By Margaret Drabble
Margaret Drabble's novels have illuminated the prior fifty years, in particular the altering lives of girls, like no others. but her brief fiction has its personal certain brilliance. Her penetrating evocations of personality and position, her wide-ranging interest, her experience of irony—all are on show the following, in tales that discover marriage, woman friendships, the English vacationer in a foreign country, amorous affairs with homes, peace demonstrations, gin and tonics, cultural television courses; in tales which are perceptive, sharp, and humorous. An creation by means of the Spanish educational José Fernández locations the tales within the context of her existence and her novels. This assortment is an excellent recapitulation of a masterly profession.
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Extra info for A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories
Each of us will have to do his share. Let's have our next meeting next Sunday at two. " After that we had a glass or two together and smoked a cigarette; then, using the dormer window and the rope, each of us took his leave, lost in his own thoughts. Not much happened the next week. Except for the arrival of a few letters, that is. First, a word from the melancholy poet Alphonse Camard, who, after careful consideration, regretted that his health did not permit him to accompany us. " They were written in various moods and for all stages of mountain climbing.
But in p ractical a p p li cation there can be no doubt. W e have only to take up our position in line with the sunrise or sunset (exactly to the east 68 MOUNT ANALOGUE or to the west if it is at the solstice) and to await the proper moment. Then, for just a few minutes— as long as the solar disk remains on the horizon— the door will open, and I repeat, we shall enter. "It's already late. I'll explain some other time (during the journey perhaps) why it is from the west and not from the east that it is possible to enter: It's both for a symbolic reason and because of the wind.
These broken lines I'm making show the path of light rays. You see that these directional lines spread out in the sky, where they rejoin the general space structure of our cosmos. 66 MOUNT ANALOGUE This opening out must take place at so great an altitude— far greater than the depth of our atmosphere— that it would be no use trying to enter the 'shell' over the top in an airplane or balloon. ' " If we visualize the area horizontally, we have this drawing. Remember that the immediate vicinity of Mount Analogue cannot present any noticeable spatial anomaly, since beings like ourselves must be able to exist there.
A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories by Margaret Drabble