Letters From An Alien: The Brink Of Life

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Letters From An Alien, Uncategorized, Writing
Tags: ,

“If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays, it will be very exciting both for us and for her”

This was in A Room With A View which I read when I was 17 (and saw the film, and had this poster above my bed).  I played the piano, like Lucy Honeychurch (pretty well at the time). And, just like Lucy Honeychurch  I thought I was on the brink of life. Then life happened and I’m still there on the brink, and it isn’t exciting for me or the world, and I don’t even play the piano anymore.

If I didn’t write I don’t believe I would exist at all.

  1. Gs says:

    Did Miss Honeycutt ever take to “live as she plays?”

  2. Gs says:

    Just proves my point;

    Any novel about the qualities of man/womankind, with an inanimate object in the title, in this case ‘Room’, which is further qualified with an indefinte article, ‘A’, is not worth the marketing which promoted it.

    It probably would be fine as a poem about rooms or interiors, but about A Life?!?!?!
    Terrible! And it’s no better as a metaphor of life. The publisher’s only defense is that a printing error turned ‘His/Her Room with a View’ into ‘A Room with a View’.

    What it is, is pretentuous. An attempt to ellicit subtle, erudite emotions, not unlike poignancy. I could go on and on about poignancy in literature becoming a genre not unlike romance novels but I won’t.

    Also, it’s very interesting to me that, in my opinion, the use of ‘A Room with a View’ as a title about lifes joys and sorrows is an objectification. It’s a more proper use of objectification than is the contextual use of ‘turning bodies with soul’ into mere sexual objects. That is highly interesting to me that it turned out this way, considering objectification by ‘turning bodies with soul’ into mere sexual objects, is one of the subjects about which you write.

    Maybe that book is where this sense of objectification of people began for you.

    If that’s the case then the publishers deserve to be lashed and drawn and quartered. And that’s only on a good day of treatment.

    By the way, this was indeed a touching blog post. To put it as Holden Caufield might put it; ‘It was touching. Seriously, I’m not kidding. A lot of writers cry into their work, but QRG used real tears. Not those phony ones. I’m not kidding.’

    Disheartening but, lovely post. Thanks.

    • thanks GS you saved yourself at the end there.

      You kind of have a point. EM Forster ruined me in a way. with his ‘fucking romance’…

      • Gs says:

        I don’t mean to malign romance writing.

        Within the romance novel may be truths more useful in our lives, than the truths in literature.

        But passing off romance or idyllic writing as poignant or literate, seems just too . . . disingenuous.

        I suppose I should admit I’ve never read ‘A Room with a View’.

  3. If only life were like the book and film said it would be, with the promise of love and sex and a view of the Arno when you throw the shutters open early in the morning with the sounds of Florence waking up below the window (I guess we could read EM Forster’s appendix in the book for a reality check).

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