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Day 24

Villette by Charlotte Brontë


December 8, 2022 by Yiyun Li

On the cusp of being a pessimist today: methinks that it’s people like Dr. John, not Mme Beck, who make this world a lonely place for all the Lucy Snowes.

There was about Dr. John all the man of the world; to satisfy himself did not suffice; society must approve—the world must admire what he did, or he counted his measures false and futile.

Really an extravagant analogy, with violence and danger veiled by gentleness: what body of hoar-frost can survive an internal flame!

That gentle hoar-frost of yours, surrounding so much pure, fine flame, is a priceless privilege of nature.

M. Paul calling Lucy “Petite Sœur” may be the most melancholy line of the novel so far.

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