The way to proceed, she once told us, was to start as an outsider, briefly to become an insider, and at last to resume the status of an outsider. That way the work got done.
Brookner said that in a review of Edmund White’s biography of Marcel Proust in the Sunday Times in 1999. Outsiders chiefly, sometime insiders too, consummate dandies both. As always Brookner chose her subjects with extreme precision.