Reminiscence in The Whitsun Weddings - Philip Larkin

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  • Reminiscence
    • Reference Back
      • music can form a "sudden bridge" suggesting it can link one with the past, both their own and in history. Using music as escapism.
        • Welsh Valley Cinema, 1930s "i hear it still, played with panache" Remembering the music sparks memories of other events, he immerses himself in the memory by imagining the sounds
      • "our element is time"
        • It is best to live in the moment and avoid reminiscing.
          • Nostalgia only reminds of "losses" or rather "What we have as it once was, /Blindingly undiminished"
            • As time goes on life becomes less brilliant, it diminishes. And when Larkin says "just as though, /by acting differently we could have kept it so." He implies that this happens regardless of any "acting differently"
            • Postcard to his Wife "dulcamara of memory" means bitter sweet in latin, Abse remembers his loss, his wife.
    • Dockery And Son
      • "The door of where I used to live: /Locked" Metaphor for how the narrative voice is unable to re-enter his past life.
        • The past is closed off, one can think about it but cannot physically return.
          • Cricket Ball calls his past self "someone with my name" you are not even the same person any more, so cannot go back to the past.
        • Enjambment separates that past life even with trying to access the past.
      • after reminiscing, feels "numbness... finding out how much had gone of life."
        • Thinking of the past reminds of how far into living one has lived. It is a "shock" suggesting only this trip back enlightens as to the speed of life.
          • St Valentine's Night "I remember." Memories keep you alive
        • Send No Money "Half life is over now" same concept of how fast life can pass by
    • Love Songs In Age
      • First sentence continues until end of second stanza. An idea can develop, like stream of conciousness
        • Reminiscence comes of deep thought
      • "It had not done so then, and could not now"
        • Realisation that love still cannot solve her problems. Aspects of life change but there are some problems that can't be fixed and some things which never change
          • Cricket Ball "the travelling Taff seems the same"  Wordsworth idea that rivers constantly change but stay the same
      • "They [sheets of music] had waited"
        • Personification of the music sheets, a metaphor of her youth. The past remains static ("waited") and people can relive and observe it if they choose to.
      • music can form a "sudden bridge" suggesting it can link one with the past, both their own and in history. Using music as escapism.
        • Welsh Valley Cinema, 1930s "i hear it still, played with panache" Remembering the music sparks memories of other events, he immerses himself in the memory by imagining the sounds

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