Questions tagged [the-childrens-bach]

Questions about the novella "The Children's Bach" by Helen Garner. Should be tagged with [helen-garner].

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Meaning of “It was a place that waited, It was a place of reason and courtesy”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner ‘Once upon a time,’ said Philip. ‘There was a wonderful cafe. It opened very early in the morning. No. It stayed open twenty-four hours. It ...
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50 views

Meaning of “What is in here?”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner What is this, thought Vicki. What is in here? It is a warehouse, it has no walls or rooms. There is a row of windows, each one shaped like an ...
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35 views

Meaning of the dialog in bold and “sour street light”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Up there under the leafless vine they were talking. Vicki saw their breath. From the angles of their bodies she could tell they were arguing. ...
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337 views

Meaning of “Now things can only get better” and “starry cold” in the passage below

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Dexter emptied his bowl for the last time, then lifted it in both hands and licked it out, pushing his face right into it. There was soup on ...
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1answer
33 views

Meaning of “Low down on the sky was a narrow band of apricot, all that was left of the daylight.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner The hostess at the open door showed her teeth. Vicki came out into the world. She saw the man beside Elizabeth and slowed down. That couldn’t ...
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1answer
28 views

Meaning of “he’d go down between sets and find her”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner They stopped at the gate lounge. The door opened. ‘Here she comes,’ said Elizabeth. ‘Which one is she?’ said Dexter. The man walking behind ...
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46 views

Meaning of “the kind of woman who’d throw round terms like the orthodox feminist position. ”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Doctor Fox looked at Elizabeth as he chewed, and nodded and smiled. She must be nearly forty now, like Dex. Thank God they were never foolish ...
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47 views

Meaning of “dawning way” and the use of “altogether” in the context below

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Philip did not turn up with the car. This did not surprise Elizabeth. She took the bus to the airport. Vicki’s plane was late. Elizabeth ...
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2answers
429 views

What does “hawk” mean in the context below?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Over the back fence, nearer the creek, lived an old couple whom Dexter and Athena had never seen but whom they referred to as Mister and ...
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1answer
43 views

Meaning of “he used it to knit meaning into the mess of everything”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by by Helen Garner Had Dexter and Elizabeth thought of each other during this time? Of course they had, Dexter more than Elizabeth, not because of any ...
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2answers
43 views

Meaning of “to conduct the ordinary business of their lives”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner How strange it is that in a city the size of Melbourne it is possible for two people who have lived almost as sister and brother for five ...
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Is “I'm glad you think it's funny” meant sarcastically or literally?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner. At night, when they had put the children to bed, Athena and Dexter walked. They were ruthless about going, and would barely even check that ...
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27 views

Meaning of “Dexter walked with a bandy, rapid gait. They kept pace easily, not touching.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Dexter walked with a bandy, rapid gait. They kept pace easily, not touching. They covered miles each night in the dark, sometimes heading east ...
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1answer
36 views

Meaning of “the boy who is turned towards the drama of his parents’ faces.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Dexter found, in a magazine, a photograph of the poet Tennyson, his wife and their two sons walking in the garden of their house on the Isle ...
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2answers
766 views

Meaning of “The blushing apricot, and woolly peach. Hang on thy walls, that every child may reach.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner On his way through the kitchen he screwed up the pizza boxes and tried to force them into the stuffed bin, but they would not go so he left ...
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1answer
36 views

Meaning of “this patient setting out of facts and services.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner When the film ended a Greek man explained in his native tongue the details of the government’s health scheme. It took him fully ten minutes, ...
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800 views

Meaning of “as it was, she witnessed minor twinges of the appropriate emotions occurring distantly, as if to some other girl”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner: Some things, Morty,’ he said, ‘strain a person’s sense of humour.’ He swept through the room. The three of them sat foolishly, with fading ...
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39 views

Meaning of “In the wide planting of his feet, his blithe assumption of an audience, she saw Dexter”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner: She turned round with her arms full of stinking sheets. He had not heard a word. His eyes had gone out of focus, his pitch was up, his pace ...
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26 views

Meaning of “He would not use the children against her, he would not. If he mentioned them, if he spoke their names, she would splinter”

This context is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner. ‘How did you know where to find me?’ ‘Morty told me.’ He was thinner. He stood without baggage in the ugly lobby. ‘Come home.’ ‘No. I haven’t ...
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1answer
35 views

Meaning of “in whose presence nothing is required but perfect passivity.”

This context is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner They all walked out on the summer afternoon. The men took Arthur to bowl and bat, deep in the park near the drinking fountain, but the women ...
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Meaning of “They wanted to know each other less than they wanted to agree. Harmony! To be each other”

This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner. In the street there was a dusty summer wind, a morning not quite hot enough. If they walked shoulder to shoulder, if they sat side by side, it ...
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156 views

Meaning of “she felt him give” in “The Children's Bach” by Helen Garner

This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner. He would have liked to move around her house and examine all its icons, or to hang over the front windowsill with her and make remarks about the ...
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48 views

Meaning of “Air rushed over the ground like a flood of water at blood temperature”

This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner She made him, and dragged him away across the grass. They turned a corner, rounded a thick hedge, and the wind hit them. He stopped struggling. ...
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381 views

Meaning of “He went ‘Eeeeee!’ high up in his skull”

This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner: Billy drew a breath and started to scream in short, sharp cries. He flung himself back on Dexter’s lap; he clapped his left hand over his ear, ...
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33 views

Meaning of “daring it to tackle her. It paid her no attention”

This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner They laughed. Vicki watched them closely, ready to be included in their amusement, to roll her shoulders in scepticism as they did, but they ...
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1answer
34 views

Iron bars and iron fence - literal or metaphorical?

This passage from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner: ‘At night, because of the noise of people laughing, they turned up the treble on the jukebox. But in the early mornings, in the peaceful shift ...
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2answers
437 views

Meaning of “and light shows between his tightly buttoned torso and his father’s leg.”

It is a photo of a family. The wind puffs out the huge stiff curved sleeve of the woman’s dress, and brushes back off his forehead the long hair of the father’s boy who is turned towards the drama of ...