From Men and Wives by Ivy Compton-Burnett:

“Well, my Harriet. Well, my dear, I heard you talking in a way that reminded me of our youth. I said to myself, ‘Why, there is my Harriet chattering like a girl!’ This is a brave morning for you.”

“Godfrey,” said Harriet, shrinking back in a manner that made her husband do the same, “I wish you would not comment upon any action of mine that happens to be natural. What would you do, if you could not be yourself for a moment without creating a storm of comment? How can I avoid being unlike other people, if I am to produce stupefaction when I am as they are?”

The distinctive IC-B style (e.g., “‘Well, now, I am going to get up and go,’ said Sir Percy, carefully adapting his actions to his words”) isn’t to everyone’s taste, but you ought to investigate her if sitting blindfolded in an Edwardian parlor while a family afflicted with Asperger’s does psychological combat with the utmost courtesy sounds like your idea of a good time. I believe it is the paradise where Florence King will go when she dies.

blog comments powered by Disqus