• Looking back into childhood is like turning a telescope the wrong way around. Everything appears in miniature, but with a clarity it probably does not deserve; moreover it has become concentrated and stylized, taking shape in symbolism. Thus it is that I sometimes see my infant self as having been set down before a blank slate on which to construct a map or schema of the external world, and as hesitantly beginning to sketch it, with many false starts and much rubbing-out, the anatomy of my universe. Happiness and sorrow, love and friendship, hostility, a sense of guilt and more abstract concepts still, must all find a place somewhere, much as an architect lays out the plan of a house he is designing - hall, dining-room and bedrooms - but must not forget the bathroom. In a child’s map, too, some of the rooms are connected by a serving-hatch, while others are sealed off behind baize doors. How can the fragments possibly be combined to make sense? Yet this map or finished diagram, constructed in the course of ten or twelve years’ puzzling, refuses to be ignored, and for some time to come will make itself felt as bones through flesh, to emerge as the complex organism which adults think of as their philosophy of life. Presumably it has its origins in both heredity and enviorment. So with heredity I shall begin

    Frances Partridge
Post as Image: