By Hope Mirrlees
Spanning a number of many years of her existence, a number of continents, and critical occasions, this choice of desire Mirrlees’s poetry contains formerly unpublished paintings and the modernist writer’s later poems and essays, written circa 1920. additionally integrated is the complete textual content of Paris: A Poem—a daylong, psycho-geographical flânerie during the streets and metro tunnels of post–World warfare I Paris. Groundbreaking and illuminating, this quantity is a testomony to Mirrlees’s contribution to 20th-century poetry.
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But he was always justiﬁed. Yes, he was always justiﬁed. If he had no other justiﬁcation he could always fall back on some morality of his own. Her ﬁnal condemnation turns his own judgement of ‘waste’ of potential back upon Guy himself: ‘[she began] to fear that he was a man who in the end would achieve little. ’33 Guy is not unaware of this possibility, though it strikes him from a different angle. The true test of his purpose in life – and his achievements as a young man – comes when he thinks about his profession, late in the war, and reﬂects on what he has done: Now, no longer challenged by the nearness of war, he could see the futility of his reserved occupation.
Gender is less of a deﬁning issue in these works, since logic and perception are what tend to fascinate these writers. In this context, the constant, covert presence of popularized psychological theories pits logic against irrationality; characters try to think their way out of emotional dramas or pain. But the fact of supernatural presence means that they are contending with something beyond themselves. They face an enemy with superior powers, which gives the reader a requisite frisson of terror, and also provides the characters with arresting challenges.
Her dissatisfaction with Guy in his role as a husband often becomes a subject The World Gone Mad in Wartime 23 of discussion between them, in addition to one of continual meditation for her. When Harriet learns that one of Guy’s Romanian students had tried to persuade him to marry her, in order to obtain British citizenship, she explodes: ‘If anyone had asked me before I married, I would have said I was marrying the rock of ages. ’ His response echoes a kind of British nonchalance: ‘ “Oh, come, darling,” Guy protested.