Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A Creative Power

What [Mme de Staël] could not do was let go, which would mean doing without love. She is perhaps history's most outstanding case of Torschlusspanik: the panic at the shutting of the door.
'Corinne and Her Coups de Foudre', Soundings


Brooknerians also watch the shutting of the door - but they're often beyond panic. One thinks of Maud in Incidents in the Rue Laugier, or Mimi in Family and Friends, who mourns not the missing Frank but the missing factor in herself that might have brought him to her side.

[Interviewer:] What all your characters are left with is a resignation which is not even stoicism of the classical order; it's merely learning to put up with the way life is inevitably going to turn out.
[Brookner:] Yes, and the horror of that situation is profound.
Haffenden, Novelists in Interview (1985)

But as Forster tells us:
... some closing of the gates is inevitable after thirty, if the mind itself is to become a creative power.
Howards End, Ch. 31

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