The narrowing effect of skinny, suffocating city alleys is likened to the bad thoughts they might trigger.  And how cleverly she anatomizes the tendency of such thoughts to deliver one to another in a miserable labyrinth of angst. 

… alley-narrow, suspicious, dolorous streets, which deliver you only to one another, acting upon you like bad thoughts. 

Source: Elizabeth Bowen, A Time in Rome (London: Vintage Books, 2010), p. 127

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