Wednesday 12 April 2017

Dating Strangers

Unpicking a Brookner time-scheme can be a queasy business; the extreme case is Incidents in the Rue Laugier, in which the narrative purports to conclude some considerable time after the book's publication date. Some works, however, have distinct, controlled chronologies. Bland's trip to see an exhibition of Sickert's works allows us to date the action of A Private View very precisely, as we have seen.

That novel has much in common with Strangers (2009), and we can use a surprisingly similar means of dating its events. In Chapter 23 Sturgis and Sarah visit an exhibition dedicated to the Camden Town Group at Tate Britain, a show that ran from February to May 2008. It concentrated on the core of the Group - Gore, Gilman, Bevan, Ginner - with Sickert as a key player.

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