Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Sunday Selections

I can't believe that it is Sunday Selection time again, more to the point I can't believe that this week has passed in a blur and that it is Sunday again. This week I looked through old albums of my time at Cambridge for forgotten photos. I discovered a lot of pictures that had slipped from my memory, photographs of night time street hauntings which become increasingly significant in the light of my dissertation. One of my revelations on moving away from home was that I could be out in the streets of a city at night alone. I like night walking and night cycling; there is something calm, peripatetic, thought-inducing. Here are some of my atmospheric photographs which document these adventures.

'The evening hour, too, gives us the irresponsibility which darkness and lamplight bestow. We are no longer quite ourselves.' Virginia Woolf, A Street Haunting

'The houses and the people passing were withdrawn, nebulous. There was only a grey fog shot with yellow lights, and its cold breath on her face, and the ghosts of herself coming out the fog to meet her.' Jean Rhys, After Leaving Mr Mackenzie

'The street was quite empty, a long street glistening with light like a sheet of water. Their footsteps echoed mournfully.' Jean Rhys, Quartet

'Marya would have the strange sensation that she was walking under water. The people passing were like the wavering reflections seen in water, the sound of water was in her ears. Or sometimes she would feel sure that her life was a dream - that all life was a dream. 'It's a dream,' she would think; 'it isn't real' - and be strangely comforted.' Jean Rhys, Quartet

'She was walking west, towards the torn pale late night- this troubled lingering of a day that had been troubling oppressed her, as did the long perspective of the extinct street that so few people frequented and none crossed.' Elizabeth Bowen, The Heat of the Day

The quotations are a tribute to all of the beautiful things I won't get space to write about in my dissertation; these walkings which meander in to the darkness. It is a shame because I feel I understand the experience these women are talking about. In particular the 'irresponsibility' of lamplight comes back to me whenever I find myself in the streets in the dark.

Anyway join in with the Sunday meme by following the link at the top of the post and take a little journey through old photographs!


  1. I love the night. But I almost never get a chance to walk in it now, with little kids at home.
    Your photos are beautiful; I love the first one best.

  2. These are all really great, the first one especially captures my imagination. I have this thing for night time paintings too, not that there seems to be many...

  3. I enjoy your photos very much Francesca, I am pleased that we met :)

  4. I particularly like that first photo and the quote. Lovely ;-)

  5. I love walking at night, too. My first dog and I used to wander through the fields alone at night and we both loved it. He, because dogs are crepuscular creatures and the rabbits were out, and I because of that wonderful sense of isolation and yes, irresponsibility. And also because Jim and I were sharing something special together.

    I do love that first photo. Taken at the 'magic hour', no?

  6. These are really beautiful photos and the quotations go with them perfectly. I think I know what the women meant too, Rhys and Woolf are both personal favourites.