Eucatastrophe: Tolkein’s term for the unexpected happy turn at the end of story. I would have imagined, firstly that there would be an existing term for that, and secondly that Tolkein would have known it. Apparently not.
It’s refreshing to read a memoirist so dedicated to telling a version of her life that is more about ideas than bedpost notches, though sad to think that only someone like Smith could push this past her editors. The New Irony: only a rock star has the moxie to be a prude now.
Naturally, though, I’m more inspired by what the other Sasha finds in it:
It’s a love story, in every sense; not only an account of a love affair, but of a connection that goes beyond sexuality and familiarity into true understanding and devotion….
he pair were the cutting edge of late 60s and early 70s creative New York, and the energy and belief and idealism surrounding them practically wafts off the page.
Bracewell’s “England is Mine” turns out to be excellent page by page, but a bit of a letdown overall. He’s taken as his basic thesis something entirely vagye and anodyne, namely nostalgia for the countryside within English culture and pop music. He calls this “Arcadia”, although it’s unclear what makes this a peculiarly English form different from the adoration of an imagined countryside that is present in just about every country in the world. Likewise, the breadth and commonness of the subject makes it hard to trace any intellectual ancestry for the views he describes: who is to say whether different longings for “Arcadia” are directly related, or just parallel expressions of the same common human urge?
That said, I’m only on page 37; all this could well be resolved later.