Saturday, 8 April 2017

The Final Upheaval

Some sort of reluctant sympathy had been drawn out of him, but he recognised this for what it was, the residue of unused feelings from earlier times.
Strangers, Ch. 5

The touchstone, the benchmark, is George Bland in A Private View. His successors are Mrs May in Visitors, Herz in The Next Big Thing, and Sturgis in Strangers. In each of these later iterations Bland's mad passion, his great adventure, is in some way lessened or sublimated. Sturgis is plagued by a divorcee, Mrs Gardner, who, it seems, merely irritates him. He is drawn to her, but is never 'violently in love', like poor Bland. But the echoes are unmistakable:
He saw his madness for what it was, the final upheaval of an unlived life...
A Private View, Ch. 10

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