The Fountain Overflows MOBI ☆ The Fountain eBook

The Fountain Overflows The first installment of West s Saga of the Century trilogy now available as an ebookWest s semi autobiographical novel introduces the multi talented Aubrey family as they strive to find their place in the worldPapa Aubrey s wife and twin daughters, Mary and Rose, are piano prodigies, his young son Richard Quin is a lively boy, and his eldest daughter Cordelia is a beautiful and driven young woman with musical aspirations But the talented and eccentric Aubrey family rarely enjoys a moment of harmony, as its members struggle to overcome the effects of their patriarch s spendthrift ways Now they must move so that their father, a noted journalist, can find stable employment Throughout, it is the Aubreys hope that art will save them from the cacophony of a life sliding toward poverty In this eloquent and winning portrait, West s compelling characters must uncover their true talent for kindness in order to thrive in the world that exists outside of their life as a family What do you do when your parents are brilliant but eccentric Keith Clare a brilliant pianist married to the brilliant writer Piers Aubrey, both eccentric But Piers shows a touch of malevolence, he cares for none of his four children An inveterate gambler leaves his family in utter poverty, although he shows touches of love and creativity during Christmas, when he constructs elaborate wooden castles for them Clare Keith just goes through the utter misery of poverty, duns at the door, never a What do you do when your parents are brilliant but eccentric Keith Clare a brilliant pianist married to the brilliant writer Piers Aubrey, both eccentric But Piers shows a touch of malevolence, he cares for none of his four children An inveterate gambler leaves his family in utter poverty, although he shows touches of love and creativity during Christmas, when he constructs elaborate wooden castles for them Clare Keith just goes through the utter misery of poverty, duns at the door, never a mean thought for Piers, truly believing that music will give them better days and it does Seen through the eyes of Rose, one of the twin sisters, the other Mary, both brilliant pianists, living in a world of fantasy, believing fiercely that someday that everything will be alright Never do they desire or cherish the good things in life, all they want is music Cordelia, is the one who suffers the most, all she wants is to have a normal life, just like the girls at school How does one cope She thinks and pines to be a violinist but has no real talent and her dreams do not amount to much Strangely she finds that she does have talent for embroidery and puts her heart and soul into it forming a group and working together with Rosamund and Constance.This is a woman s book, although all the women go through terrible times, there is not much time for weeping and moaning Both women, Clare and Constance have been abandoned by their husbands, but it hardly seems to make a difference to them or their daughters.These brave women just go through life, dipping into their inner resources and their talents to great success.A wonderful book of hope and courage although long drawn out at times I who usually hang around with degenerates murderers, religious maniacs, Hitler found myself enfolded within the bosom of a shabby genteel family, the Aubreys, who were only just scraping by somewhere between 1900 and 1910 in south London on what the father forgot to gamble away on the stock exchange not once but many times and the mother s fixed purpose that her two middle daughters will become concert pianists The mother says things like It must have the strict value of a quaver, other I who usually hang around with degenerates murderers, religious maniacs, Hitler found myself enfolded within the bosom of a shabby genteel family, the Aubreys, who were only just scraping by somewhere between 1900 and 1910 in south London on what the father forgot to gamble away on the stock exchange not once but many times and the mother s fixed purpose that her two middle daughters will become concert pianists The mother says things like It must have the strict value of a quaver, otherwise the half bar does not repeat the pattern of the four descending notes do you mean to say you cannot understand that though the weak beats are doubled by the left hand they must be kept weak, and the strong beats must be kept strong, though the whole thing is piano I might as well have been teaching a chimpanzee.I have just spent a delightful week with these people Rebecca West My work expresses an infatuation with human beings I don t believe that to understand is necessarily to pardon, but I feel that to understand makes one forget that one cannot pardon Our precise, deadly narrator is Rose Aubrey, one of the middle children She is glorious For instance The place was a cave of well being, crammed with tables at which well dressed women, with cairns of parcels piled up on chairs beside them, leaned towards each other, their always large busts overhanging plates of tiny sandwiches and glasses of port and sherry and madeira, and exchanged gossip that mounted to the low ceiling and was transformed to the twittering of birds in an aviary.When the story begins she s about 9 or 10 I guess The uncomical antics of their adored father have deposited the family in a social vacuum they re poor, disowned by the father s family, they see nobody but the mother points out that they re not alone in that, in Edwardian England you didn t have to do much to find yourself socially excluded Yes, there is tweeness You have to be prepared to read about small girls discussing their imaginary pets in detail That could sink the whole enterprise for some people This edition is 400 pages long and the print is quite tiny, so it slike 500 pages But I don t want to sound like my mother she would appraise books purely on the typeface Ooooh, I couldn t read that, ooh no, the print is so small, ooh no William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell The cistern contains the fountain overflows The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow The plot of The Fountain Overflows is stuff happens, everyone gets about six or seven years older The story surges and ebbs and flows like a body of water It s comical and tragical and tragicomical by turns Occasionally it s outright satire We sat still and tried to look calm, and debated in whispers whether it would be rude to ask Mr Phillips whether the car was actually on fire In one passage the father who s a campaigning journalist is taking up the cause of margarine manufacturers who are being threatened with legislation in order to force them to colour their margarine with some unpleasant tinge The butter manufacturers have persuaded parliament that their industry will be torpedoed by the cheaper margarine unless the law compels margarine to bePURPLEI was intrigued by this weirdness and discovered that there was indeed agitation along these lines from dairy producers, but it took place in the USA, not England, and in the 19th century, not the early 20th, and it didn t get anywhere because the margarine manufacturers took to selling white margarine with packets of yellow food colouring This novel is about children Now I recall my emotions at that moment, children seem to me a remarkable race They want so much to murder so many people, and they so rarely murder anybody at all I shook with rage so that Rosamund laid a calming hand on my arm Almost all grown ups were constantly rude to children, but of late they had been going too far This novel can be quite strange On page 91 we have a detailed account of a plate throwing sheet twining glass breaking POLTERGEIST served up to us straight That was odd We re not like moss or spiders, we have been cursed with self consciousness, so living with the background static of the beckoning grave we have to protest, it s unfair that we go into the darkness and only get to live this one life, look through this one set of eyes, and in protest, we invent art and writing and poetry and novels so as to look through many eyes, and thinkthoughts in one day that would otherwise occur to us in a lifetime All art geysers out of the injustice of the one life we have and the many lives we wish to have, the thumbnail of years we re granted against the millions we aren t Our novels are our panopticon, our camera obscura, and our zohar that Borgesian point at which all things are observable at the same time Self consciousness is the disease which nearly cures itself It s not flawless, but it s got my five stars The Fountain Overflows is another example of the extreme awkwardness of Edwardian writers in dealing with class E M Forster, H G Wells and gaucheness personified D H Lawrence all suffer agonies and often nearly capsize their novels because they can t strike the right tone when they re writing about the working class They desperately try not to patronise but their story is about people who do patronise and despise the working class Compare Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead Revisited his middle class narrator wanders into an aristocratic family a whole social class above his own, but there is no problem, all is smooth as silk The working class also known as the poor is disliked and feared by the middle class because they do not have the same values they do not aspire to the same things they don t look the same they don t have any taste you might conclude that most of them are stupid if they get any money they spend it on the wrong things they re ignorant and happy to be soIn some ways it is agreed that it s not their fault that they re poor but this does not make them likeable You have to deal with them gingerly The Aubreys have no money but they re not The Poor, they re still thoroughly genteel He had asked for beer it was certain we would have none in the house, for it was considered a vulgar drink in those days I do not think that my father ever tasted it in his life.At one point the mother tells the children You are not allowed to read the newspapers now I hope you will not attach too much importance to them They give you a picture of a common place world that does not exist You must always believe that life is as extraordinary as music says it is I guess this novel tells a universal story about how some of the dreams of childhood get smashed to bits by the cruelties of life and some are hurtled along and by some miracle make it through the rapids without loss of life But I didn t really think about that very much I was just glad to have spent my time with these people, with those names and those faces Do you feel like you ve walked into the edges when you catch someone crying What if they want you watching them cry The edges could melt and lines blur The them with just them, the them with you, you with them and you with just you Rebecca West s fountain overflowed, all right Too many people I guess the lines did too, like one of those chalk drawings from the film of Mary Poppins Lines on a page from trying to get it all down and figure everyone s place to make your expected move I had Do you feel like you ve walked into the edges when you catch someone crying What if they want you watching them cry The edges could melt and lines blur The them with just them, the them with you, you with them and you with just you Rebecca West s fountain overflowed, all right Too many people I guess the lines did too, like one of those chalk drawings from the film of Mary Poppins Lines on a page from trying to get it all down and figure everyone s place to make your expected move I had the feeling like if you were watching yourself crying and it felt awkward like watching someone else cry and you had the unsettling feeling of not knowing what the hell they wanted from you Whatever it is, you don t want to give it to them A kind of one sided togetherness.A family obsessed with itsself Poverty, what s proper, compared to everyone else, all the kids have to be musical prodigies, the baby son a saint Even their cousins Greek statues of unmovable beauty Look back down the timeline and there s not you but a branch of a tree Jealous of how high the others can reach.Rose is a little kid She s got a twin sister, Mary I didn t know this was a twin book when I picked it out, honest They have an older sister, Cordelia, who wantsthan anything to be normal and leave them for good I didn t know this book was going to be about that I didn t know that what happens to them, when they see themselves as their sister sees everyone else seeing them, the irredeemably weird shame, was going to spill out as a self image that could stick in their objects are closer than they appear side eye view for the rest of their lives At least for Rose Rose can only suspect of her twin sister, who never laughs out loud and would never tell a magician if it was her card or not I have been them, have heard those words and have not been able to stop looking over my shoulder for that knife again I ve been left standing when everyone else has sat down again Others laugh too hard over what s not really funny You forget how to breathe when others are around, once you ve noticed the difference.And what really hurts is the tears adding to this watery fountain thing of guilt about being like Rose It s not this innocent position to never let it go Watching yourself cry and hating it And Mary It hurts that I don t know about Mary Rose doesn t have her Hey, wait a second moment and see that her sister wanting her to be normal still don t know what that is is about herself Her mother tells her she s her favorite in the same breath as accusing her of giving her younger brother a serious illness with a childish prank Her brother she holds off as a saint Her twin she counts off as the same The papa is to win It s kind of telling to write a biography and cast yourself as the sympathetic musical ear and never play the finish It s the anti coming of age, or something The voice breaks even though they castrated you The burden to be special and live for her the piano star dreams she gave up when she settled for marriage to the throw it all away father is on Rose and Mary Cordelia won t relinquish her violin dreams despite their cruelty The loneliness takes over Rose loses Is it some thing about specialness that matters It s what they were all secretly hoping for The curse of their family Is there some body connecting to dire straits and empty swimming pools for all people to go to The audience for all the crying This book made me sad And lonely And bad about feeling that way, still I felt like the only place for it all to go to was the nearest thing that s empty Empty feeling.All the observations of the joy on her mom s face this reminded me of women I ve known who feel they have to work in all of their relationships Open all night, like Wal mart The late night cuddling from the desperate to fit in with normal I can t understand anyone who knows what that is Cordelia I liked that she could never mark off her father as someone who liked them The mom felt fake with all of her work and it was as if she expected the work out of them It s interesting just not relaxed enough Like when you go to sleep and your brain tells you stuff that you can t figure out when you re awake There s no sleep time and you re always working Maybe West was trying to say something about that It was really, really sad that she never knows Mary I just blanked on Mary s name, no kidding , apart from her own assumptions of unity The sweet parts only made it worse Like letting your guard down to get hurt again The Fountain Overflows was serialized in some magazine It shows There are too many Aunts showing up and I got a little bored of them Some of it was beautiful and then also the same lonely work feeling I lost some of my This is the best book ever feeling when someone murders their husband and of course this family is at the center of everything Numbing of too many other people and their problems.I liked this description of her cousin, Rosamund and her motherThis was not because they were lifeless but because they had an intense life which was independent of physical motion It was always good like that even when overcrowded Still, all the looking back over where it all went wrong doesn t get rid of the seed that you didn t belong and never will, of not being independent of them I will not be distracted with cunning observations of how the determinedly acceptable shallow interact with each other Or how the pedestal so called free spirits manage to stay on for Rose when they had fallen off it long before Dammit, it s the loneliness for always I know I m right despite my poor articulation skills Poor Cordelia sucking at the violin Fountain actually made a nice follow up read after Bernhard s The Loser Nothing like comparing everything to see it yourself all not fitting There s a sequel I pray, for Rose s sake, there are no pedestals and other people to know Music for music and not for applause like normal , it s the water something of acceptance A douche bag I never feel good at anything I m no good at reviewing this book That doesn t stop me from loving on the damned violin that I also can t play never tried I want to know if Mary felt the same way, ever I would not feel sad any if all the misery and company really felt like a family.The imaginary rabbit scene is one of my favorites ever It s just like that, to get caught up in playing and it takes a life of its own I also thought the ending of the two hands playing the piano suite was really freaking good Double back, for the audience Forget your steps to walk theirs The Fountain Overflows was Rebecca West s first book in twenty years and it was to have been the first volume of a trilogy that would tell the story of her century She didn t live quite long enough to complete that story, but after reading this book I am eager to read the next book and to read the final, unfinished work This is a story that draws on the authors own life, without being entirely autobiographical and it tells of growing up in a creative, musical family, from the perspective o The Fountain Overflows was Rebecca West s first book in twenty years and it was to have been the first volume of a trilogy that would tell the story of her century She didn t live quite long enough to complete that story, but after reading this book I am eager to read the next book and to read the final, unfinished work This is a story that draws on the authors own life, without being entirely autobiographical and it tells of growing up in a creative, musical family, from the perspective of one of the children of that family a girl named Rose.The father of the family, Piers Aubrey, was charming but he was thoughtless He was the editor of a minor newspaper, he was a man who was ready to stand by and act on his convictions, but he was also a man who gambled away any money he earned on the Stock Exchange He loved his wife, he loved his children, but he seemed unwilling or unable to accept the responsibilities that laid upon him.His wife and his children might have resented the choices he made, they might have been disappointed in him but they weren t They loved him, they appreciated his strengths, and they accepted his weaknesses as inevitable in someone who had to venture outside the musical family circle to do battle for them in a world that didn t appreciate the things that they loved And so they did their level best to adapt themselves to his absences, to the loss of their good furniture, to frequent changes of address, and to love the copies of family portraits that hung in the children s bedrooms.And, of course, it is the mother of the family who holds things together so clearly adoring her children, her family unit, and her role as mother She had been a concert pianist, but everything that she had put into achieving that goal was put into family life She loved finding the right instrument for each child the violin for Cordelia, her eldest daughter, the piano for each of her twin girls, Rose and Mary and the flute would some time into the story prove to be the instrument for her young son, Richard Quinn.The author understood and she made me understand and appreciate the complex ties that bound that family together.The story opens with the family on the cusp of moving to a new home in South London, where they will be settled for quite some time It took me a little while to get my bearings, but I was enchanted with Rose s voice with the mixture of the descriptive, the fanciful, and the matter of fact with the intelligence and the insight and intensity, the love and the gorgeous, child like attentiveness to detail of it all.I was just a little sorry that Mary seemed often to disappear or to be a mere adjunct to Rose, who was sometimes a little too conveniently always at the centre of things A picture emerged, and then I was truly captivated, and drawn right into family life.The story is peppered with incident most notably the ridding of a cousin s home from a poltergeist, and the case of a neighbour who has been unjustly accused of murder but those are not the things that make this story sing.What does make the story sing Well, there s wonderful insight into the condition of childhood, and the way that, despite its genteel poverty, the family s lives are rich and full There s the drawing close together of a family that is a little isolated, because it is different, because there seems to be no one close to them who understands the very special magic of the creative, artistic life.The children s love for each other, that endures even when Cordelia s wish for aconventional life maddens them, is caught perfectly They all adore their little brother, Richard Quinn, who is bright, idiosyncratic, and utterly irresistible They happily draw their cousin Rosamunde, who is not musical but who they recognise has other wonderful gifts, into their circle They accept Nancy, daughter of the neighbour accused of murder, too, they are terribly sorry that she seems ungifted, but that is no obstacle to them taking to her hearts Her difference fascinates them, and they determine that they will help her, as they will help their mother and all of those they love, when their musical gifts rescue them from poverty They have such wonderful, unwavering faith that they will succeed.The darkness of the material world, where their father must do battle, is set against the warmth and love of the home that their mother creates That is why he can always be forgiven But as the children grow things change Cordelia could play, but she could not truly understand her music, and so, of course, she could never be a professional musician Her mother understood that but Cordelia couldn t, and her pretensions were fostered by an a teacher who had just the same weaknesses The playing out of this strand is particularly well judged the contrast between the mother who saw and the teacher who didn t, and judged the mother harshly, is striking and I was devastated for Cordelia when she finally came to understand.That final drama led this novel to its own conclusion.Taken as a whole it feel idiosyncratic, but that feels right because it is catching all of the twists and turns of lives lived There were times when it made my heart sing, and there were times when I thought it might break The writing is so lovely, and it speaks so profoundly of family and musicality, that I was lost when I reached the final page and my life and those lives moved apart

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