Friday, June 7, 2019

Throaty chucklings, indignant hoots & snuffles

Rosamond Lehmann, The Swan in the Evening: Fragments of an Inner Life. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968, p. 31—

The trains are much loved by me; their language is companionable, familiar, pregnant with interest and surprises: triumphant masculine crescendos, gently lamenting diminendos, hoarse throaty chucklings, indignant hoots, unbridled snorts and explosions, exhausted sighs and snuffles. Even the shunting goods trains are dear to me, especially in the dead of night, when their screech and cackle speak to me not of dementia but of hope and comfort…

Above Rosamond Lehmann, her brother John Lehmann, and British writer Lytton Strachey (c1920s). Cropped. Photographer unknown. Public domain.