“Allerseelen” and Mrs. Dalloway

When Peter walks near Regent’s Park Tube station in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, an old woman sings an ancient song about love that has prevailed even after her lover’s death (81). She is oblivious to everyone around her, singing “without direction, vigour, beginning or end” (80). The narrator explains that, in the song, the woman sings about the continuity of life, and she reflects on the time when her lover had been with her in the month of May. Peter compares her voice to a “rusty pump,” but Rezia, who is also walking in the area and hears the woman’s song, feels for her and empathizes with her song, feeling that she herself will be able to go on with her days (81, 82).

The song that the old woman sings is Strauss’ “Allerseelen,” or “All’s Soul’s Day.” The song is originally in German, which probably inspired the “ee um fah um so” sounds that Woolf provides in the narrative (80, 81, 82). The song is composed of three stanzas, all ending with the line “Wie einst im Mai,” which translates to “like once in May.” One particular version, sung by Kathleen Battle, allows the reader to understand why the song is relevant to this section of the novel. The song starts out slow and whimsical, but reaches a pivotal point of desperation and determination when Battle sings, “Wie einst im Mai.” This line is rife with nostalgia, a perfect mesh with Peter’s longing for the days when he and Clarissa were in love. It also fits with Rezia wishing for a return to the days when Septimus was not shell-shocked. As the song moves along, however, Battle’s voice becomes more joyous and reflective, and her “Wie einst im Mai” lines grow softer than the first one. This is lost on Peter; of course, the old woman’s song might not have sounded as crisp as Battle’s. Nevertheless, it seems to have had a different effect on Rezia, who finds hope in the amateur rendition of “Allerseelen.”

Works Cited

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, 1925.

Pieces of Glass: Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, and Morning Passages

Isabella Bustamante

A Song Report

“Morning Passages”-Phillip Glass

Running to stay in the same place; the women of “The Hours” twist hair, arrange flowers, sleep and are awakened to go nowhere, never to arrive. While the men are seen active, driving cars, engaged in conversation, and walking about, the women all arise to the morning in a painful stoicism. Phillip Glass’s “Morning Passages” uses repetition as well as the heightening and suppression of musical drama to propel the listener forward solely to drag them back to where they began.

The opening chords of a steady solo piano are repeated four times in succession only to a rest in a severe silence, the pattern reoccurs. The ear is subjected to the game of this decisive musical decision; the notes have ceased before the song has even begun. This brilliant juxtaposition of start and stop attains the listener’s attention. Glass’s identical haunting measures establish a pattern which must disintegrate to be repeated. It likens to hopeless progression of the lives of “The Hours” women. Ever the phoenix metaphor, as the music is born, it also dies.

Glass is a master at using the eerie power of repetition to hypnotize the listener. When the orchestra enters the mix we don’t get a sense of charging forward, nor a sense of time passing, the music evolves but is rooted to its foundation. Interestingly, the visuals do not mirror the dynamism this transmuting orchestra. Rather they reflect what it symbolizes; the common, peculiar, and disappointing morning, which each woman lacks enthusiasm to greet.

Glass as well denies the listener of a symphony’s theatrical grandeur. It seems each time the music reaches a climax, becomes farther removed from its original form, or mutates its complexity it is stripped of its chaos, reverting back to the singular chimes of the piano. The piano is at the center of this whirlwind of instruments, pulling and commanding them to its scheme in a delicate syncretism. It exists to harmonize, reject, and meet its end with the orchestral parts; thus there is conflict and submission. Glass reconstructs our conception of musical movement just as the movie’s visuals do. It is as if we, like the music, and women desire to be part of a great change around us but are helplessly rooted to the spot where we stand.

The clinking soul of the piano, emphasized by the seductive clanging orchestra, builds throughout the five and a half minutes. From the starting sequence they are constantly reconstructing, magnifying, and minimizing that elementary cyclical pattern, so genius in its design.

Glass is a wizard at spiral, upward and downward. All he needs is the lyricism of the understated entrance to bewitch the listener, to overtly sooth and quietly shock the senses. We are helplessly trapped in the sound which revolves around ending where it began, as Mrs. Dalloway’s Peter says, “Nothing exists outside us except a state of mind” (85). What we want the music to do to us, what these women want, and what Glass wants is to transport the listener to a place they can never physically reach. The movement of the music is therefore only internal, never existing outside one's self. It's not meant to move us anywhere that is not within ourselves.

'Women In Love" gets a reboot

This week, BBC Four is airing a new film adaptation of DH Lawrence's "Women In Love," leading some to wonder how it will stack up with the classic 1969 Ken Russell helmed-version. Since the latter film was produced during a notorious time of sexual liberation, critics are wondering how the modern version will reflect the more cautious and conservative times that we live in, and whether it will detract from the artistic merit of the piece. Based on the following article from BBC News, the actors and crew have put a lot of faith into their script, and the final product should definitely be worth a look.

Click here to read it

The Waste Land

The greatest poem in English. A poem I love teaching. I am fixed on my three favorite lines, where I always begin my teaching: 
  • April is the cruellest month
  •                                       so many / I had not thought death had undone so many
  • These fragments I have shored against my ruins
There are 32 of us reading the poem together this week. 31 have to write a paper on the poem. The students each posted their proposed passage to explicate on Blackboard yesterday and I find it fascinating just to look at which passages they chose. I never, for example, could have predicted the popularity of "The river's tent is broken." 

Here is the list (you'll note that a few of the 31 didn't get proposals in). I wonder what it says about us.

April is the cruellest month, breeding...tubers (lines 1-7)                         
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow… (19-30) 
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante...                         
Madame Sosotris, famous clairvoyante lines 43-59                      
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante' (43-59)                        
Unreal City (60-76)                                                           
Unreal City (60 ff. )                                                           
Unreal city...                                                           
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed. (106-138)                         
What is that noise? (117-132)                                     
What shall I do now? What shall I do? (130-39)                         
Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart                         
The river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf (173-181)                        
The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf… (173-186).                                    
The river’s tent is broken (173-86)                                    
The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf (173-186)                        
The time is now propitious, as he guesses (235-248)                         
The time is now propitious, as he guess,... (lines 235-250)                         
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, (236-248)                   
She turns and looks a moment in the glass... (249-256).                  
She turns and looks a moment in the glass (249-56)                     
She turns and looks a moment in the glass (249 ff.)                        
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead (312-321)                       
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead (312-321)                       
Here is no water but only rock (331-345)                        
Datta: What have we given? (401-423)                                    

Short snippets of modernism

These are the quotations that students had to identify in this morning's midterm. You can test yourself, of course, but it's also a great pleasure to read that modernist voice:

A.    The noise of children at play annoyed him and their silly voices made him feel even more keenly than he had felt at Clongowes, that he was different from others. He did not want to play. He wanted to meet in the real world the unsubstantial image which his soul so constantly beheld.

B.     If only Birkin would form a close and abiding connection with her, she would be safe during this fretful voyage of life. He could make her sound and triumphant, triumphant over the very angels of heaven. If only he would do it! But she was tortured with fear, with misgiving.

C.     “Oh yes, I like the house immensely and the garden is beautiful, but it feels very far away from everything to me. I can’t imagine people coming out from town to see us in that dreadful jolting bus, and I am sure there is not anyone here to come and call. Of course it does not matter to you because----“

D.    In the centre, obviously intended as the principal dish, was a bowl of plums, softly red, soaked with the sun, glowing like jewels in the downward stream of the incandescent light. Besides them was a great yellow melon. Its sleek sides fluted with rich growth, and a honeycomb glistening on a willow-pattern dish. The only sensible food to be seen was a plate of tongue laid at his place.

E.     Dieu was the French for God and that was God’s name too; and when anyone prayed to God and said Dieu then God knew at once that it was a French person that was praying.

Loerke's Alter Ego

After our "Women in Love" discussion in class about Loerke as a possible representation of the German Expressionist Art movement I immediately thought of artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Kirchner's work was loathed by anti-Semites and much of the art world because of its bold colors, abstracted forms, and risque subject matter. His work was labeled "degenerate" in 1933 by the Nazis. Soon after hundreds of his works were destroyed and five years later he committed suicide from a wild depression. Many of the other members of the German Expressionist group Die Brucke (The Bridge) suffered the same fate, as the beginnings of World War II made successful careers impossible. Here is a picture of Kirchner's early work "Marcella" from 1909-10, which reminded me of Loerke's nude girl on a horse. Ursula and Lawrence would probably find this painting erotic, stiff, and offensive. The young girl Marcella was actually a child model of the controversial Kirchner, their relationship leaves much to the imagination as members of the Die Brucke movement often had young models. The girl, according to recent findings is probably 14 or 15 in this painting. We can imagine Loerke's work of the nude girl on a horse to be similar in content. It's fascinating to see how characters from "Women In Love" are connected to the larger world.

This picture is by Edward Gorey, who was a writer and illustrator active in the latter half of the twentieth century. He frequently drew nonsensical and macabre images that took place in a vaguely Edwardian world. This image reminds me of D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love for a number of reasons. Superficially, it is like Women in Love in that it takes place in the Edwardian era country home of an industrial magnate. From the picture above the fireplace and the view through the window, it appears that this family’s wealth is based on some sort of factory. As in Women in Love, the owning family physically and emotionally distances themselves from the rough work of the exploited working class. To my knowledge this was not based on Women in Love, but several characters in the picture parallel characters in the novel. There is the founding father in the portrait and a lower-class-looking woman pleading with him in the foreground. An oddly dressed woman is scene carrying a large stone in the background, which reminds me of the time that Hermione attacked Rupert. The woman putting a baby in a vase (and the abandoned child in the bottom corner) reminds me of both Mrs. Crich and Linda (from “Prelude”), the two neglectful mothers that we read about. There is even a person falling out of a boat and into a lake in the background. Overall, the picture plays on the major theme of violence from Women in Love. The characters violent desires are contrasted with their somewhat strict and proper surroundings in both the novel and this picture. While this picture is (a little) more nonsensical than the novel, I believe that it embodies several major aspects of the novel. I cannot, however, account for the large presence of frogs in the image.

New Women in Love Adaptation

While surfing the web this morning, I came across something pretty interesting. The BBC, in what they are calling their new, "Modern Love Season", will be making another adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love. Written by William Ivory, the adaptation will be a two-part drama, as Ivory, in an attempt to cohere to Lawrence's original vision, will mend The Rainbow and Women in Love together. And yes - for all of you wondering, the new adaptation will feature a recreation of the famous, in-the-buff, wrestling match between Rupert and Gerald.

Here's a link to the official BBC press release -

D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love: Ursula, the Red and Fiery Opal

Chapter XXIII, “Excurse,” in D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love is incredibly revealing as it provides insight into Ursula Brangwen’s fiery personality and staunch attitudes toward marriage. The scene in this chapter also illustrates how Rupert Birkin’s desires remain unclear.

Rupert, in an attempt to ask for Ursula’s hand in marriage, gives her three rings wrapped in paper and says, “Look . . . what I bought” (Lawrence 302). When she asks him why he presents her with such gifts, he replies “coolly” that he wanted to do so and offers no further explanation (302). This scene is riddled with imagery that seems to mirror the personalities of these two characters. The fact that Rupert gives Ursula three rings shows how undecided he is. Each ring seems to reflect one of the three people in his life—Ursula, Hermione, and Gerald Crich. The blue ring could represent Hermione, “rose-shaped, beautiful sapphire, with small brilliants” (303). The yellow ring reminds the reader of masculinity, if not specifically Gerald: “a squarish topaz set in a frame of steel, or some other similar material, finely wrought” (303). The ring that symbolizes Ursula is the one she takes a particular liking to—the “round opal, red and fiery, set in a circle of tiny rubies” (303). This ring is the only one that fits Ursula’s fingers, exclusively on her ring finger, which invokes Ursula’s superstition. She believes that opals are unlucky. To this, Rupert replies, “I prefer unlucky things. Luck is vulgar. Who wants what luck would bring? I don’t” (304). If we focus on the imagery, Rupert seems to be saying that he prefers Ursula to Hermione and Gerald, though it is unclear whether or not he means it. Also, the concept of luck used here makes Rupert’s words appear hauntingly foreshadowing.

When Rupert and Ursula begin to argue, the latter starts to show resemblances to her ring. Lawrence’s narrative reinforces this idea through such lines as “Suddenly a flame ran over her” and “Her fury seemed to blaze out and burn [Rupert’s] face” (307). When she throws the rings at Rupert, one hits his face and the others hit his coat before they fall into the mud (309). The narrative does not reveal which of the three rings touches his face, but we can assume that it was the opal because of its previous distinction from the others and the fact that the narrative mentions how Ursula’s anger seemed to “burn his face.” We must also acknowledge that the ring touching Rupert’s face offers a stronger image than the others hitting his coat. Despite any importance one ring might hold over the others, however, they all end up in the dirt, turning beauty into something “dirty and gritty” (309). After they conclude their argument, Ursula “traces with her hands the line of his loins and thighs, at the back, and a living fire ran through her, from him, darkly” (313). As this quotation suggests, the red and fiery opal ultimately manifests itself not only in Ursula’s anger and resentment toward Rupert but also in her love for him and, conversely, his love for her.

Ursula’s fieriness relates to an earlier chapter, “Threshold,” in which Gudrun discusses with Gerald and Rupert how her sister feels about marriage. “I don’t think she wants an engagement,” says Gudrun. “Naturally, she’s a bird that prefers the bush” (289). If Gudrun’s intuition of her sister’s feelings is correct, then the red opal—its color bringing to mind liberation as well as fury and love—is a stark representation of Ursula.

Through this scene in “Excurse,” Lawrence uses these strong ring images and symbols in order to shed light on his characters and, perhaps, create a tension that foreshadows a greater conflict at the end of the novel.

Works Cited

Lawrence, D.H. Women in Love. New York: Penguin, 2007.

Rupert and Birkin?

Rupert Berkin is such an interesting character and one of the reasons is that other characters call him Rupert but when he speaks, it's always "said Berkin." I believe it is due to Berkin's uncertainty about himself; he isn't familiar with himself. Take for example, a professor; I would never call a professor by their first name because I do not have a sense of familiarity with that professor. It is only right to formally address that professor as Dr. Ryan or Professor Fernald, not Terre or Anne. Perhaps to Berkin, his uncertainty leads to a unfamiliarity and that unfamiliarity requires a formal address when speaking. Gerald (206, Man to Man) and Hermoine (296, Woman to Woman) both have stated that Berkin has an element of uncertainty about him and that he is never constant. I'd also like to note the names of chapters that held the opinions about Berkin. It is possible that Lawrence wanted us to know that Berkin's uncertainty may have some conflict with his sexuality? I had no intentions to add this when I was writing this post but it just came to mind when I realized the titles of the chapters.

Lazy Poetry

Was That Poetry?
By Bryan Newell

His father told him that story.

He read the verses backward but that was not poetry.

A batlike soul waking to the consciousness of itself in darkness and secrecy and loneliness.

This race and this country and this life produced me,

I shall try to fly by those nets.

A face looking two ways, the oozing wall of a urinal

It thrilled him to think of it in the silence.

He suffered time after time in memory.

Through them he had glimpses of the real world about him

As if he really sought someone who eluded him.

Perhaps they had taken refuge in an ecstasy of fear.

He began to taste the joy of his loneliness.

He heard what her eyes said to him, he had heard their tale before

Feigning a still greater haste,

Battling against the squalor of his life and the riot of his mind

He seemed to have put himself beyond the limits of reality.

A cry for an iniquitous abandonment.

The echo of an obscene scrawl.

The stars of heaven were falling upon the earth

Nay, things which are good in themselves become evil in hell.

Amid peace and shimmering light he made a covenant with his heart

To say it in words

The idea of surrender had a perilous attraction

At once from every part of his being unrest began to irradiate

Pink tinges of suffocated anger

His destiny was to be elusive.

Mirrored perfectly in a lucid supple periodic prose across the deserts of the sky

The first phrase of apprehension.

His anger was also a form of homage:

A symbol of the artist forging anew.

A priest of eternal imagination

What kind of liberation would that be?

Was that poetry?

*The above is a poem comprised entirely of Joycean phrases from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Women in Love... The Movie

Here is a poster for the film "Women in Love" released in 1969 in Britain. It was considered somewhat controversial because of its nudity, as portrayed in the poster, although Britain, and some of Europe, is much more lenient on nudity that America. the male nudity in the poster might also foreshadow the same gender relationships and homoeroticism that might develop deeper into the novel.

It's hard to tell who is who in this poster, but my guess is that the woman on the left is Ursula, the woman on the right is Gudrun, the man standing is Gerald, and the man kneeling is Rupert. Gudrun seems to be the tougher of the two sisters. She would be the one to slap Ursula out of it, if the situation called for it. Lawrence describes the sister in the following quotation, "Her look of confidence and diffidence contrasted with Ursula's sensitive expectancy" (8). This quotation exemplifies how Gudrun fits the facial expression of the woman on the right in contrast to the woman on the left who would seem to have the facial expression of Ursula. Lawrence portrays Gerald as an ideal man so I couldn't see how Gerald could be the man being manipulated (although, Lawrence didn't make this movie and character portrayal could have been construed).

Aba Daba Honeymoon

“Aba Daba Honeymoon” was first introduced into the airwaves in 1914 by Collins & Harlan. It was part of an emerging and fresh new taste in music called Ragtime. Ragtime was specifically a dancing and momentum based type of music, which explains a lot of the hustle and bustle of the tune to Aba Daba Honeymoon, but it was a complete divergence of the strict European music style that predominated music charts before ragtime. This new music had stemmed from the formal European piano music traditions (hence the heavy use of piano sounds within the song) but added a lot of informal and folk type tunes into the mix. These folk sounds were contributed by the African American culture who introduced the ragtime tune to a larger audience.
However, though Ragtime, and in this case Aba Daba Honeymoon do portray a sense of frivolous fun in its kooky and “ragged” tune – it underlines a lot of derogatory and racial slurs within its text. When looking through some old images of record covers and even other media images – often times the portrayal of African Americans was very savagely drawn, depicting them almost as wild and barbaric and in many cases with an uncanny resemblance to monkeys. This obviously echoed the context and ideas of the times as viewing the African American race as inferior, primitive and savage. And though Aba Daba Honeymoon might portray these “monkeys” as being “happy and gay” it appears to be in a context of a very simplistic and rudimentary based pleasure (simply chatting away nonsense). A lot of these stereotypes and biases can also be found within Indissoluble Matrimony by Rebecca West that depicts the colored race in Evadne’s character as inferior, simple, and easily amused.

And HERE you can find the video!

Women's Fashion - 1910s

Women Golfing - 1905 (Middle Class Dress)

Evening Dress from 1912 - V&A Museum, London

Fashion Plate of the Upper Class in front of Harrods - 1909

Judging by the first few chapters in Women in Love, D. H. Lawrence seems to have a fixation with women's fashion of the time. He frequently dedicates paragraphs to outfit descriptions, especially those of Gudrun (i.e. p.7: "She was aware of her grass-green stockings, her large grass-green velour hat, her full soft coat . . ."). So, to better understand what Lawrence is talking about and to create a visualization for myself (specifically of Ursula and Gudrun), I looked up some pictures online of English fashion in the 1910s. My favorite is the third image of the women in front of Harrods. I would guess that Gudrun is aiming for this look, since she has just come back from London at the beginning of the novel. However, she and Ursula's means probably land them somewhere around the first image of middle class women. Hope this helps!

Lady Ottoline Morrell, 1917

The much-maligned Lady Ott, a model for Hermione Roddice, pictured here in 1917 (while DHL was writing Women in Love). She was patron of the arts, hostess, pacifist, famously individual dresser, and avid amateur photographer. You can find hundreds of snapshots of and by her at the National Portrait Gallery (of London)'s online website.

"Indissoluble Matrimony" Rebecca West

         In Rebecca West’s “Indissoluble Matrimony,” we are introduced to two characters that over the course of their ten year marriage have not only grown apart but have developed hatred toward each other. This raises the question of whether they should have ever gotten married to begin with. George Silverton’s hatred and disdain for his wife Evadne is evident in the opening paragraph when she is described as “one of those women who create an illusion alternately of extreme beauty and extreme ugliness” (p. 98). Furthermore, as he looks back to the days when he use to court Evadne it becomes clear that George had always had a fear of marriage and disgust for women: “The thought of intimacy with some lovely, desirable and necessary wife turned him sick as he sat at his lunch” (p 100). George had gone into this marriage with a subconscious distrust of the institution and his wife who he believes had lured him into marrying her.
         On the other hand Evadne is a strong, smart, and assertive woman who despite her husbands attempts to stop her from giving a speech for the Socialist party, she insists upon attending. Yet while she is stubborn, she takes the passive aggressive side when George blows his anger, or accuses her of cheating. While he looks for a way out of their marriage she looks for a way to save it.
          There is no communication or a healthy way to release your anger and frustrations. Their relationship, therefore, has become a bubble and the longer two people live in that bubble, the bigger it grows until one day it bursts. That perhaps may have been the reality of a marriage in a time when what was traditional was no longer a reality. Women were beginning to speak out and desire to become more than wife, or a mother, while many men, like George, struggled accept it or to even get use to it. Perhaps what had ruined their marriage was neither of their faults but an inevitable result of something bigger, change of status quo, dawn of feminism, the beginning of modernism. 

Stephen and the Bird-Girl in Portrait

I will analyze a passage from the end of Stephen's epiphany on the strand, page 150-1, lines 854-902, beginning with the phrase “a girl stood before him in midstream...” This passage chronicles Stephen's final thoughts about his decision to reject the Jesuits offer to him to join their order. It depicts an important stage in the victory in his soul of creativity over faith. In the course of his walk on the seashore he has begun to hear “the call of life to his soul” replacing and overcoming the “inhuman voice that had called him to the pale service of the altar” but it is not until this moment that his faith really dies (Joyce 148). Joyce makes clear that this is the moment of the final death of his religion and the birth of his artistry in several ways. He does it by providing him with a new Virgin to worship, by filling the moment with bird imagery and by foreshadowing the poem he will soon write that uses religious imagery to serve his profane sensuality. The girl on the seashore wears Mary's co lors of white and blue. Stephen looks at her with a “worshipful gaze” and decides that she is a “wild angel” that has come to “throw open before him...the gates of all the ways of error and glory,” explicitly religious phrases that reveal his conversion from the worship of God to the worship of life and creativity (Joyce 150). The description of the girl compares her to a bird six times in eleven lines. Father Arnall employs bird imagery in his illustration of the eternity the condemned will spend in hell, but Joyce repurposes it to represent Stephen's escape from religion, an association made obvious by Stephen's preoccupation with birds after refusing his mother's request that he take Easter communion (Joyce 115, 197-8). Stephen calling the girl as a “wild angel” is no accident either. This word choice connects the scene to the writing of the only poem of Stephen's that we get to read, which is inspired by a vision of “seraphic life,” and which contains the line “lure of the fallen seraphim,” and portrays the girl he likes as a sultry temptress (Joyce 191). Thus Stephen's bird-girl represents his return to sensuality and creativity and his departure from the cold arms of religiosity.

The Uncanny

In class, I suggested that Stephen Dedalus’ first wanderings toward the brothels of Dublin bore some resemblance to Freud’s description of uncanny wandering in “The Uncanny.”

I found an e-text of Freud’s 1919 essay here, and reproduce for you the passage that, to my mind, resonates with Joyce.
The factor of the repetition of the same thing will perhaps not appeal to everyone as a source of uncanny feeling. From what I have observed, this phenomenon does undoubtedly, subject to certain conditions and combined with certain circumstances, arouse an uncanny feeling, which, furthermore, recalls the sense of helplessness experienced in some dream-states. As I was walking, one hot summer afternoon, through the deserted streets of a provincial town in Italy which was unknown to me, I found myself in a quarter of whose character I could not long remain in doubt. nothing but painted women were to be seen at the windows of the small houses, and I hastened to leave the narrow street at the next turning. But after having wandered about for a time without enquiring my way, I suddenly found myself back in the same street, where my presence was now beginning to excite attention. I hurried away once more, only to arrive by another detour at the same place yet a third time. Now, however, a feeling overcame me which I can only describe as uncanny, and I was glad enough to find myself back at the piazza I had left a short while before, without any further voyages of discovery. ….
Note the coy “a quarter of whose character I could not remain in doubt.” There is a reason why, in the early modern period, these men found themselves simultaneously drawn to and repulsed by city neighborhoods full of brothels. I’d love to hear your thought on this connection...