Mary in .llurrrugc: she loses her temper. has fitsolgloom. despair and eyen spite. Social restraints are less crippling for Alex than they were for Mary but the woman's assumed role is still primarily a caring one. liven when Ales breaks free from her sister‘s family. she is still left with the responsibility for her aged father. More decisions can be made by Alex than eyet‘ could by Mary in .l’Iurrrtzgt'. who got what she wanted by patience or default. but it is only in ()pm the Door.’ that wotncn are seen to make any real bid for personal freedom. Situated in (ilasgow. Italy and l.ondon. it is by far the tnost interesting ol these three noyels. l le re we are no longer offered the woman in waiting or the all-caring. self—sacrificing woman but a full—blooded. sexual being with an intense driye to satisfy her own needs. lfthis sounds like I). ll. l.;tW'l‘L‘ltCC. lltL‘ ltttttlx' llelli ls cy L‘ll tnore so. Lawrence and ('atherine (‘arswell were friends for many years and Women in Lore and ( )pen the
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Door/changed hands while in manuscript forrn.
In the examination olthc indiyidual’s quest for self-knowledge and personal lreedorn. as well as its emotional and spiritual charge. ()pen the Door/owes much to l_awrences work. both stylistically and in content. 'l‘he association between sexual loye. death and spiritual rebirth isonly toofatttiliar. Where .‘yls ( ‘arswell comes into her ow it. though. is in her creation of .loanna. a much tnore conyincing and complex character than Lawrence‘s women. Also. Open the Door is much ntore rooted in the real world. in the business of work. finding acctunmodation and family commitment. 'lhe laboured symbolism which so often hampered law'rence‘s noyels is absent and dramatic tension is maintained throughout. (‘ontemporary readers may find the conclusion disappointing but for its emotional intensity alotte. ()pm the ltoor.’ is well worth reading. (l)ilys Rose)
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Russian Gypsy Tales transl. James Riordan (Canongate £7.95) Gypsies. explains one of the stories. are scattered about the earth because their wagon lull of babies and belongings, and pulled by a none-too robust horse, Iurched from side to side. shedding the odd saucepan ‘and now and then a barefoot child‘. ltwasn‘t so bad in daylightwhen they could recoverthe over-spill, ‘butyou could notsee them in the dark‘ and the gypsy travelled round the earth haphazardly losing children in this fashion.
It is in the nature of the tales to suggest that these children would probably survive rather well. The gypsy seems to slip backwards and forwards between life and death with an easy and arbitrary familiarity which offers its own way of explaining the world.
When lor example. a fearless old gypsy has to confront the devil within himself, the devil appears in the gypsy's own likeness and slips in beside him in his tin bath. Disguised by the steamy heat. the gypsy takes him for a villager and sets about scrubbing him clean, ‘notthal he had any idea whom he was washing.‘ By taking liberties of this sort the author (and the
devil) can getaway with anything from murder to resurrection!
The stories are a lively aural tradition written down, collected from gypsies in the regions of Leningrad, Novgorod, Moscow. Tula, Smolensk, Gorky, Karelia and Siberia and the gypsy spirit which emerges is as colourful as this outline of an area is evocative.
They give a sense of the gypsy and the gypsy world which is not so much nasty, brutish and short as guilelul, fateful — and short. These are not finely chiselled tales. They are broad and robust, describing a world which is of black bread and vodka, ol woodcuts ratherthan silver-point, as the illustrations by Harry Horse suggest. (Sally Kinnes)
Edinburgh Acting School
INTO FAME One week only! 25th l5eb ~ lst March (351h lieb 2 for price of l ). 7.3llpm. ‘linthusiastic. . . beautifully choreographed. .. talented group‘ The Scotsman.
9—1 1 years. oth ck; 7th March.
M arch .
Street. ()31 (507 9493.
OUR TOWN by 'l‘hornton Wilder 3rd 5th March.
WHO’S RlGH'l‘lSl? lighthearted look at relationship. Musical ll—Hyears. 3rd» 51h
MOONZAPOPPIN l-iyely. colourful sci—fi musical.
POLISH & CREAM Youngsters beat unemployment -- musical. 15——l7 years. oth A: 7th
Tickets £2.25. £1 .75 (season ticket). Ayailable at Lyceum Box Office. Usher 1 lall and lidinburgh Acting School. 24 Nicolson
WEST PORT BOOKS l'il \\’t‘sl l’ot‘i ldinliurgh 33‘? 44 ll
Hooks \\anled: Antiquarian or Modern .‘ylosl subiet ls: =\n\' number: (‘otnplele libraries putt based
2 1 June
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