Has anyone else noticed that Elizabeth Bowen stories literally teem with elbows!

See A Day In the Dark and Unwelcome Idea as two particularly fine examples.


Index of Bowens reviewed so far —

A Bowen of Bone —

4 thoughts on “elBOWs

  1. Just three more examples, and there are many many others!

    From Part III (2) ‘The Death of the Heart’ 1938
    Beside her goddess-like friend, Portia walked with her head down, butting against the draughty air of the street. When they came to the crossing, Lilian gripped Portia’s bare arm in a gloved hand: through the kid glove a sedative animal feeling went up to Portia’s elbow and made the joint untense. She pulled back to notice a wedding carpet up the steps of All Souls’, Langham Place – like a girl who has finished the convulsions of drowning she floated, dead, to the sunny surface again.  She bobbed in Lilian’s wake between the buses with the gaseous lightness of a little corpse.

    From ‘The Evil That Men Do –‘ 1923
    She stared first at a row of backviews of eaters perched, packed elbow-to-elbow, along a counter. A zip fastener all the way down one back made one woman seem to have a tin spine. A dye-green lettuce leaf had fallen on to the mottled rubber floor…

    From Chapter Two of ‘A World of Love’ 1954
    But sweat broke out on her forehead and upper lip: it was afternoon, most brutal phase of the day, which had leapt upon and was demolishing the poor snow-woman.  She forgot the plates and began to pluck at the deep V-neck of her cotton dress, desperately trying to fan air down it; until the humidity starting up even in the insides of her elbows made her unjoint  and drop her arms like a doll’s.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s