Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Pym-isms

I love Barbara Pym's novels. She writes about ordinary people living ordinary lives in a way that makes you smile, laugh, and sometimes even cry. She had a real gift for creating memorable characters and also for writing witty observations about life. I recently finished reading No Fond Return of Love, a novel about a thirtyish single woman named Dulcie Manwaring and her tangle of relationships, which I quite enjoyed. Here are a few of my favorite Pym-isms from it:

"There are various ways of mending a broken heart, but perhaps going to a Learned conference is one of the more unusual."

"It was sad, she thought, how women longed to be needed and useful and how seldom most of them really were."

"Viola had turned out to be a disappointment. In a sense, Dulcie felt as if she had created her and that she had not come up to expectations, like a character in a book who had failed to come alive, and how many people in life, if one transferred them to fiction just as they were, would fail to do that!"



Barbara Pym
(1913-1980)
"Life's problems are often eased by hot milky drinks."

"One never met anybody interesting travelling second class."

"Some men seem to make a habit of choosing the wrong women," said Dulcie thoughtfully.

"Perhaps love for somebody totally unsuitable dies more completely, when it does dies, than any other kind of love."



Happy Reading!


Other Pym novels I've read and enjoyed:
Quartet in Autumn
Less Than Angels
Jane and Prudence
A Few Green Leaves
Some Tame Gazelle
Excellent Women (which oddly enough I never reviewed, even though it's my favorite.)


18 comments:

  1. That's a great list of Pym-isms :) I love her books too - I haven't read this one yet but I'm hoping to read Jane and Prudence soon.

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    1. I really enjoyed Jane and Prudence! It's a good one. :)

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  2. Wonderful Pym-isms! I've read two of her books and loved them. I really need to continue reading her work.

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    1. I've yet to meet a book of hers that I didn't like.

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  3. Lovely quotes! I have a copy of this one but not yet read it. I recently found it at a library sale and snapped it up even though it is one of the re-prints from Little Brown with their "chick-lit" like covers. I much prefer the original jacket design with the wall-paper like prints. :)

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    1. But hey, at least you got a copy! (I like the original jacket designs better, too.)

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  4. My favorite quote "life's problems are often eased by hot milky drinks" I understand Excellent Women her most famous novel. I would like to give itva try.

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    1. Isn't that a great quote? :)
      And I really loved Excellent Women!

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  5. I've never read Pym, and now I'm wanting to! Great quotes... so true

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  6. I haven't read No Fond Return of Love (yet) but those quotes all sound sort of familiar, which makes your point that they are Pymisms! I couldn't agree more with the hot milky drink one :)

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  7. I have never read any of her work, but I've seen her name around a lot. I really do want to check out her books, especially since you enjoy them so much!

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    1. I do enjoy her books and her characters. And she always makes such memorable and witty observations about life and love in her stories. :)

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  8. I wish I could love Barbara Pym but I just don't! I think it was Jane and Prudence that put me off. Your post has persuaded me to give her another try, though.

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    1. Maybe her style of writing just isn't your thing, you know? But I think she's worth another try if there's one of her plots/stories that appeals more to you. :)

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