Friday, July 01, 2016

A fan's notes …

… A small simple stone: looking for Barbara Pym in Oxfordshire | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Barbara Pym chronicled the non-special, the unheroic, the humble, the steady, the meek; and that is just the beginning of her glory. I’ve re-read her novels every year since I was in my early twenties, and of whichever book I’m reading, I always think, “This one is my favorite.” Yet I often wonder if I ever had the chance to meet Barbara, through some temporal mechanics nonsense, whether we would have much to say to each other. Barbara was so very English; would she find she had little in common with me, slangy-mouthed, Latin-poor American that I am? How would she have felt about me referring to her by her Christian name? Would she have considered it, to use her characters’ most withering epithet, unsuitable?

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