Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The trick with a Rebecca West novel is to approach it with caution and respect, knowing that you have time and attention to spare. Don't assume you can skip, skim, or read carelessly; you can't. She is to be read word by word; and then, if only you allow her, she will construct such a convincing edifice around you that the longest afternoon, the weariest train journey will pass as if by magic. She will have led you by a caring fictional hand into another world; and you will have spent a more animating and enlightening time in that land than in this. I know no writer better able to do it.

--Fay Weldon, introduction to Rebecca West

Weldon says the three best West novels are The Return of the Soldier, The Judge, and The Fountain Overflows.

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