Folded-Down Paper


CARELESS TALK by Elizabeth Bowen

“As fast as people went wading out people came wading in,…”

“He reminded her of one of the pictures arrived at in that paper game when, by drawing on folded-over paper, you add to one kind of body an intriguingly wrong kind of head.”

The consequences of war, a war ‘in media res’, as Mary from the country visits a now more cosmopolitan London, carrying with her three eggs as a present for someone in these rationing days (trustingly giving them to a waiter in the restaurant to keep safe till she finishes her meal) while meeting some of her old friends in this restaurant – talking of evacuees, cigarettes, the ‘Free French’ and secrets some could not talk about during the war….

“The only men one likes now are always late.”

The movement of peoples, not only between nations, but between each individual people’s houses, recalling, for me, the romantic logistics in the. small rooms of Mysterious KÔR….within this omelette of secret thoughts as well as life’s new habits when in bad times.

‘it can’t be as late as this?’

‘I just ought to keep an eye on the time.’

The time it will take for me to read and real-time report on all EB’s stories from the Vintage and EUP Collections. Bizarrely, this is the first story, after the ones I have already covered for choice personal reasons, the first that has been picked out of a tin of many titles each written on ‘folded over’ paper! Bearing in mind the chance quote above, this perhaps obliquely bodes well for my fearless faith in fiction that has been empirically identified for some years now and such faith’s preternatural patterns of an evolving gestalt?…

“One’s mind gets like that these days,’…”

A very short story, this one. And not much time perhaps for the rest. The Null Immortalis that hard times incubate? Three ‘thuds’ from The Apple Tree, three eggs here.


My reviews of Elizabeth Bowen Stories:

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