Dorothy Miller Richardson (1873-1957) was the first writer to publish an English-language novel using what was to become known as the stream-of-consciousness technique. Her thirteen novel sequence "Pilgrimage" is one of the great 20th century works of modernist and feminist literature in English....
|Title||:||Pilgrimage, Volume 4: Oberland, Dawn's Left Hand, Clear Horizon, Dimple Hill, March Moonlight|
|Format Type||:||Unknown Binding|
|Number of Pages||:||660 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Pilgrimage, Volume 4: Oberland, Dawn's Left Hand, Clear Horizon, Dimple Hill, March Moonlight Reviews
We all have different sets of realitiesIt's difficult to parse a 2000 page novel; whether presented in 13 books or 4 volumes, that is what this is: a major, singular novel that took the vast majority of Richardson's life to compose. I'm in no way going to write long about this - stuff has come up that is stealing my attention but I have the memory of a goldfish nowadays and I need to put something down before it all escapes via my sieve-like-mind.I'm not 100% sure how much time the novel as a whole covers - if I had to guess I'd go with 20 years, but that seems long to me. Once Miriam gets to London time ceases to have a defined flow; where the first three novels could be said to roughly encompass a year each, I'm uncertain the length of time the other volumes cover. There are gaps in chronology not only sometimes between chapters, but frequently between the volumes themselves. There is a sense of the passage of time, but the markers are missing, and I never felt that the novel allowed the reader to get their bearings. It is possible there are historical signposts in the texts, but I was too ignorant of them to recognize them if so.Not that the time matters, I just found myself attempting to orient myself on occasions - an example: during some of the suffrage conversations I had wondered where the novel was at that time in relation to 1919, and found I had little to no idea.It Is never less than fascinating - many times enthralling - to follow Miriam through these years. Starting with her appointment at a German school, the reader is introduced to Miriam - at this time she is already showing strength and independence of thought, but it is only beginning to develop awareness of the void between male and female, and she only catches glimpses of the expectations of (and her dissatisfaction with ) women-as-wife in her early vocations. It's really only when she moves to London where she begins to assert her own independence, and begins to cultivate a greater independence of thought. Richardson's writing of Miriam's interior thoughts - and the shifting from third to first person narration and back - captures this process, and the changes are present in her method of writing. Starting in The Tunnel and continuing through The Trap, Miriam's thoughts and philosophical explorations (and thus, much of these books) are filled with quick transitions, recurrences of themes, and frequent usage of the ellipsis. It's basically a long form textual representation of an individual finding what they believe in, and establishing identity. And while the process is not complete in Oberland, it is furthered, it is emblematic of the process that the presentation of Miriam's thoughts become more orderly, and more fluid. And truthfully, this growth is subtle, but significant over a long period of time. Fairly obviously, this growth and path of exploration is probably a full half of what "Pilgrimage" references.[the other half is somewhat more spoiler-y (view spoiler)[Miriam has a great distrust for words in the novel - I'm grasping and failing to come up with a good way to put this, but she basically lumps them in with religion and science as being anti-feminist / male-centric which she is attempting to move away from. She refers to books and art as poisoned. And yet, at the end of the work as whole, she begins to truly write, and for me, the Pilgrimage as whole was leading to that moment. (hide spoiler)]]Honestly, I'm not sure why this work is not more widely read, it ticks almost all the scholarly modernist checkboxes; it has a scope that incredibly few novels attempt, let alone succeed it; in Miriam DR has created a singular literary/feminist heroine and allowed her to grow and evolve over 13 books; and, tying that all together, the writing is exceptional. It didn't make sense to me, but these sorts of vagaries of taste and popularity rarely do to me.I'll end this with a long block of text that I loved, hopefully to highlight the skill with which DR wrote. But the movement of time, because she was consciously passing along the surface of its moments as one by one they were measured off in sound that no longer held for her any time- expanding depth, was intolerably slow. And so shallow, that presently it was tormenting her with the certainty that else. where, far away in some remote region of consciousness, her authentic being was plunged in a timeless reality within which, if only she could discover the way, she might yet rejoin it and feel the barrier between herself and the music drop away. But the way was barred. And the barrier was not like any of the accountable barriers she had known in the past. It was not any abnormal state of tension. It was as if some inexorable force were holding her here on this chill promontory of consciousness, while within the progressive mesh of interwoven sounds dark chasms opened.The increase of this sense of unfathomable darkness perilously bridged by sound that had, since it was strange to her, the quality of an infernal improvisation, brought, after a time, the fear of some sudden horrible hallucination, or the breakdown, unawares, of those forces whereby she was automatically conforming to the ordinances of the visible world. Once more she raised her eyes to glance, for reassurance, at Michael seated at her side. But before they could reach him, a single flute-phrase, emerging unaccompanied, dropped into her heart.Oblivious of the continuing music, she repeated in her mind the little phrase that had spread coolness within her, refreshing as sipped water from a spring. A decorative fragment, separable, a mere nothing in the world composition, it had yet come forth in the manner of an independent statement by an intruder awaiting his opportunity and thrusting in, between beat and beat of the larger rhythm, his rapturous message, abrupt and yet serenely confident, like the sudden brief song of a bird after dark; and so clear that it seemed as though, if she should turf; her eyes, she would see it left suspended in the air in front of the orchestra, a small festoon of sound made visible.No longer a pattern whose development she watched with indifference, the music now assailing her seemed to have borrowed from the rapturous intruder both depth and glow; and confidence in an inaccessible joy. But she knew the change was in herself; that the little parenthesis, coming punctually as she turned to seek help from Michael who could not give it, had attained her because in that movement she had gone part of the way towards the changeless central zone of her being. The little phrase had caught her on the way.But from within the human atmosphere all about her came the suggestion that this retreat into the centre of her eternal profanity, if indeed she should ever reach it again, was an evasion whose price she would live to regret. Again and again it had filled her memory with wreckage. She admitted the wreckage, but insisted at the same time upon the ultimate departure of regret, the way sooner or later it merged into the joy of a secret companionship restored; a companionship that again and again, setting aside the evidence of common sense, and then the evidence of feeling, had turned her away from entanglements by threatening to depart, and had always brought, after the wrenching and the wreckage, moments of joy that made the intermittent miseries, so rational and so passionate and so brief, a small price to pay.
OberlandMiriam heads to switzerland for a rest cure, there's a lot of descriptions of the mountains and their effect on our heroine. There's also a chance to meet a whole host of characters who seem to all get on and look out for each other. Dawn's left handStarts with Miriam returning to London and her job, there's the man in her life who Miriam seems to feel doesn't understand her or what she feels. There's a new place to live and new house mates. There's also the suffragettes, a movement which Miriam watches but doesn't seem to get involved with. Finally a sense of when Pilgrimage is set, there was mention of the Boer war earlier but as something which had already happened.Clear HorizonMiriam's journey continues, she attends lectures with friends, visits a friend who has been arrested, and ends a friendship by sending back an insulting letter with the message that she doesn't possess a wastepaper basket. Must remember to use that one day.Dimple HillNamed after the farm where the book is set, and where Miriam goes for a rest. The farm is owned by quakers a way of life which attracts Miriam. There are new characters who quickly become important to Miriam.March MoonlightThe final installment, Miriam's still a young woman, she's faced disappointment and rejection through the series, but this does end on a high note.
Wow!DMR's Pilgrimage took me a long time but I can now say I finally done did it. You can be sure she is truly one of the best as far as stream of consciousness comes and also she is one of the best when we talk about gaps in narrative.I will say at this point that silence is also one of her strong themes across all books, on this same line I will also say that after reading DMR...all descriptives ( a term I coined to describe rooms, places, situations, people et al.) by other writers seem to always come short.Here are some of her illuminated instances in this last bit of her installation on the Pilgrimage series...."Slipshod English manner""Selfishness of a bachelor of thirty – but charming""Science insists on indestructibility – yet marks for destruction the very thing they enables it to recognize indestructibility""Beethoven AND Bach are experiences of adventures of the solitary human soul in all it’s moods. Wagner is everybody speaking at once.""Anemones in woods""Vicarious suffering is the only kind that instructs"Oberland's setting is in Switzerland while Dawn's left hand is her return to London. There is always something about London and the whole Europe when DMR writes.She talks about music in a very deep way stating that there is no possible representation that can compete with the vast scenes music brings to your mind. It is so deep. Of course she talks lengthily about classical music and how Wagner through your ears makes you see so hugely humanity pouring itself into space.Beethoven worked at his themes washing and rewashing his hands.... this is deep.When talking about weather she intimates that the world's weather cannot be arranged as a conversation with one small person.... Bias still gets tackled with men being blamed for making art, literature, systems of thought all the fine products of masculine nature to be so lightly called "immortal" A few men of each generation who are in the same spirit as the creators is how she describes "immortal" I like everything about DMR.
FINALLY FINISHED PILGRIMAGE YEAH 'everyone lets u down,' i guess?
Wonderful...lets face it though, if you made it to Volume 4 you really are not going to need any encouragement from me by way of a review...