Friday, September 25, 2009

Strawberry stream of dialogue

“The best fruit in England — every body's favourite — always wholesome. — These the finest beds and finest sorts. — Delightful to gather for one’s self — the only way of really enjoying them. — Morning decidedly the best time — never tired — every sort good — hautboy infinitely superior — no comparison — the others hardly eatable — hautboys very scarce — Chili preferred — white wood finest flavour of all — price of strawberries in London — abundance about Bristol — Maple Grove — cultivation — beds when to be renewed — gardeners thinking exactly different — no general rule — gardeners never to be put out of their way — delicious fruit — only too rich to be eaten much of — inferior to cherries — currants more refreshing — only objection to gathering strawberries the stooping — glaring sun— tired to death—could bear it no longer — must go and sit in the shade.”
From Jane Austen’s Emma (1816), a blur of conversation from a strawberry-picking expedition, sounding like the stream of consciousness of Mr Leopold Bloom: “Like a few olives too if they had them. Italian I prefer.”

[That bit of Bloom is from the Laestrygonians episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922).]

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