His descriptions of the scenery and natural beauty of the country are evocative and find full expression in this masterpiece. By clicking "Notify Me" you consent to receiving electronic marketing communications from Audiobooks. You will be able to unsubscribe at any time. Sign up Login. Remember Me. Forgot your password? Close Login. Forgot Password. Close Reset Password.
ISBN 13: 9780517582398
Processing Please Don't Refresh the Page. First American edition, with English sheets. The author's first travel book. Frieda was married to a former professor of Lawrence's, and the mother of three children. The ensuing scandal drove the couple to Germany, joining her parents in Metz. The drama continued when Lawrence was arrested as a British spy then released due to the influence of Frieda's father.
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- Twilight In Italy by Lawrence, D H?
Shortly after that, they took a "honeymoon" walking trip across the Alps into Italy. Lawrence wrote a series of linked essays based on this trek which appeared as Twilight in Italy. The couple eventually returned to England at the outbreak of WWI, and were finally married in Spine is yellowed, with a few faint spots of wax residue on front board, foxing throughout.
More books from this author: D. H. Lawrence
Hinges have loosened.. First American Edition. Hard Cover. Twilight in Italy Illustrated travel series D. New York:B. Light soiling to page edges. Internally, no previous owners marks or signatures. Very light spots of foxing scattered throughout. Used - Good. Ships from the UK.
Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Your purchase also supports literacy charities. They are the Churches of the Spirit of David, and their bells ring passionately, imperiously, falling on the subservient world below. I passed it several times in the dark, silent little square, without knowing it was a church.
Its pink walls were blind, windowless, unnoticeable, it gave no sign, unless one caught sight of the tan curtain hanging in the door, and the slit of darkness beneath. Yet it was the chief church of the village. But the Church of San Tommaso perched over the village. Coming down the cobbled, submerged street, many a time I looked up between the houses and saw the thin old church standing above in the light, as if it perched on the house-roofs. Its thin grey neck was held up stiffly, beyond was a vision of dark foliage, and the high hillside. I saw it often, and yet for a long time it never occurred to me that it actually existed.
It was like a vision, a thing one does not expect to come close to. It was there standing away upon the house-tops, against a glamour of foliaged hillside.
Twilight in Italy - David Herbert Lawrence | Feedbooks
I was submerged in the village, on the uneven, cobbled street, between old high walls and cavernous shops and the houses with flights of steps. For a long time I knew how the day went, by the imperious clangour of midday and evening bells striking down upon the houses and the edge of the lake. Yet it did not occur to me to ask where these bells rang.
Till at last my everyday trance was broken in upon, and I knew the ringing of the Church of San Tommaso. The church became a living connexion with me. So I set out to find it, I wanted to go to it. It was very near. I could see it from the piazza by the lake. And the village itself had only a few hundreds of inhabitants. The church must be within a stone's throw. Yet I could not find it. I went out of the back door of the house, into the narrow gully of the back street. Women glanced down at me from the top of the flights of steps, old men stood, half-turning, half-crouching under the dark shadow of the walls, to stare.
It was as if the strange creatures of the under-shadow were looking at me. I was of another element. The Italian people are called 'Children of the Sun'. They might better be called 'Children of the Shadow'. Their souls are dark and nocturnal. If they are to be easy, they must be able to hide, to be hidden in lairs and caves of darkness. Going through these tiny chaotic backways of the village was like venturing through the labyrinth made by furtive creatures, who watched from out of another element. And I was pale, and clear, and evanescent, like the light, and they were dark, and close, and constant, like the shadow.
So I was quite baffled by the tortuous, tiny, deep passages of the village. I could not find my way. I hurried towards the broken end of a street, where the sunshine and the olive trees looked like a mirage before me. And there above me I saw the thin, stiff neck of old San Tommaso, grey and pale in the sun. Yet I could not get up to the church, I found myself again on the piazza. Another day, however, I found a broken staircase, where weeds grew in the gaps the steps had made in falling, and maidenhair hung on the darker side of the wall.
I went up unwillingly, because the Italians used this old staircase as a privy, as they will any deep side-passage. But I ran up the broken stairway, and came out suddenly, as by a miracle, clean on the platform of my San Tommaso, in the tremendous sunshine. It was another world, the world of the eagle, the world of fierce abstraction.
It was all clear, overwhelming sunshine, a platform hung in the light. Just below were the confused, tiled roofs of the village, and beyond them the pale blue water, down below; and opposite, opposite my face and breast, the clear, luminous snow of the mountain across the lake, level with me apparently, though really much above.
I was in the skies now, looking down from my square terrace of cobbled pavement, that was worn like the threshold of the ancient church. Round the terrace ran a low, broad wall, the coping of the upper heaven where I had climbed. There was a blood-red sail like a butterfly breathing down on the blue water, whilst the earth on the near side gave off a green-silver smoke of olive trees, coming up and around the earth-coloured roofs. It always remains to me that San Tommaso and its terrace hang suspended above the village, like the lowest step of heaven, of Jacob's ladder. Behind, the land rises in a high sweep.
But the terrace of San Tommaso is let down from heaven, and does not touch the earth. I went into the church. It was very dark, and impregnated with centuries of incense. It affected me like the lair of some enormous creature. My senses were roused, they sprang awake in the hot, spiced darkness. My skin was expectant, as if it expected some contact, some embrace, as if it were aware of the contiguity of the physical world, the physical contact with the darkness and the heavy, suggestive substance of the enclosure.
It was a thick, fierce darkness of the senses. But my soul shrank. I went out again. The pavemented threshold was clear as a jewel, the marvellous clarity of sunshine that becomes blue in the height seemed to distil me into itself. Across, the heavy mountain crouched along the side of the lake, the upper half brilliantly white, belonging to the sky, the lower half dark and grim.
So, then, that is where heaven and earth are divided. From behind me, on the left, the headland swept down out of a great, pale-grey, arid height, through a rush of russet and crimson, to the olive smoke and the water of the level earth. And between, like a blade of the sky cleaving the earth asunder, went the pale-blue lake, cleaving mountain from mountain with the triumph of the sky.
Then I noticed that a big, blue-checked cloth was spread on the parapet before me, over the parapet of heaven. I wondered why it hung there. Turning round, on the other side of the terrace, under a caper-bush that hung like a blood-stain from the grey wall above her, stood a little grey woman whose fingers were busy. Like the grey church, she made me feel as if I were not in existence. I was wandering by the parapet of heaven, looking down. But she stood back against the solid wall, under the caper-bush, unobserved and unobserving.
She was like a fragment of earth, she was a living stone of the terrace, sun-bleached. She took no notice of me, who was hesitating looking down at the earth beneath. She stood back under the sun-bleached solid wall, like a stone rolled down and stayed in a crevice. Her head was tied in a dark-red kerchief, but pieces of hair, like dirty snow, quite short, stuck out over her ears.
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And she was spinning. I wondered so much, that I could not cross towards her. She was grey, and her apron, and her dress, and her kerchief, and her hands and her face were all sun-bleached and sun-stained, greyey, bluey, browny, like stones and half-coloured leaves, sunny in their colourlessness. In my black coat, I felt myself wrong, false, an outsider. She was spinning, spontaneously, like a little wind. Under her arm she held a distaff of dark, ripe wood, just a straight stick with a clutch at the end, like a grasp of brown fingers full of a fluff of blackish, rusty fleece, held up near her shoulder.
Twilight In Italy
And her fingers were plucking spontaneously at the strands of wool drawn down from it. And hanging near her feet, spinning round upon a black thread, spinning busily, like a thing in a gay wind, was her shuttle, her bobbin wound fat with the coarse, blackish worsted she was making. All the time, like motion without thought, her fingers teased out the fleece, drawing it down to a fairly uniform thickness: brown, old, natural fingers that worked as in a sleep, the thumb having a long grey nail; and from moment to moment there was a quick, downward rub, between thumb and forefinger, of the thread that hung in front of her apron, the heavy bobbin spun more briskly, and she felt again at the fleece as she drew it down, and she gave a twist to the thread that issued, and the bobbin spun swiftly.
Her eyes were clear as the sky, blue, empyrean, transcendent. They were dear, but they had no looking in them. Her face was like a sun-worn stone. She saw merely a man's figure, a stranger standing near. I was a bit of the outside, negligible. She remained as she was, clear and sustained like an old stone upon the hillside.
She stood short and sturdy, looking for the most part straight in front, unseeing, but glancing from time to time, with a little, unconscious attention, at the thread. She was slightly more animated than the sunshine and the stone and the motionless caper-bush above her. Still her fingers went along the strand of fleece near her breast. She looked up at me with eyes clear and transcendent as the heavens. But she was slightly roused.
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There was the slight motion of the eagle in her turning to look at me, a faint gleam of rapt light in her eyes. It was my unaccustomed Italian.