Watching the English.

So that summer we went to Devonshire, where he had a wonderful chateau which he had built after Versailles and the Petit Trianon, with many bedrooms and bathrooms, and suites, all to be at my disposition, with fourteen automobiles in the garage and a yacht in the harbour. But I had not reckoned on the rain. In an English summer it rains all day long. The English people do not seem to mind it at all. They rise and have an early breakfast of eggs and bacon, and ham and kidneys and porridge. Then they don mackintoshes and go forth into the humid country till lunch, when they eat many courses, ending with Devonshire cream.

From lunch to five o’clock, they are supposed to be busy with their correspondence, though I believe they really go to sleep. At five they descend to their tea, consisting of many kinds of cakes and bread and butter and tea and jam. After that they make a pretense of playing bridge, until it is time to proceed to the really important business of the day – dressing for dinner, at which they appear in full evening dress, the ladies very decollete and the gentlemen in starched shirts, to demolish a twenty-course dinner. When this is over they engage in some light political conversation, or touch upon philosophy until the time comes to retire.

You can imagine whether this life pleased me or not. In the course of a couple of weeks I was positively desperate. (221-22)

From Duncan, Isadora. Isadora: The Autobiography of Isadora Duncan. New York: Award Books, 1968. Print.

Crying lessons.

I never learned to cry with style, silently, the pearl-shaped tears rolling down my cheeks from wide luminous eyes, as on the covers of True Love comics, leaving no smears or streaks. I wished I had; then I could have done it in front of people, instead of in bathrooms, darkened movie theaters, shrubberies and empty bedrooms, among the party coats on the bed. If you could cry silently people felt sorry for you. As it was I snorted, my eyes turned the colour and shape of cooked tomatoes, my nose ran, I clenched my fists, I moaned, I was embarrassing, finally I was amusing, a figure of fun. (6)

Narrator Joan, in: Atwood, Margaret. Lady Oracle. Toronto: MacLelland and Stewart, 1976. Print.