[ilds] Corfu memoirs & "N."

slighcl slighcl at wfu.edu
Wed Jul 4 07:10:43 PDT 2007

On 7/4/2007 9:54 AM, Bruce Redwine wrote:

>She's not much of a presence in Prospero's Cell either, as I dimly recall.
Nancy of course appears under the sign of "N." in /Prospero's Cell/, and 
at least for this reader that enigmatic initial has always made her more 
magnetic and, strangely, more present. 

I will recall here that (at least in the account given in /Prospero's 
Cell/) it is "N." who decides to build "a garden on the rock outside the 
house"--"the design is N.'s."  And it is "N." who purchases and 
christens the cutter, the "Van Norden." 

And this image permanently tattoos "N." upon my memory in its power:

        The windows give directly on to the sea[. . . .] By day it runs
        golden on the ceilings, reflecting back the bright peasant
        rugs--a ship, a gorgon, a loom, a cypress tree; reflecting back
        the warm crude pottery of our table; reflecting back N. now
        brown-skinned and blonde, reading in a chair with her legs
        tucked under her.  Calm eyes, calm hair, and clear white teeth
        like those of a young carnivore.  As Father Nicholas says: "What
        more does a man want than an olive-tree, a native island, and
        [a] woman from his own place?"


Charles L. Sligh
Department of English
Wake Forest University
slighcl at wfu.edu

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