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Day 6

Villette by Charlotte Brontë

Chapters IX–X

November 20, 2022 by Yiyun Li

There is an air of masquerade around Madame Beck. Miss Fanshawe, Dr. John, even the children, and of course Lucy, all participate.

    P.S. Madame Beck’s surveillance: one cannot but think Lucy has set her heart to out-smart, out-observe, even, out-spy, Madame.

      The clear-eyedness of Lucy is well matched by Miss Fanshawe’s utilitarianism. The novel continues to realize all existences, not idealize.

      She liked me to be in a talking and listening mood, even if I only talked to chide, and listened to rail.

      The rare and supreme art of being unknown and unknowable!

      There is a perverse mood of the mind which is rather soothed than irritated by misconstruction; and in quarters where we can never be rightly known, we take pleasure… in being consummately ignored.

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