Sunday, March 12, 2006

"Showing Off" by Rose Macaulay

We're cheating here a little, because this is not technically a short story, even if it is a type of fiction in the form of a Ruth Draper-ish monologue in Rose Macaulay's delicious collection of Personal Pleasures, and we want to include it because we love this author and wanted to include her on this site somehow. Here, we meet someone we've all met at one time or the other, someone who's done and seen everything but doesn't have the sense to stop straining credibility and our ears. Read by Scoot. Time 5:22.

Among Rose Macaulay's thirty-five books one may find much to amuse oneself, particularly works such as Dangerous Ages, about three generations of women dealing with the thoroughly modern 1920's, and especially The Towers of Trebizond, which aside from having a curiously ambiguous narrator, is a marvel of wit and wisdom. She really did deserve being made a Dame of the British Empire, but should have been awarded it long before her death in 1958 at the age of seventy-seven. We are thankful for the fact that she pursued literature instead of becoming the historian she had once intended to become. She might have been unhappy in love, but at least that allowed her to laugh both at herself and the world.

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