By Sybille Bedford
Acclaim, acclaim, and acclaim. Sybille Bedford is, easily placed, one of many most interesting writers of her new release. None except notoriously hard-to-satisfy Bruce Chatwin asserted that "when the heritage of contemporary prose in English involves be written, Mrs. Bedford must look in any checklist of its such a lot fantastic practitioners."
Comparisons. whereas now not but as large a reputation within the U.S. as her expertise could recommend, Bedford ranks with the elder states(wo)men of up to date literature. examine her within the comparable breath as Shirley Hazzard, Penelope Fitzgerald, Joan Didion, Anita Brookner, and Cynthia Ozick.
Another likelihood to rediscover a long-lost nice. The earlier few years the literary international has witnessed a couple of surprising profession rebirths. Paula Fox, e.g., emerged after an extended silence with the NBCC finalist Borrowed Finery and stacks of rave studies. occasionally, this reassessment has even labored posthumously--as visible within the cognizance lavished on Rebecca West's Survivors in Mexico. count on Bedford's Quicksands to be the following to get this royal treatment.
The Counterpoint reissues. This booklet, in all probability to be Bedford's final (she's 92), also will shape the fruits of the Counterpoint reissues of the Bedford backlist. look ahead to an analogous crisp, vintage packaging for this most up-to-date outing.
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Extra info for Quicksands: A Memoir
I wrote: ‘Land-owner’. Now the groom’s flip. while he got here to FATHER’S identify he wrote, ‘Unknown’. MOTHER’S identify he placed down the identify I endure this present day. We obtained to career. For me: ‘None’. For him, ‘Club Attendant’. The clerk didn't appear to take a lot discover. We had no longer checked out one another in any respect. subsequent got here ADDRESSES His, everlasting, in SWI. Mine, for the reason that yesterday’s date, in SW7. additional query: a date for the marriage. Did we really either say ‘As quickly as possible’? It was once fastened for a couple of days forward. ‘That might be ten shillings,’ stated the clerk to Terry. Who for the 1st time grew to become to me. The glance was once akin to noticeable on an embarrassed puppy. ‘Oh of course,’ I mumbled, opened my bag, produced a be aware, attempted a grin. (What I must have acknowledged is, how foolish: we either got here out with none cash. ) After this we grew to become our backs and marched out – me, taking into consideration Erika, heartily placing my arm into his. We have been to be married at 11 o’clock within the morning at Caxton corridor, Westminster, within the presence of Aldous, Maria and Pierre. Pierre used to be to be most sensible guy, Maria the second one witness. In my room that morning, I had almost about accomplished dressing, Pierre had are available, nonetheless in his silk dressing-gown, to need me success, ‘Que le soleil d’Austerlitz…’, whilst the phone rang. I were stretching out a leg to place on my left shoe: struck instantaneously via an important worry, I hobbled the few steps and lifted the receiver. A switchboard voice acknowledged, ‘A gentleman to work out you. ’ ‘Who is he? ’ ‘A gentleman from the house place of work, he’s on his means up. ’ He used to be within the room inside seconds, a tall guy retaining a briefcase and a bowler-hat. One contemptuous examine Pierre, and, ‘Will you please go away us, i've got company with this girl. ’ (Pierre vanished. ) To me, ‘I need to see your passport. ’ while he had it in his hand, he sat down and regarded via it hard and long. ‘So you've been residing often in France over the past few years. and also you intend to marry a British topic this morning? ’ There got here extra questions, tangential they appeared to me yet then i used to be in surprise. all of the related I went to the phone: I knew the variety of Lysander’s chambers, and his clerk got here at the line: Lysander used to be in court docket. I controlled to show that i wished to talk to him. Urgently. the house workplace guy sat, looking at not anything, listened. It took time for the phone to ring again. Lysander’s voice: he had prepared a couple of minutes’ adjournment. I acknowledged what I had rehearsed: ‘Someone from the house workplace is with me the following who says there’s whatever fallacious approximately Terry and that i getting married. ’ Lysander – very fast – got here again with, ‘Go once he’s left. He won’t take you with him – and cross instantly to the Huxleys, I shall meet you there. ’ The inquisitor certainly left fairly quickly. ‘I’m afraid I shall need to take your passport with me. ’ Foolishly I requested, ‘…but i'm going to get it again? ’ (The nasty brown factor. ) He checked out my face for the 1st time, ‘You gets it again okay, yet you could unlike what you will discover within it. ’ An account of the times which now – days that have been dramatic, farcical, morally ambivalent and for me, fragmented like a heavy dream, has been written by way of Maria Huxley to her son Matthew at nice and shiny size.