Finding Celia's Place
Texas A&M University Press, 2000 - 307 páginas
For most women who came of age in the 1950s, and particularly for a smart, attractive, and ambitious girl from Houston, life as a single woman was unthinkable. Marriage was a woman's destiny, and everyone expected her to choose well and live happily ever after.
For Celia Morris and many women like her, this set of assumptions proved to be misguided. In this wrenching but ultimately uplifting memoir, she describes how marriage and conformity to received notions of "woman's place" ate away at the selfrespect, dignity, and even sanity of her generation.
Busy, bright, and athletic, young Celia Buchan had a hectic schedule that masked an emotional void at home, where an adored father dominated and a depressed but dutiful mother drank. As a star student at the University of Texas, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and crowned University Sweetheart, she studied hard and eagerly supported fights against injustice. A year after graduating, she took what seemed the logical next step by marrying fellow student Willie Morris, a hardhitting, controversial campus newspaper editor and Rhodes scholar.
In the years that followed, amidst exhilarating intellectual circles at Oxford, graduate studies in California and New York City, and the heady life she shared with Morris during his celebrated tenure as editorinchief of Harper's magazine, her life was a baffling mixture of high times and misery. During these years, through psychoanalysis, she began a journey that strengthened her emotionally even as it made the inequities of marriage harder to tolerate. As tumultuous events and fundamental changes transformed American society, she divorced Morris, went to work while raising their son David, and eight years later married Texas Congressman Bob Eckhardt, another liberal hero. Deepening friendships and her immersion in professional work that she believed in and could do well sustained her when, after ten years, that marriage, too, foundered.
In Finding Celia's Place, Morris unflinchingly weighs her own experiences and the unconventional lives of several close college friends and reflects on the tangled relationships of women and men in their generation. Coming to terms with what their sixtysomething years have taught them, she offers four defining principles they hope to pass on to a younger generation.
Finding Celia's Place is a candid, gripping story that will ring true to everyone in this bridge generation. It should also appeal to their children and grandchildren, who can learn how hard the fight has been for the precarious freedoms women now enjoy.
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Página 209 - So we'll go no more a roving So late into the night, Though the heart be still as loving, And the moon be still as bright. For the sword outwears its sheath, And the soul wears out the breast, And the heart must pause to breathe, And love itself have rest. Though the night was made for loving, And the day returns too soon, Yet we'll go no more a roving By the light of the moon.
Página 20 - Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail, we shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island whatever the cost- may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender...
Página 89 - THE woods decay, the woods decay and fall, The vapours weep their burthen to the ground, Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath, And after many a summer dies the swan.
Página 187 - Lag of a brother? Why bastard? Wherefore base? When my dimensions are as well compact, My mind as generous, and my shape as true, As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base? Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take More composition and fierce quality Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, Go to th' creating a whole tribe of fops Got 'tween asleep and wake?
Página 89 - BURY the Great Duke With an empire's lamentation, Let us bury the Great Duke To the noise of the mourning of a mighty (nation, Mourning when their leaders fall, Warriors carry the warrior's pall, And sorrow darkens hamlet and hall.
Página 20 - ... we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of the Old.
Página 45 - They tried to tell us we're too young, Too young to really be in love.
Página 116 - And as a recall to a due sense of differences it is well to start by distinguishing the few really great — the major novelists who count in the same way as the major poets, in the sense that they not only change the possibilities of the art for practitioners and readers, but that they are significant in terms of that human awareness they promote; awareness of the possibilities of life.21 The influence of DH Lawrence's criticism is apparent here in examining literature in terms of the "possibilities...
Página 89 - ... thighs caressed By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon his breast. How can those terrified vague fingers push The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? And how can body, laid in that white rush, But feel the strange heart beating where it lies? A shudder in the loins engenders there The broken wall, the burning roof and tower And Agamemnon dead.