Augury, Agony and the Shadows…



I am currently reading a collection of brilliant essays by many writers who underwent depression: ‘Unholy Ghost,’ edited by Nell Casey.

As I read the essay ‘ From darkness visible’, by William Styron, I was struck by the similarity in the nature of some  characters in the book above, ( which I loved translating) and Styron’s analysis of his own heroines.

‘ Suicide has been a persistent theme in my books-three of my major characters killed themselves.In rereading, for the first time in years, sequence from my novels- passages where my heroines have lurched down pathways toward doom- I was stunned to perceive how accurately I had created the landscape of depression in the minds of these young women, describing with what could only be instinct, out of a subconscious already roiled by disturbances of mood,the psychic imbalances that led them to destruction.’

I also read ‘Noon time’: Lauren Slater’s  stunning essay about being intensely depressed during her pregnancy…

‘ I will call her Clara, for clear, and Eve, which in Hebrew means life, and I will hope the gap between her name and her life is small. Clear Life. A life without depression. That is what she means, this little girl…’

( I remember with gratitude, the quote about serendipity…that it is a small miracle where God prefers to remain anonymous!)



Reading Between The Lines

My little girl read the Twits, without any expression on her face.

” So, did you like it?” I queried.

” Fantastic Mister Fox was better,” she opined.

I re-read the book from an adult perspective and found much to ruminate about.The Twits, I think should be a part of a research study of rotten marriages , manipulative/ control behavior, as well as bi polar disorders.

Just compare Roald Dahl’s  Mr. Twit and Mrs Twit with George and Martha in Edward Albee’s play “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Compare them with Mr.Pugh and Mrs Pugh of   the radio drama “Under  Milk Wood”  by Dylan Thomas.

Two human beings caught in a horrid, terrible marriage, barking and biting at each other’s shins, froth emanating, desperate to get away from each other!

I asked my daughter, ” What was the best thing about Fantastic Mr.Fox?”

” That they were all very happy together,” she smiled. ” And those bad men kept waiting and waiting to trap them outside! Meanwhile, they were having all that fun!”

Children!  They always end up seeing the truth!