Lewis Clive Staples - That hideous strength


Author : Lewis Clive Staples
Title : That hideous strength
Year : 1945

Link download : Lewis_Clive_Staples_-_That_hideous_strength.zip

"Matrimony was ordained, thirdly," said Jane Studdock to herself, “for the mutual society, help, and comfort that the one ought to have of the other.” She had not been to church since her schooldays until she went there six months ago to be married, and the words of the service had stuck in her mind. Through the open door she could see the tiny kitchen of the flat and hear the loud, ungentle tick-tick of the clock. She had just left the kitchen and knew how tidy it was. The breakfast things were washed up, the tea towels were hanging above the stove, and the floor was mopped. The beds were made and the rooms “done.” She had just returned from the only shopping she need do that day, and it was still a minute before eleven. Except for getting her own lunch and tea there was nothing that had to be done till six o’clock, even supposing that Mark was really coming home for dinner. But there was a College meeting to-day. Almost certainly Mark would ring up about tea-time to say that the meeting was taking longer than he had expected and that he would have to dine in College. The hours before her were as empty as the flat. The sun shone and the clock ticked. “Mutual society, help, and comfort,” said Jane bitterly. In reality marriage had proved to be the door out of a world of work and comradeship and laughter and innumerable things to do, into something like solitary confinement. For some years before their marriage she had never seen so little of Mark as she had done in the last six months. Even when he was at home he hardly ever talked. He was always either sleepy or intellectually preoccupied. While they had been friends, and later when they were lovers, life itself had seemed too short for all they had to say to each other. But now ... why had he married her? Was he still in love? If so, “being in love” must mean totally different things to men and women. Was it the crude truth that all the endless talks which had seemed to her, before they were married, the very medium of love itself, had never been to him more than a preliminary ? ...




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