other year or so. I am tempted just now to lend my copy to a great friend & great lady whose husband - who managed all of their affairs forever - is recently diagnosed with Altzheimer's Disease. She is left to deal with their affairs alone, without any preparation to take it all on, but she is a magnificent woman who is coming out the other end, whole.

The
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Dave
Beautiful, simple, clear, clever, funny, and sad. Kind of like early E.M. Forster, simplified and clarified; very much reminds me of A Room With a View. Not as much happening, but with a lot of wise reflection. I like Mr. Gosheron and Mr. Bucktrout.

"My dear lady," he said, "when your Cellinis, your Poussins, your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren are all mingled in planetary dust your problem of conscience will cease to be of much importance." That was true rather than helpful. Astrono
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Anne
Where do I start? I loved this book. I love the eccentric characters and the way in which Sackville-West uses only a few words to elicit clear, three-dimensional pictures of them. I am sure many people who enjoy this book like it because of its critique of the woman's lot in life (i.e., men get to work, travel, and have all the fun, while women are stuck being wives and mothers) but I think this book has so much more to offer. It's unexpectedly funny, thought provoking, and sweet. If only both M ...more
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Bright Young Things: September 2013 - All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West 4 23 Sep 23, 2013 10:23AM  
i need help 2 25 Apr 30, 2013 01:42PM  
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Vita Sackville-West was a prolific author, poet and memoirist in early 20th-Century Britain who is known not only for her writing, but for her not-so-private, private life. While married to the diplomat Harold Nicolson, she conducted a series of scandalous amorous liaisons with many women, including the brilliant Virginia Woolf. They had an open marriage. Both Sackville-West and her husband had sa ...more
More about Vita Sackville-West...
The Edwardians No Signposts in the Sea Saint Joan of Arc In Your Garden Vita and Harold: The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson

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“J'ai toujours pensé qu'il valait mieux plaire beaucoup à une seule personne, qu'un peu à tout le monde.” 4 likes
“Heureuse ! Qu'est-ce que cela signifiait ? C'était tout juste un mot commode pour ceux qui veulement que la vie soit uniformément blanche ou noire, pour ces petites gens perdus dans la jungle humaine et qui cherchent à se rassurer par une formule” 3 likes
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