Rebecca West (December 21, 1892 - March 15, 1983)
Born: 21st December, 1892
Died: 15th March, 1983
Nationality: Irish
Profession/Occupation: Author
Region: London, England
Notable works: "The Birds Fall Down", "The Return of the Soldier", "Harriet Hume", "The Meaning of Treason", "The Thinking Reed", "The Fountain Overflows", "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon", "A Train of Powder"

Rebecca West Facts

Biography

Rebecca West, in full Dame Rebecca West, pseudonym of Cicily Isabel Andrews, nee Fairfield, (born December 21, 1892, London, England--died March 15, 1983, London), British journalist, novelist, and critic, who was perhaps best known for her reports on the Nurnberg trials of Nazi war criminals (1945-46).

West was the daughter of an army officer and was educated in Edinburgh after her father's death in 1902. She later trained in London as an actress (taking her pseudonym from a role that she had played in Henrik Ibsen's play Rosmersholm).

From 1911 West became involved in journalism, contributing frequently to the left-wing press and making a name for herself as a fighter for woman suffrage. In 1916 she published a critical biography of Henry James that revealed something of her lively intellectual curiosity, and she then embarked on a career as a novelist with an outstanding--and Jamesian--novel, The Return of the Soldier (1918). Describing the return of a shell-shocked soldier from World War I, the novel subtly explores questions of gender and class, identity and memory. Her other novels include The Judge (1922), Harriet Hume (1929), The Thinking Reed (1936), The Fountain Overflows (1957), and The Birds Fall Down (1966). In 1937 West visited Yugoslavia and later wrote Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, 2 vol. (1942), an examination of Balkan politics, culture, and history. In 1946 she reported on the trial for treason of William Joyce ("Lord Haw-Haw") for The New Yorker magazine. Published as The Meaning of Treason (1949; rev. ed., 1965), it examined not only the traitor's role in modern society but also that of the intellectual and of the scientist. Later she published a similar collection, The New Meaning of Treason (1964). Her brilliant reports on the Nurnberg trials were collected in A Train of Powder (1955). West was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1959. During West's lifetime, her novels attracted much less attention than did her social and cultural writings, but, at the end of the 20th century, feminist critics argued persuasively that her fiction was formally as inventive as that of her female modernist contemporaries.

Rebecca West: A Celebration, a selection of her works, was published in 1977, and her personal reflection on the turn of the 20th century, 1900, was published in 1982. Selected Letters of Rebecca West, edited by Bonnie Kime Scott, was published in 2000. The critic and author Anthony West was the son of Dame Rebecca and the English novelist H.G. Wells.

Top 38 Rebecca West quotes

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.
Able
Been
Call
Differentiate
Doormat
Express
Feminism
Feminist
Find
Know
Me
Myself
Never
Only
He is every other inch a gentleman.
Every
Gentleman
He
Inch
Other
The trouble about man is twofold. He cannot learn truths which are too complicated; he forgets truths which are too simple.
About
Cannot
Complicated
Forgets
He
Learn
Man
Simple
Too
Trouble
Truths
Which
A copy of the universe is not what is required of art; one of the damned things is ample.
Ample
Art
Copy
Required
Things
Universe
Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.
Better
Birds
Cats
Did
Done
Francis
He
Liked
Preach
Really
Whatever
Would
A strong hatred is the best lamp to bear in our hands as we go over the dark places of life, cutting away the dead things men tell us to revere.
Away
Bear
Best
Cutting
Dark
Dark places
Dead
Go
Hands
Hatred
Lamp
Life
Men
Our
Life ought to be a struggle of desire toward adventures whose nobility will fertilize the soul.
Adventures
Desire
Life
Nobility
Ought
Soul
Struggle
Toward
Whose
Will
It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.
Abandon
Desires
Duty
Itself
Loyal
Master
Must
Own
Passion
Soul
Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.
About
Affairs
Anybody
Biography
Considers
Difficult
Down
Her
His
How
How many people
Just
Know
Love
Great music is in a sense serene; it is certain of the values it asserts.
Certain
Great
Great music
Music
Sense
Serene
Values
I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.
Call
Differentiate
Doormat
Express
Feminist
Know
Me
Only
People
Sentiments
Whenever
The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots.
Between
Difference
Idiots
Lunatics
Main
Men
Men and women
Women
Women are
Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience.
Any
Argument
Art
Artist
Audience
Authentic
Between
His
Must
Start
Work
People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.
Call
Differentiate
Doormat
Express
Feminist
Me
People
Sentiments
Whenever
God forbid that any book should be banned. The practice is as indefensible as infanticide.
Any
Banned
Book
Forbid
God
Practice
Should
Everyone realizes that one can believe little of what people say about each other. But it is not so widely realized that even less can one trust what people say about themselves.
About
Believe
Each
Even
Everyone
Less
Little
Other
People
People say
Realized
Say
Themselves
Trust
It is always one's virtues and not one's vices that precipitate one into disaster.
Always
Disaster
Vices
Virtues
Writing has nothing to do with communication between person and person, only with communication between different parts of a person's mind.
Between
Communication
Different
Different parts
Mind
Nothing
Only
Parts
Person
Writing
I write books to find out about things.
About
Books
Find
I write
Out
Things
Write
Journalism: an ability to meet the challenge of filling the space.
Ability
Challenge
Filling
Journalism
Meet
Space
Humanity is never more sphinxlike than when it is expressing itself.
Expressing
Humanity
Itself
More
Never
Than
Motherhood is the strangest thing, it can be like being one's own Trojan horse.
Being
Horse
Like
Motherhood
Own
Strangest
Thing
Nobody likes having salt rubbed into their wounds, even if it is the salt of the earth.
Earth
Even
Having
Likes
Nobody
Salt
Wounds
It is sometimes very hard to tell the difference between history and the smell of skunk.
Between
Difference
Hard
History
Skunk
Smell
Sometimes
Tell
Very
But there are other things than dissipation that thicken the features. Tears, for example.
Example
Features
For example
Other
Tears
Than
Things
There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all.
Conversation
Illusion
Monologues
Thing
All men should have a drop of treason in their veins, if nations are not to go soft like so many sleepy pears.
Drop
Go
Like
Many
Men
Nations
Should
Sleepy
Soft
Treason
Veins
Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology.
After
Astrology
Astronomy
Before
Like
Military
More
Real
Science
Seems
War
I wonder if we are all wrong about each other, if we are just composing unwritten novels about the people we meet?
About
Composing
Each
I wonder
Just
Meet
Novels
Other
People
Unwritten
Wonder
Wrong
There is no wider gulf in the universe than yawns between those on the hither and thither side of vital experience.
Between
Experience
Gulf
Side
Than
Those
Universe
Vital
Wider
There is no logical reason why the camel of great art should pass through the needle of mob intelligence.
Art
Camel
Great
Great art
Intelligence
Logical
Mob
Needle
Pass
Reason
Should
Through
Why
Mr. James Joyce is a great man who is entirely without taste.
Entirely
Great
Great man
James
James joyce
Joyce
Man
Mr
Taste
Who
Without
The memory, experiencing and re-experiencing, has such power over one's mere personal life, that one has merely lived.
Experiencing
Life
Lived
Memory
Mere
Merely
Over
Personal
Personal life
Power
There is in every one of us an unending see-saw between the will to live and the will to die.
Between
Die
Every
Live
Unending
Us
Will
We all drew on the comfort which is given out by the major works of Mozart, which is as real and material as the warmth given up by a glass of brandy.
Brandy
Comfort
Drew
Given
Glass
Major
Material
Mozart
Out
Real
Up
Warmth
Which
Works
The American struggle for the vote was much more difficult than the English for the simple reason that it was much more easy.
American
Difficult
Easy
English
More
Much
Reason
Simple
Simple reason
Struggle
Than
Vote
International relationships are preordained to be clumsy gestures based on imperfect knowledge.
Based
Clumsy
Gestures
Imperfect
International
Knowledge
Relationships
Because hypocrisy stinks in the nostrils one is likely to rate it as a more powerful agent for destruction than it is.
Agent
Because
Destruction
Hypocrisy
Likely
More
Powerful
Rate
Stinks
Than

Rebecca West essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Composition Shakespeare's Hamlet - Sagacious Polonius
Hamlet's Sagacious PoloniusOne of Shakespeare's more quotable characters in Hamlet is definitely Polonius, god chamberlain of King Claudius' court. With the help of literary crucial opinion, this kind of essay can probe his character.Rebecca West in "A The courtroom and Globe Infected by Disease of Corruption" covers Polonius:Polonius is interesting because he was a cunning aged intriguer who, like an iceberg, only demonstrated one-eighth of himself above the surface. The innocuous kind of worldly intelligence that rolled off his tongue in butter projectiles..
Rebecca West's The Come back of the Enthusiast and Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room
Rebecca West's The Return with the Soldier and Virginia Woolf's Jacob's AreaRebecca West and Va Woolf give great significance to the families of their particular main heroes in The Returning of the Gift and Jacob's Room since it gives the visitor a greater perception to the creation of and reasoning intended for both Frank and Jacob's nature. Each of these characters have got multiple family members to deal with: Frank has Kitty and Jenny on the one hand, and Margaret on the other, while Jacob deals with his mother and brother along with his contacts to culture and escuela...
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