ã Read ò Asphodel by H.D. ↠´ Reading over the blurb for this novel, I m not sure that the writer really had a good think about what the term readable means To me, it means something that runs along and is kind of average difficulty wise I m not saying I m totally disagreeing with the term readable in the case of this book, because it is exactly that readable It at least makes sense half the time This isn t a book to be casually picked up and put down This book demands attention, it demands time and it demands a whole lot of brain power It lingers on the borderline of making absolutely no sense at all in parts likely because it s not known how much editing H.
D had done to this text as part of the evolutionary process it went through to become Bid Me to Live It makes this a really hard book DESTROY, HD Had Pencilled Across The Title Page Of This Autobiographical Novel Although The Manuscript Survived, It Has Remained Unpublished Since Its Completion In The S Regarded By Many As One Of The Major Poets Of The Modernist Period, HD Created In Asphodel A Remarkable And Readable Experimental Prose Text, Which In Its Manipulation Of Technique And Voice Can Stand With The Works Of Joyce, Woolf, And Stein In Its Frank Exploration Of Lesbian Desire, Pregnancy And Motherhood, Artistic Independence For Women, And Female Experience During Wartime, HD S Novel Stands AloneA Sequel To The Author S HERmione, Asphodel Takes The Reader Into The Bohemian Drawing Rooms Of Pre World War I London And Paris, A Milieu Populated By Such Thinly Disguised Versions Of Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington, May Sinclair, Brigit Pat, And Margaret Cravens On The Other Side Of What HD Calls The Chasm, The Novel Documents The War S Devastating Effect On The Men And Women Who Considered Themselves Guardians Of Beauty Against This Riven Backdrop, Asphodel Plays Out The Story Of Hermione Gart, A Young American Newly Arrived In Europe And Testing For The First Time The Limits Of Her Sexual And Artistic Identities Following Hermione Through The Frustrations Of A Literary World Dominated By Men, The Failures Of An Attempted Lesbian Relationship And A Marriage Riddled With Infidelity, The Birth Of An Illegitimate Child, And, Finally, Happiness With A Female Companion, Asphodel Describes With Moving Lyricism And Striking Candor The Emergence Of A Young And Gifted Woman From Her Self ExileEditor Robert Spoo S Introduction Carefully Places Asphodel In The Context Of HD S Life And Work In An Appendix Featuring Capsule Biographies Of The Real Figures Behind The Novel S Fictional Characters, Spoo Provides Keys To This Roman Clef This story is as raw as they come It is very much a coming of age tale told from an early expatriate and her journey navigating womanhood in the 1910s early 20s She uses beautifully poetic language to make parallels to the trauma she is personally facing and the devastation of World War 1, but it isn t a book I would be begging to pick up again or recommend based on its rawness It is an unedited text and was meant to be destroyed by Hilda but one of the people who had a copy sent it to be published after her death I can understand why she d want it destroyed in that it s incredibly transparent in her finding herself and the devastating things personally happening to her But as a scholar I can see the necessity of wanting to read this book.
I am struggling to actually write what Asphodel is about Honestly though it feels like doing that is a useless exercise There is a plot but this is a textured novel Anyway here goes Hermione is an American who is now living in Paris Us readers get an insight to her views of European culture and relationships with both men and women, then the same thing happens again except in London.
The thing is Asphodel is about sights and sound being brought out repetition of certain words, certain spelling and twisted viewpoints The prose is very rhythmic and after a few pages you get used to it.
However there s a lot of different styles chucked at you, dialogue mashed up with formal text so the book shifts narrator wise, altho modernism To have or to have not an alternative non normative sexual artistic space Is it possible to separate sexual dominance dominating male Ezra Pound and artistic relationships at the turn of the century What to do about pregnancy when you re a female artist No answers here only questions.
Reading this book felt like walking through a dream The style is stream of consciousness, which honestly usually annoys me to no end Here, though it s compelling and beautiful and readable and it drew me in Flowers and Greek mythology abound in this book And the colors so many colors This is an autobiographical story by HD of her time living in Europe before, during and after WWI She was contemporaries with artists and writers of the time and some of them feature in her story I was very conscious of reading a true story, because, despite the dream like feeling of the writing, it feels very real The substance of the story may fade with time, but feeling of it will stick with me Food a meal of edible flowers Vibra
D s fictionalisation of her life from about 1912 1920, continuing with the same cast of masked figures introduced in HERmione but now augmented with further characters from London and Paris Most important to remember about this text is that it was not intended for wide circulation, at least not in this form the surviving manuscript was marked DESTROY and its author was not available when it was finally edited for publication What we have is like a personal diary or meditation on experience All action is submerged under the waters of a reflective consciousness, which becomes quite turbid under the stresses of war and the cultural dislocations introduced There are passages of social observation of Europeans, but this