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Personal Pleasures

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Rose Macaulay was one of the most popular satirical novelists of her day. In this lively, ancedotal collection, she turns her admittedly opinionated attention to life's random, and largely unrecorded pleasures. From astronomy to new cars, church-going to turtles in Hyde Park, she never fails to delight and amuse with her sure philosophical sense, sharp wit, and unerring ey ...more
Paperback, 395 pages
Published 1990 by Ecco (first published 1936)
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Here is one of the oddest of the odd inventions which man has sought out, this conveying to one another by marks scratched on paper thoughts privately conceived in the mind. It shows, as all the arts show, the infinite publicism of humankind, the sociability, the interdependence, which cannot endure to have a thought, to conceive a tale, a tune, a picture, an arrangement of words, or anything else, but all must forthwith be informed of it.

These opening lines to the essay titled "Reading" from th
Shonna Froebel
This collection of essays about things that bring pleasure has a bit of a quirk to it. Not only does Macaulay write about the reasons that those things bring her pleasure, but she also includes the drawbacks, the potential non-pleasurable side effects, of those same things. It is kind of the opposite to finding silver linings in storm clouds. Although since she was a novelist famous for her satire, this is rather in keeping with her outlook. Many of the things she finds pleasure in, I do too. So ...more
Evocative, erudite, funny! Her approach to daily things like walking and going to sleep is imaginative and joyful.
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Emilie Rose Macaulay, whom Elizabeth Bowen called "one of the few writers of whom it may be said, she adorns our century," was born at Rugby, where her father was an assistant master. Descended on both sides from a long line of clerical ancestors, she felt Anglicanism was in her blood. Much of her childhood was spent in Varazze, near Genoa, and memories of Italy fill the early novels. The family r ...more
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“Words, those precious gems of queer shape and gay colours, sharp angles and soft contours, shades of meaning laid one over the other down history, so that for those far back one must delve among the lost and lovely litter that strews the centuries. They arrange themselves in the most elegant odd patterns; the sound the strangest sweet euphonious notes; they flute and sing and taber, and disappear, like apparitions, with a curious perfume and a most melodious twang.” 2 likes
“But how true it is that every pleasure has also its reverse side, in brief, its pain. Or, if not wholly true, how nearly so. Therefore, I have added to most of my pleasures the little flavour of bitterness, the flaw in their perfection, the canker in the damask, the worm at the root, the fear of loss, or of satiety, the fearful risks involved in their very existence, which tang their sweetness, and mind us of their mortality and of our own, and that nothing in this world is perfect.” 1 likes
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