Saturday, 7 January 2017

On her chaise-longue, smoking

In a recent post I discussed Brookner, Brooknerians, and smoking. I am immensely grateful to Bookglutton (@bookglutton1) on Twitter for alerting me (@brooknerian) to the following smokers.

In Brief Lives there's Vinnie, Fay's rakish mother-in-law:
Her daily routine was to get up at about ten-thirty, smoke the first cigarette of the day, take a bath and dress, and then apply the heavy make-up, without which she looked like a seamed and battered twelve-year-old. (Ch. 3)
And in A Misalliance, we find Sally Beamish, a true Brookner monster, a careless insider, careless as the gods of antiquity:
As far as Blanche could see, Sally spent those days ... simply lying on her chaise-longue, smoking, and waiting for someone to turn up. (Ch. 5)
But what of Blanche, the ostensible Brooknerian, but morally vulnerable, flirting with other lives, and a toper to boot? Yes, we find her taking a drag too. I can find one reference, in Chapter 11; there may be more.

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