“A sheep would know more than you do, Postey. You’re lamentable. You are less use than an empty tin can, you dowey old cassowary.”
“Postey, I believe you think with your nose,” said Wynn. “I know you don’t with your mind.”
…affectionate digs by a growing young man called Wynn, digs at the paid companion of his guardian (Miss Fowler), yes, digs at the eponymous Mary. who equally admits to Miss Fowler that she, Mary, has no conversation, no imagination.
Mary, at 44, with no man to call her own. But at the end of this major work to which I have just been introduced, she has her ‘rapture’ of ‘woman’s work’ to fulfil with, inter alia, paraffin upon Wynn’s manifold belongings in a Destructor furnace and to wait for another man (who fell from the sky into a tree) to die, a German, a germ man, I infer, whom she calls ‘It’ with a capital i. Not even her own ‘I’ as self but an even bigger force that she summons from within. Transcending the First World War, the plane that Wynn, when in war duties himself, often landed by the garden gate, “propellers at dawn”, until he, too, fell from the sky with a quicker death than the German was later to have. Things, also, that fall from the sky, a silent plane, or a ‘stable’ that became unstable? — upon a little girl called Edna as a symbol of Mary’s earlier self, in the actually saddest moment perhaps in the whole of literature…. “‘Am I hurted bad?’ Edna asked, and died between Nurse Eden’s dripping hands.”
And the huge Destructor machine was earlier said to be “under the drip of three oaks.”
“Yes,” she said. “It’s a great pity he didn’t die in action after he had killed somebody.”
But who said that, who was that and, yes, who was the handsomest of them all?
Full context of this review: https://elizabethbowensite.wordpress.com/1351-2/
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Cross-referenced with AMY FOSTER by Joseph Conrad: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/07/11/amy-foster-by-joseph-conrad/
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