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Villa Rubein:-Villa Rubein seems to be an early work of Galsworthy, with Tyrol rather than England as the background. He attempts to write characters and families more cosmopolitan European than purely English, but it is more halfway than successful an attempt, and other than a few mixed dialogues - chiefly from the stepfather to the main female the story centres on - it amounts to a caricature of the said stepfather who is only good enough to bluster and really neither commands love nor respect from his stepdaughter or her maternal relatives whose house he lives in, nor at that much from his own daughter who is much younger, except as a matter of duty taken for granted.There is portrayal of beauty of country and nature here too that blooms so very much through his later works, the latter being mostly of English countryside, but here the portrayal falls very short of how very beautiful Alps surroundings generally can be. Galsworthy truly belongs to England and does not quite flourish elsewhere.Here the central theme is young love and art vs money, business vs career of vocation, work vs life assured with inheritance, and again it seems he tried it out first in this and later developed it into various other works. One surprising declaration and admission here is of the fact that it is those that have made money that care for it far more than those who have chosen to work for a living in a career of art due to a spiritual need of working for art. It is but logical that this be so, since one that makes money does not do so by a couldnt-care-less attitude towards money but only with great devotion of time and spirit towards earning and saving it, and while it is a fact perhaps known in life to all, it is but hardly ever admitted so in most works of literature in so matter of fact a way, refreshing in its simplicity.Most different from his other works however - other than the placing out of England - is the little more explicit mention of the happenings of the time. Galsworthy is so given to love and beauty of nature and satirical portraying of upper caste England that one tends to almost forget he lived in an era of tumultuous happenings and thinking, when old traditional castes and their hold was not merely being questioned as in England but was elsewhere being violently rocked and even thrown away, and here one gets a glimpse of a character involved in past in a movement that shapes his life and endangers his love, even though the mention of the movement and its actual facts is left only to be guessed at by the reader familiar with history of the times. All very tangential and elusive, but still, it is there unlike his other works.Monday, November 18, 2013...............................................................................................................................................My Father Man of Devon:-Love is a much used and little understood reality, with various people experiencing perhaps different things and in attempting to identify the beautiful yet terrifying mystery seek to give it a known name.Not so Pasience, whose name is really Patience but pronounced and spelt in an original way from times before English language got uniform spellings due to print - (although, for that matter, accents and diction and entire dialects differ still across the small nation, and even more so through the rest of the English speaking world, evidence of George Bernard Shaws witty truth casually given in his Pygmalion as description of US and Britain being two nations separated by a common language - and who encountering a York accent for the first time has not been baffled?) - Pasience who is young, restless, talented at playing violin that she makes sing her hearts music, spirited, and without a womans guidance or a fathers stronger protection or even company of her own age, so that she is eager to experience life beyond what is known to her in her grandfathers company. When she meets men, she has no mysterious veil over her heart, only a yearning for she knows not what, world, life, and she chooses that man amongst all that she sees - she has more than one choice, and young males with varying prospects that are confronted with her are all alike under her spell so she really has her choice of those around - she chooses not the one that is likely to give her all she wishes but one that promises the adventure, lacking the wisdom and guidance to see the difference.A marriage so made in haste can end in any number of good or bad ways, or mediocre as most unfortunate marriages do anyway. Here the tragedy is partly due to times and rest spurred on by the youth of the girl who has only an old grandfather to look after her and to guide and contain her vital spirit.As usual Galsworthy treats readers to beauty of the surrounding country, this time the land and coast and sea at Devon. It must be a hard heart that reads this and wont wish to see it for oneself and experience the beauty so hauntingly portrayed here.Tuesday, November 19, 2013........................................................................A Knight For My Mother:-One is reminded of the prelude to the film Gone With The Wind as one reads this - not due to any possible similarity, which there is none, but the spirit of the central character (not the protagonist) of this story that is celebrated in that prelude, about gentlemen and code of conduct.A man may be a soldier all his life, and unable to find employment, with starvation to death a real possibility that is avoided only by an ex comrade of a way of yore - and here is a real connection with Gone With The Wind, that particular war in the life of this gentleman from South Carolina happens to be the Civil War in US - and a chance encounter with such a comrade who happens to be English meeting and saving his life in London, and giving him a partnership in a business suited to both, a shop selling equipment related to - and a training school attached to the shop, training people in - fighting.It is love that brings him down, and what is more love for the daughter of his partner, not due to opposition of the father or unwillingness of the young girl, but far more complex. And this is where Galsworthy excels, in bringing our ways of youth, love, passion and complications thereof. The young wife strays to a young stranger who is a student of the school, elopes with him, and the gentleman can only let her be. She comes to grief, the young man having left her and the childbirth taking her life.And the gentleman, having lost his business due to his partner being cheated, and almost all his money too, is now living in penury because he is supporting the young daughter his wife died after giving birth to, struggling to send her half his income every year and living the life of a gentleman the best way possible to him without money. It is the taste and the code that are paramount.And it is the code that he follows to the end of his life.Saturday, November 23, 2013........................................................................To My Brother Hubert GalsworthySalvation of a Forsyte:-Forsytes have been connected to the Villa Rubein story with the business partnership of a Forsyte (James, the father of Soames?) with Nicholas Treffery, in a way the hero of Villa Rubein what with his nightlong ride to rescue the love of life of his niece from her stepfathers threat of setting police on him.Now, the connection is via a passion of Swithin, twin of James Forsyte, for a young Hungarian girl when he himself is not quite young, and having never been social or charming or attractive, is no great catch either. But the girl is young, and generous and sincere as youth will be when encountering someone who is attracted to one, and this is her great fault and reason for downfall. If only she were grown up or knew in some other way that the way to secure respect for herself is to be less generous, less caring of someone elses pain or any feelings, she might have had a different and perhaps safer life. Then again, it might have led to Swithin marrying her and perhaps she escaped the deadly boredom of a Forsyte clan life by being herself, young and sincere and natural as a flower.Swithin cannot help his own passion, and goes after her when her father has taken the family off for a return to his country from Salzburg where they met, but then has a typical Forsyte moment - of an indignation that perhaps her family intends that he marry her, which he finds is quite unnecessary and out of the question, especially since she is not only without a dowry (it goes without mention here but is a silent factor in all dealings of Forsyte with the family) but has also yielded to him.Needless to say he, like most males before and since, does not see that the yielding on her part implies he was a thief and an attacker that she fell prey to, rather than looking at it as her gift of love to his passion; he assumes - like most males before and since - that it is his birthright to so take advantage of a woman or girl however young and innocent, and that he therefore is free of any need or obligation to marry her.That he thereby forfeits any possibility of a future of a life for himself does not occur to him either then or until perhaps the very moment of his death, perhaps not then, but so it is. He lives - and dies - alone, attended only by his valet, never mind the huge clan and daily visits by his twin brother, and recalls on his deathbed the love he escaped by literally running away from it. He closed all possibilities of opening his heart to love ever after when he did that, and became a fossil of a Forsyte prototype instead of allowing love in his life and blossoming.Thus do ones own choices make for rewards or otherwise of ones own.Monday, November 25, 2013........................................................................To My Sister Mabel Edith ReynoldsThe Silence:-Galsworthy in this last offering to his family, this time for his sister, tells a tale about a world of mostly male endeavours of yore, although it is difficult to imagine even a century later that it would have changed much in that, and gives a glimpse of a world partly changed in that the colonial era is no more, but largely still the same in that while men do the work of the gritty sort and other men must manage not only the work but the men that do it, their thoughts and feelings taken into account as much as their living and working conditions for the betterment of the place, and yet make a profit for the shareholders of the company, all the while also writing as copiously to the bosses as they might desire to maintain the myth that they too care and have a hand in the day to day welfare and management of the work and the men.It is this last bit, the writing and pretending, that the Cornishman central to the tale cannot abide, and his reluctance to do so that they wont let be, never mind he has turned the mines from desolate vacant bleak place to thriving glamourous place to be and paying a whopping twenty percent for the company at that, and managing all sorts of trouble single handedly on the paltry salary of a manager - paltry compared to the men who pay him and dictate his terms, certainly. When finally forced to do so he obliges with a lengthy missive and snaps.This tale is told sensitively through a childhood friend of the manager who visits him occasionally in course of his own work, and to emphasise the sensitivity of it all, there is the oblique connection to Forsytes - who symbolise the moneymaking trade and industry caste of England and indeed of Europe - with the sensitive Old Jolyon Forsyte on the board of the company, refraining from the badgering of the manager who excels at his work but not at kowtowing to the bosses.Tuesday, November 26, 2013...............................................................................................................................................

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