Between 1921 and 1940 Elizabeth published three collections of short stories, four novels, two plays and a book of poetry. All of these works have a "continental" sensibility. They deal almost entirely with a kind of love in which the heroines ponder the least gesture of a man until it takes on the proportions of an emotional event with lasting implications, while the heroes spend their time in mute surrender at the feet of remote and disdainful women. "One young poet had described her soul as a fluttering, desperate bird, beating its wings on the bars of her marvellous loveliness," is a sample of her prose style (from the short story "Pilgrimage", 1921).
Her novels and stories, which by 1940 were considered merely fashionable, flimsy stuff with no lasting significance, can now be seen as the illumination of a class of people who were made irrelevant by the First World War but who refused to accept their irrelevance.
Elizabeth Bibesco was connected (especially in the mind of the media) with Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield, neither of whom treated her well in their letters and diaries, especially after a liaison between Elizabeth and Mansfield's husband, John Middleton Murry. Woolf wrote, "She is pasty and podgy, with the eyes of a currant bun."
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Famous quotes containing the word writings:
“Accursed who brings to light of day
The writings I have cast away.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“An able reader often discovers in other peoples writings perfections beyond those that the author put in or perceived, and lends them richer meanings and aspects.”
—Michel de Montaigne (15331592)
“It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature, that a man, having once shown himself capable of original writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others at discretion. Thought is the property of him who can entertain it; and of him who can adequately place it. A certain awkwardness marks the use of borrowed thoughts; but, as soon as we have learned what to do with them, they become our own.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)