Saturday 8 April 2017

Il ne faut pas partir d'ici

He remembered asking directions of an elderly man once in Paris, to be met with the words, 'Monsieur, il ne faut pas partir d'ici.'* That was the nub of the matter, a false start...
Strangers, Ch. 7

One listens closely for echoes as one reads Brookner's last novel, Strangers. The elderly Parisian and his repressive reply crop up more than once in the novel, and return one to the beginning and to an early interview:
My own life was disappointing - I was mal partie, started on the wrong footing; so I am trying to edit the whole thing.
Paris Review

*I must apologise for making a hash of the quote in earlier versions of this post. I'm not a good French speaker.

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