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The Lone Pilgrim
2021/04/22 22:07:41瀏覽384|回應0|推薦5

Writer:

Colwin was born in ManhattanNew York City.  From an early age, Colwin was a prolific writer. Colwin died unexpectedly in 1992, in Manhattan, from a heart attack at the age of 48. Her published works include Passion and Affect (1974), Shine on, Bright and Dangerous Object (1975), Happy All the Time (1978), The Lone Pilgrim (1981), Wet (1974), Family Happiness (1982), Another Marvelous Thing (1988), Home Cooking (1988), Goodbye without Leaving (1990), More Home Cooking (1993), and A Big Storm Knocked It Over (1993). The PBS series American Playhouse adapted Colwins short story An Old-Fashioned Story as a 90-minute film retitled Ask Me Again, which aired February 8, 1989.

Her last two books, More Home Cooking and A Big Storm Knocked It Over, were published posthumously. She also appears in Nancy Cramptons 2005 book of photography, Writers, which features Cramptons portraits of various literary figures.

Colwins husband, Juris Jurjevics, was the editor-in-chief of Soho Press for 20 years and wrote a novel, The Trudeau Vector, published in 2003; her child, RF Jurjevics, is a technology professional and writer-illustrator.(r.2)

 

Story:

This collection of stories about love and privacy is serious , funny, tender, and alive with the elegance and spirit that characterize Laurie Colwins work. In these stories, the reader moves among young men and women: pianists, historians, book illustrators, architects; women who are composed and inimitably sassy; and men who are magnetic, adventurous in love, or fiendishly elusive. They are people who are experiencing, often for the first time, the starting, enriching, and maddening complications of adult life. (r.1)

Highlights vs self- reflection:

1.p.23: romance and marriage is mutually exclusive, who he is good at domestic happiness and domestic genius, could bring the romance of marriage back again.

2.p.23: barring allergies, a good nights rest is aided greaty by European goose down.

Simple daily life is luxurious gift from the reality.

3.p.27:The intelligence wih which they adored from one another.Now it seemed that there was rather more quarreling than enchantment. Simple life became voracious demand if we lost the ability to communicate with each other.

Family Happiness

4.p.172: Henry’s sense of what life was like was very Solo-Miller and hardly noticed the difference.

5.p.174:No one ask Polly anything because she was so normal.

6.p.178:Polly used to understanding, but not to being undersood

7.p.184: Without Henry, her Dolly’s life was not normal, without Lincoln, Dolly’s life was not natural.

8.p.186: Polly felt her heart break open to love and pain, no kite had been given Polly to fly, but she felt as overexicted and grateful as it had.

Henry is the one she understood, Lincoln is the one understand her, isn’t it too lucky?

9.no matter to love or to be loved is to find your own self-nature buddha

The Lone Pilgrim

9.p.11: the idea of comitted settled love is as remote to a romantic as lunar soil

10.p.11: Divored people sometimes remember the joys of married life as strains but in a love affair just the revers is true

We are the house pets to entertain all the relationship. It will bring our life filled with strains. In the eye of a house pet, life as human-being is so luxtious but less to bring the joy of life.

10.p.6:Your object is to give pleasure to your hosts.

11.p.7.They view thir situation without any depth perception.

12. We domestic sensualists live in a state of longing, no, matter how comfortable our own places are.(r.7)

13.p.16: strain through the darkness to see ahead

We are afraid to enter the unpredicatable forest, wonder what will happen(with Gibert or Jacob), but once we decide to take a step, we will find out we are not alone at all, someone will hold our hands(like Paul and Vera).

14.A illustrater is like housepet, observe our world in silence,

15. It’s hard to gauge our feeling to a certain love object.

16.p.15:you get used ot a conditiaon of longing. The feeling of amputation or reincarnation?

17. the love of conflict and searching between illustrator and publisher.” The same hand that led me through scenes most severe has kindly assisted me home.“

A Girl Skating

1.      All the sweet memory turns out into a obituary

2.      P.50:I felt I had another life besides the one I ws living- a life in Horniner’s mind.-it seems to me another story of young love of the age of Innocence in campus.

Travel

1.p.80: I created widow during the war, and the war made a widow out of me

2.p.86:Retrospect makes everything look easy.

3.      P.90:I I remember that I hadn’t known him when he came back…and my husband can nod yes with exclusive understanding. -The war brings back the ghoulish fact, but deep in the heart, they are the same.

4.      P.88:dog-eared copy of Italian concerto-a leather-bound diary is still the connection between them. Beyond explanation.

Golden Sentence:

1.p.5: A good houseguest is like an entertainer.

2.p.27: strain through the darkness to see ahead.

3.p.27:You take one timid step forward, but then you realize you re not alone.

 

New Vocabulary:

1.      aerodynamics: the science that studies the movement of gases and the way solid bodies, such as aircraftmove through them

2.      ubiquitous:everywhere

3.      algebraically: in a way that relates to or uses algebra

4.      a sense of cohesion(good atmosphere)

5.      lanky:thin and tall

6.      dramatic effect

7.      the job gave her considerable leeway(Job gives her good excuse)

8.      I have their rountine down pat(knowlegable)

9.      hailstorm

10.  quietune

11.  luxtious

12.  domesticity

13.  he stands on the top of bleachers

14.  delta:triangle flat land

15.  mother and sister brood about me(worry)

16.  ammunition pouch

17.  goulish(frightening)

18.  exclusive understanding

19. aortic aneurism

Conclusion:

1. Elder John Ellis of Dayton, Ohio, visited the grave of the Pilgrim and composed the poem which the author said was sung around the world. 

I came to the place where the lone pilgrim lay

And pensively stood by his tomb,

When in a low whisper I heard something say,

"How sweetly I sleep here alone.

The tempest may howl and the loud thunder roar,

And gathering storms may arise,

But calm is my feeling, at rest is my soul.

The tears are all wiped from my eyes.

 

The cause of my Master compelled me from home,

No kindred or relative nigh.

I met the contagion and sank to the tomb,

My soul flew to mansions on high.

 

Go tell my companion and children most dear

To weep not for me now Im gone.

The same hand that led me through scenes most severe

Has kindly assisted me home.

2.Laurie Colwin was an extraordinary, unpretentious, original voice who was taken from us far too soon.(r.5)

3. Ive been depressed since Laurie Colwin died tragically young. I discovered her when I came across Goodbye Without Leaving in an airport God knows where and from then on I couldnt get enough of her work. Theres something about her voice. Hard to define but she writes about what its like to be single and it felt more than familiar.
Laurie gave shape to the ordinary, to people you might glance at in passing but whose lives have tremendous meaning and challenges you will never be aware of. Reading her work I felt that she understood a wide variety of people and empathized with each one. Shes written novels and collections of short stories; they all have a similar tone but this one holds up over the years as my all-time favorite book about being youthful, restless and alone.(r.5)

4. 48-year-old Colwin is also a lone pilgrim, leading us to see through the dark tunnel of life with great enlightenment. Her story just like the wind, blow our lonely feeling away.

5.The coldness emanated from our home transpired our behavior and hovered our life attitude. She do win a posthumous award

6. All the main characters have high economic standard, but the viw to the marriage is so frail to break. Marriage is a great carrier to work on: spend more time to discuss with your spouse and with yourself, say thank you to your spouse, forgive your spouse.(r.6)

LONE PILGRIM     By Laurie Colwin                                                         May Book Club Meeting

Laurie Colwin writes with such sunny skill, and such tireless enthusiasm, that her subject matter almost becomes insignificant.  As the only male in the group I read with fascination the steps by which lovers in one story after another stumble upon their forthright declarations: I came over here to claim you, if thats possible, a moody concert pianist who is also a pilot says, in Travel to the young woman who loves him; I think Ive fallen in love with you and if Im not mistaken, youve fallen in love with me, says Dan to Nellie in A Mythological Subject; in Intimacy, William tells Martha that he has fallen in love with her, and, though he is married, she falls in love with him as easily as you slide off a warm rock and into a pool of clear, sweet water; the free-spirited narrator of Saint Anthony of the Desert (... I made myself weird dinners of eggplant) falls in love with a socio-economist named Alden, and feels that she was being pulled out of my old self and becoming a new creature; and in An Old-Fashioned Story, handsome Nelson tells pretty Elizabeth, Ive been wondering for months if I love you because I was told to when I was a child or if I just love you. Well, I just love you. The stories disingenuous female narrators, and the authors charming if puzzling observations (Falling in love outside of marriage is the ultimate, and every other gesture is its shadow), are sometimes strange, sometimes beautiful and in some cases made me feel nausea and laughter simultaneously.  However when she is good, she is astonishing. Some of Miss Colwins images are striking, and strikingly sad, in the way that images in modern stories tend to be. In Travel, a couple who married relatively late in life travel incessantly in a desperate attempt to build up a reservoir of common experience, something about which they can have an exclusive understanding.

A Girl Skating, which touches upon issues weightier than romance, is very good indeed and why will go into it, but I have saved it for last.  I have chosen then to focus on three stories:

The Lone Pilgrim is a sensitive story about a lonely young book illustrator whose greatest pleasure is being the ideal houseguest and observing firsthand what she describes as “the closed graceful shapes of other people’s lives.” To me it is the best of the stories. She spends an October night when the moon is full in an old house in a college town, a sleeping dog by the stove, and apple pie in the oven, and atop a window ledge a jar of homemade jam and cuttings of grape ivy in a cracked mug.  A rainy night that reminds her of England finds her in a 19th Century brownstone where the mood id set by polished molding, leaded windows, a Spode platter, and on it goes.  She is an astonishing witness to life.  It was published in 1981 a time like many when people were increasingly obsessed with the places where they lived, be it lovingly restored or reclaimed.  She talks about carrying the uncluttered luggage of life to stay the weekend with friends.  She then leads into a long introduction on the difference between the married and unwed.  Polly Rice is our narrator and is an illustrator invited to illustrate The Art of Courtly Love (a "deluxe edition," mind you) - a love also set among lords and ladies, people with fancy manners.  She begins to fall in love with the man who starts to fall in love with her.  Once she realizes he is willing to marry her, she has an epiphany that the imagined happiness of marriage is an illusion and that marriage will kill all the observations she can make of others and soon enough she will be “them”. At the end of "The Lone Pilgrim," she writes of how, in facing the forest of our future, we "strain through the darkness to see ahead." Ahead once seemed a very long way to see.  There is something bittersweet but also self-consciousness in her writing and especially in this story. It is a short but beautifully written story about the intersection of pleasure with romance, and comment as they go on the aesthetic satisfaction of romantic pain - the beauty of longing.

1.      “Fulfillment leaves an empty space where longing used to be.”  Colwin seems to argue that once we get the thing we longed for we can never be truly happy.  Is that true?

(1) p.16: strain through the darkness to see ahead

We are afraid to enter the unpredicatable forest, wonder what will happen(with Gibert or Jacob), but once we decide to take a step, we will find out we are not alone at all, someone will hold our hands(like Paul and Vera).

(2) p.15:you get used ot a conditiaon of longing. The feeling of amputation or reincarnation?

(3) p.11: the idea of comitted settled love is as remote to a romantic as lunar soil-it can really open our mind wider if once we take the challenges of taking the rockets to the moon.

(4) There is an old English saying that marriage is like a gold-painted bird cage. The birds outside the cage want to fly in and the birds inside the cage want to fly out; "

2.      Colwin suggests that the Lone Pilgrim has a kind of freedom that a married person never can have, so long as they are satisfied with going home in a taxi alone.  Is it possible to be just as happy alone as it is to be married?

(1) .” The same hand that led me through scenes most severe has kindly assisted me home.“- we will find a new chateau with bravery and hardship.

(2) A illustrater is like housepet, observe our world in silence, be our own life illustrter to draw our own masterpiece without any moody judgement. Before marriage, choose what you love. After marriage, love what you choose.

(3) Life is about complementing each other, not asking each other to change.

Family Happiness is another story in the collection. The charming, funny heroine, Polly Solo-Miller Demerast, is almost perfect except she has too many names.  She is the loving wife of a workaholic lawyer, Henry Demerast, the perfect mother of Pete and Didi, the devoted daughter of eccentric, difficult parents, Wendy and Henry, Sr., and the hard-working Coordinator of Research in Reading Projects and Methods for the information arm of the Board of Education. Polly does everything for everybody, but nobody praises her or notices her accomplishments.  She retains the appearance of family happiness and her invisibility creates the perfect shadow to hide her affair with Lincoln, a brilliant artist who grew up with her brother Henry, Jr., and is unimpressed by the Solo-Millers.  Their love affair is charming and sweet, but it stirs up uncertainty and anxiety in her….but never stops her.  This very short little story made me think of a LOT of things. This is womens material with a vengeance and the two men in Pollys life are one dimensional caricatures. For that matter, marriage is a one dimensional caricature too.  It never occurs to anyone, not Polly, not any of the in-laws, not even the author, that when Henry Demarest is on a business trip, hes on anything but a business trip. Hes a large, boring, nice husband, period. And the fact that Lincoln Bennett, the other man, has to be alone - why does Polly believe it so implicitly?  The story is short and cute but ultimately unsatisfying because Polly’s existential issue is that (gasp) she has discovered that she too can be a woman who has affairs.

3.      Why is a famous painter so gaga about this sturdy, cheerful housewife that any other woman is out of the question for him?

(1) p.184: Without Henry, her Dolly’s life was not normal, without Lincoln, Dolly’s life was not natural.

 

4.      This story seems like something out of a romance novel or some bad movie.  She is essentially suggesting that if women have marriage and children they end up with nothing.  How do they express freedom, despair, rebellion, mutiny, euphoria, abandon, except with a lover?

(1) no matter to love or to be loved is to find your own self-nature buddha

 

5.      Why wont Laurie Colwin let Polly consider for a second what might happen to the rest of her life if the doorman did let slip something to her husband, or if, in some other way, the world discovered the cheerful housewife was having a serious affair? There are ramifications for this and the consequences can be devastating.  Why isn’t it really addressed properly?

(1) p.172: Henry’s sense of what life was like was very Solo-Miller and hardly noticed the difference.-how to keep the marriage by appearance, is to open one eye and to close the other.

A Girl Skating is a rather scary study of an adolescent girl, Bernadette who is the unwilling object of a famous middle-aged poets obsession. Honnimer the poet appears to be a superstar who causes traffic jams when he does a reading.  This sounds a little odd and doesn’t quite ring true but the rest of it is plausible.  Everyone adores Honnimer but the description of him starts to sound predatory.  “Honnimer crept up on me little by little….when I went out…he was either in his car…” and on it goes.  Honnimer sounds less like a poet laureate and more like a man obsessed with a child.  Bernadette is a prodigy and growing up in the hothouse of a liberal arts college in New England, her intellect is fed.  She is inspired by an older girl who does a complicated turn on ice, and once again, Honnimer is there to watch.  He starts to study her as though she is an object.  She isn’t a muse, she is a “thing”.  Colwin paints the poet as a vortex, who seems to consume people. She can hardly move without finding that movement immortalized in a poem. She feels that the poet is robbing her of her youth by articulating it better than she herself can. His last book lays unread on her desk at college and is cast as Honnimer’s lover when in fact she detests him.  He describes her finally as the man who takes her virginity, explaining why her classmates believe that she and the poet were lovers.  She is appalled.  She had not been in love, nor had a lover or a love affair and this poet has robbed her of this moment with nothing but obsession and a perverted image of what it would be like. “I could not accomplish the end of my own innocence.  Honnimer had done it for me.”  He shot himself ten days after her 22nd birthday but the story ends on the last time she saw him.  At the Bergmeister Collection she went to visit Baroque period paintings including one of the Pieta which is the misery of Mary as her son Jesus is taken from the Cross.  In a moment personal pain and connection she suddenly realizes she isn’t alone.  There he is, and she reminds him as she is paralyzed in fear, that he keeps her in his mind.  Finally he kisses her forehead and then is gone forever. 

6.      The impression we are given is that this college campus is a kind of hot house for intellectual pursuits.  Did this give cover to a man who behaved as a predator?

(1) P.50:I felt I had another life besides the one I ws living- a life in Horniner’s mind.-it seems to me another story of young love of the age of Innocence in campus.

 

7.      What is the difference between muse and object of desire?

(1) All the sweet memory turns out into a obituary, write your own last words are more important.

Book Club Meeting                            May 3rd 2021.   Laurie Colwin, The Lone Pilgrim.  Lead by Clive

 

In The Lone Pilgrim, Laurie Colwin gave us more than a collection of stories but she provided us with a vibrant and enjoyable discussion that was really one of our best.  A huge thanks to Emma, MingLi, Florence, Carol, Lilly and Lydia for bringing passion today. In the recent months the meetings have become more varied, evocative and enjoyable, and stories that have different voices.  We were a small group today but we were a happy group with many things to discuss.  Colwin uses her voice to tell us about love, passionate, selfish and a sad love that takes.  We only discussed three stories but there was a lot of us to discuss. After reading and discussing, I think we can say that love is, in both a positive and a negative sense, a disturbance of the peace. 

Perhaps the most powerful story, and the shortest was, ‘A Girl Skating. It is a curious study of an adolescent girl who is the unwilling object of a famous middle-aged poets obsession. She can hardly move without finding that movement immortalized in a poem. She feels that the poet is robbing her of her youth by articulating it better than she herself can. Carol suggested that being a muse is intangible, the artist may be inspired but the muse can never know what the artist sees or feels until the work is complete.  Some of Miss Colwins images are striking, and strikingly sad, in the way that images in modern stories tend to be. She compares the misery of Bernadette and her loss of innocence to the Pieta, the most powerful devastation, the loss of a child by a mother. 

One of the prettiest - and again, the saddest - images in The Lone Pilgrim is of a young woman and the man she loves, who doesn’t love her.  She cannot stop thinking about him when a man who does love her makes her realize that longing is preferable to love. Not all of us could agree with the ending.  Does Polly marry as Carol believed or does she realize her individual power of observation is best kept to herself as MingLi, Lilly and Lydia believed?  As they sit in the bathtub together, she reads to him Sir Thomas Wyatts poem They Flee From Me, That Sometime Did Me Seek. For all of us the writing and imagery of “The Lone Pilgrim” was beautiful.  We all agreed that Laurie Colwin was an author with a voice who can conjure images unlike anyone we have read before. The Lone Pilgrim is an education in yearning. What do we have?  What do we want?  What is the price of any of it?  It is a reminder that most of us, whether we do it or not, desire to be needed.  This book touched on love, loss and love affairs. The book is itself a love affair, and as another of her characters says, A love affair will teach anyone with sense a thing or two about esthetics.

 

 

Next month our meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 2, and the novel will be “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng.  It will be our last meeting before the summer hiatus so please come if you can!  

Related Reading:

1.The Lone Pilgrim Review: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/164403.The_Lone_Pilgrim

2. Laurie Colwin:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Colwin

3.Lone Pilgrim song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW0GSzg9KRk

4.Lone Pilgrim lyrics:  Classic-blog.udn.com/readingclub/155915660

5.Review: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/164403.The_Lone_Pilgrim

6. the key to the succeful marriage: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=4580

7.review: https://www.powells.com/book/lone-pilgrim-9780060958930/17-0

8.Bernadette: https://francelove.pixnet.net/blog/post/10044555

9.Tangier: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%B9%E5%90%89%E5%B0%94

10.Baja: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%8B%E5%8A%A0%E5%88%A9%E7%A6%8F%E5%B0%BC%E4%BA%9E%E5%B7%9E

11.Key West: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Railroad

 Dear All,


Great thanks to our consultant  - Clives summary & questions for the May meeting.  In the book, we only choose three stories to read.

1. The Lone Pilgrim

2. A Girl Skating.

3. Family Happiness

They are short, maybe 30 pages, we wish you can enjoy the short life essays.

Mays Activity:

Book: The Lone Pilgrim

Author: LaurieColwin

Leader: Clive Hazell

Time: 1 p.m.  May 3, 2021

Place: Qubit Cafe (Hanshin Arena) No.6, Lane 50, Bo-Ai 3 Road,

Zuo Ying District, Kaohsiung.  Tel:07-3459477

高雄市左營區博愛三路50巷6號

http://qubit.bais.com.tw/

https://www.google.com.tw/

Parking: in the basement of the Qubit Café

You may have a luncheon at the restaurant before our meeting at 1:00 pm,  we look forward to seeing you. 

* Please let us know if you will be absent.


 

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