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Quicksands: A Memoir

by Sybille Bedford

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1614122,682 (3.74)6
Beginning in 1956 with the publication of A Legacy, Sybille Bedford has narrated in fiction and non-fiction what has been by turns her sensuous, harrowing, altogether remarkable life. In this magnificent memoir, she takes readers from the Berlin of World War 1, to the artists' set on the Cote d'Azur of the 1920s, through friends, lovers, mentors and family, to a relatively settled life in London's Chelsea. Whether evoking the everyday pleasures of life amongst friends or tracing the heartrending outline of an intimate betrayal, she offers spellbinding reflections on how history imprints itself on private lives.… (more)

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» See also 6 mentions

English (3)  German (1)  All languages (4)
Showing 3 of 3
Bedford led a fascinating life living among such luminaries as Aldous Huxley, Brian Howard and the German literary refugees that flocked to southern France just before WW II. While evocative, I wanted to learn more about her and the people around her. I found annoying (and rather coy) her references to previous books and people whom she assumes we will identify even though she won't name them. I also found annoying the repetitive sentence structure (her writing is probably celebrated for its lyric qualities!) and the sentences so allusive that they didn't quite make sense. Too bad, because the life here has been deeply experienced and unlike that of anyone I might meet outside of the pages of a book. ( )
  PatsyMurray | Jun 30, 2013 |
a very non traditional auto biography. but very interesting. ( )
  mahallett | Feb 18, 2012 |
While slightly disjointed at times, this is a fascinating memoir. Bedford's portrait of France's expat literary world in the buildup to WWII was the most interesting part of the book for me, but I found her discussion of her development as a writer quite interesting as well. ( )
  Lenaphoenix | Aug 9, 2007 |
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to Aliette
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I shall begin as I hope to continue: from the middle.
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Nothing happens without consequences; nothing ever did happen without antecedents. - Anon.
Perspective - la prospettiva - aims at delineating solid objects on plane surfaces so as to give the same impressions of relative positions as the actual objects do. This technique may achieve images as 'real' as Uccello's pattern of lances, horses, men in battle, or as real as a trompe l'oeil. - Anon.
Writing of the past, I have come to think it is memory that clarifies...The rest - diaries, letters, notes, are sediment... - Anon.
We think we know who we are and what we ought to do about it, and yet our thought is conditioned by the nature of our immediate experience...Life is Time's fool inasmuch as it is changing from instant to instant, changing the outside and the inner world so that we never remain the same two instants together. - from Aldous Huxley's last essay, 'Shakespeare and Religion'
...Oh pauvre, oh heureux voyageur sur la terre... - Anon.
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