Great art is both challenging and accessible Elizabeth Bowen s highly wrought Modernist writing style resulted in me having to frequently re read passages and ponder their meaning It s not a style I enjoy I like clarity and prefer to be led by hand.It s a shame because she manages to evoke a clear sense of Ireland during this key period of turmoil the troubles in 1920 , and specifically how the Anglo Irish aristocracy appear to have refused to accept that anything was wrong This means the b Great art is both challenging and accessible Elizabeth Bowen s highly wrought Modernist writing style resulted in me having to frequently re read passages and ponder their meaning It s not a style I enjoy I like clarity and prefer to be led by hand.It s a shame because she manages to evoke a clear sense of Ireland during this key period of turmoil the troubles in 1920 , and specifically how the Anglo Irish aristocracy appear to have refused to accept that anything was wrong This means the book takes place against a backdrop of unease and tension which Elizabeth Bowen subtly signals through symbolism and language.After finishing the book I did some research to try and better understand the book s themes and meanings There is a wealth of Not a favourite I m afraid If I hadn t read the very excellent Troubles by Farrell last year I might have thoughthighly of this one.The characters didn t resonate with me, they were so self centred and rudderless I read thi The Last September Is Elizabeth Bowen S Portrait Of A Young Woman S Coming Of Age In A Brutalized Time And Place, Where The Ordinariness Of Life Floats Like Music Over The Impending Doom Of History.In 1920, At Their Country Home In County Cork, Sir Richard Naylor And His Wife, Lady Myra, And Their Friends Maintain A Skeptical Attitude Toward The Events Going On Around Them, But Behind The Facade Of Tennis Parties And Army Camp Dances, All Know That The End Is Approaching The End Of British Rule In The South Of Ireland And The Demise Of A Way Of Life That Had Survived For Centuries Their Niece, Lois Farquar, Attempts To Live Her Own Life And Gain Her Own Freedoms From The Very Class That Her Elders Are Vainly Defending The Last September Depicts The Tensions Between Love And The Longing For Freedom, Between Tradition And The Terrifying Prospect Of Independence, Both Political And Spiritual. The Last September does not have power over me for what is believed to be lost I do not mourn the loss of the English in Ireland living the good life of big houses.What, Mariel Sorry, my trains of thoughts are crashing What Tell about the movie Not yet okay, the movie is no good nevermind that twenty year old me kinda liked it Why are you admitting that It isn t relevant to now because it evokes the feelings of rainy dinner party days and first horniness Dinner parties like people ge The Last September does not have power over me for what is believed to be lost I do not mourn the loss of the English in Ireland living the good life of big houses.What, Mariel Sorry, my trains of thoughts are crashing What Tell about the movie Not yet okay, the movie is no good nevermind that twenty year old me kin The characters of The Last September all seem to suffer from lethargy and incipient depression They are unable to act, know, or even care Only the wind has energy Throughout the novel they are increasingly defined by relationship to objects, a move which is foreshadow An Anglo Irish novel of manners with overtures of a buildungsroman and subtle, distilled poetry of place and time A few of of my classmates remarked how it seemed like something written by Jane Austen the praise is pretty high, and thematically well taken Some famous critic Edward Said Lionel Trilling Somebody help me out here remarked that the heroes and heroines in Austen s fiction are painstakingly indifferent to the world around them it s all upper bourgeoise drawing rooms, garden pa An Anglo Irish novel of manners with overtures of a buildungsroman and subtle, distilled poetry of place and time A few of of my classmates remarked how it seemed like something written by Jane Austen the praise is pretty high, and thematically well taken Some famous critic Edward Said Lionel Trilling Somebody help me out here remarked that the heroes and heroines in Austen s fiction are painstakingly indifferent to the world around them it s all upper bourgeoise drawing rooms, garden parties, flirtations, and gossip as the world roars off somewhere in the distance, where the pillows and spices come from Not a bad observation, if a little strident, and it might be putting the cart before the horse I m not an especially big believer that the novel must have a Pronounced Historical Vision, like to like and all tha Like splintered darkness, branches pierced the faltering dusk of leaves Evening drenched the trees the beeches were soundless cataracts Behind the trees, pressing in from the open and empty country like an invasion, the orange bright sky crept and smouldered Firs, bearing up to pierce, melted against the brightness Somewhere, there was a sunset in which the mountains lay like glass Dark had so gained the trees that Lois, turning back from the window, was surprised at how light the room waLike s This novel is set among the Anglo Irish upper classes, the class of Lady Gregory for Yates fans, in the 1920s The protagonist is a young girl in her 20s whose mother has died and is in effect the ward of her aunt, Lady Naylor The book deals with friendships and love affairs of young women of this class while the threat of the IRA hulks in the background What is wonderful about this book is the writing The dialogue is witty, sometimes bordering on something you would hear in Oscar Wilde Thes This novel is set among the Anglo Irish upper classes, the class of Lady Gregory for Yates fans, in the 1920s The protagonist is a young girl in her 20s whose mother has died and is in effect the ward of her aunt, Lady Naylor The book deals with friendships and love affairs of young women of this class while the threat of the IRA hulks in the background What is wonderful about this book is the writing The dialogue is witty, sometimes bordering on something you would hear in Oscar Wilde These people are as a class evasive, and the dialogue is amazingly able to make clear to the reader serious issues that are expressed but unspoken In particular, Lady Naylor seems incapable of a sincere utterance.Lady Naylor asserts that the protagonist and her admirer should not marry partly for lack of money, and partly because they do not understand what love means, or each what the word love means to the other She seems right to me In a way, they So, I m not a huge fan of Important Subject books Books that modestly proclaim on their jackets that they are Essential Reading about a Crucial Time in history that reveal Human Truths about our Darkest Hours, or authors who set soap operas in times of great stress that come with their own built in pile of cultural garbage so as to do the emotional work that their depiction of a relationship is not capable of doing It s almost worse when authors like this attempt to deepen their surface drama So, I m not a huge fan of Important Subject books Books that modestly proclaim on their jackets that they are Essential Reading about a Crucial Time in history that reveal Human Truths about our Darkest Hours, or authors who set soap operas in times of great stress that come with their own built in pile of cultural garbage so as to do the emotional work that their depiction of a relationship is not capable of doing It s almost worse when authors like this attempt to deepen their surface drama that s when we end up with Flowery Metaphors really should have been left back in the thesaurus they came from.Elizabeth Bowen s book could have been one of these It could have been a story of a young girl who falls in love with a young boy in a star crossed situation, as Divided Loyalties draw single tears down their cheeks It could have also been the story o It says on the front cover of this copy NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE Have you ever seen them say NOW A MINOR MOTION PICTURE No of course not Or even NOW A MOTION PICTURE Or NOW A SO SO ART HOUSE MOVIE Or NOW A VERY MILDLY ENTERTAINING MINISERIES Well, there were two reasons why this was a mistake to pick up One was I realised I had this year read a great novel called Troubles by JG Farrell all about the declining Anglo Irish aristocracy during the Irish War of Independence after World War O It says on the front cover of this copy NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE Have you ever seen them say NOW A MINOR MOTION PICTURE No of course not Or even NOW A MOTION PICTURE Or NOW A SO SO ART HOUSE MOVIE Or NOW A VERY MILDLY ENTERTAINING MINISERIES Well, there were two reasons why this was a mistake to pick up One was I realised I had this yea