Tuesday 5 December 2017

Providence: Waving to Me Ardently

As she turned to give them a last wave, as she always did, she saw their two faces at the window, white masks that dwindled as she walked backwards down the hill, still waving.
Anita Brookner, Providence, end of ch. 12

Scenes of waving in Brookner: a topic for a minor study. There will be a leave-taking, the protagonist will depart, and he or she will look back at some significant other or others, often parents. A chapter usually ends here, or, in the case of A Family Romance, a whole book ('waving to me ardently, as if I were her best beloved.'*). There are examples in A Closed Eye and Altered States, and probably elsewhere. Waving? Drowning?

*Lovely deployment of the were-subjunctive there. (I once wrote a dissertation on the use of the were-subjunctive in British English. Brookner made an appearance.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Questions and comments are always welcome. (Please note: there will be a short delay before publication, as comments are moderated.)