Friday, January 04, 2008

Verlyn Klinkenborg on Angela Thirkell's novels:

These are novels full of what might be called applied literature, whole lifetimes of shared reading welling up allusively in conversation. The reader hears the constant sound of familiar authors passing back and forth behind the scenes, like servants heading from the kitchen to the dining room in great English houses. And yet the talk is wonderful because it is simply neighborhood gossip. The war encroaches on Barsetshire, but the gossip continues, against a broader, grimmer backdrop.

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