We are no longer in the forest but in an enclosed garden surrounded by a stone wall and the trees are different trees. I do not know them. There are steps leading upwards. It is too dark to see the wall or the steps, but I know they are there and I think, ‘It will be when I go up these steps. At the top.’ I stumble over my dress and cannot get up. I touch a tree and my arms hold on to it. ‘Here, here.’ But I think I will not go any further.
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
Film, University of Southampton
Philosophising Through Film: Reflections on Nature and Humanity in the Films of Terrence Malick
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There was an overall smell but you could separate them out the way a prism separated light. There was a smell of bark, of green branches, of nettles, of dung, of fresh earth, and stinking earth, of fungi and the Elder flower that grew profusely and was one of the chief components for the home-made wine…
The flutter of the leaves brought on your trance. Hundreds of thousands of sycamore leaves all obeying the same wind, their wide green palms opening then tightening, letting in and keeping out the light changing the prospect from indoor to outdoor to indoor, forever altering. It was the most lonesome hour just before dusk with all the colours going, all the streamers, the pinks and reds, and violets and indigoes and blues, the lovely laneways of vanquishing light.
Edna O’Brien, A Pagan Place (1970). One of the best novels about childhood (and memory, and Ireland) that I’ve ever read.
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I remember when I was a girl and a young man fell in love with me, and he came and sang in the rain under an apple-tree outside my windows, and he caught tuberculosis and died.
—Nora Barnacle, quoted in Brenda Maddox’s biography Nora.
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