Saturday 3 June 2017

Palely Loitering

Alan Sherwood in Altered States is, we learn, 'in thrall' to Sarah Miller. He gives her lilies. He blushes. Sarah, for her part, is ever distracted. She's enchanting. Their coming together is 'almost magical'. The novel begins and ends with an autumn-set frame narrative.

Brookner's invocations of English poets are rare, and indeed Keats's 'La Belle Dame sans Merci' isn't directly referenced here. But of all Brookner's novels Altered States is the one that, uncharacteristically for its Europhile author, aspires towards a more English version of Romanticism.


'A Pre-Raphaelite air of brooding intensity...' (Altered States, ch. 6)

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