Friday 19 February 2021

Incidents in the Rue Laugier reread: 'She saw the whole thing as an allegory'

Brookner's novels fall into groups, with thematic as well as actual contiguities. Incidents (1995) follows A Family Romance (1993) and A Private View (1994). In chapter 9 Edward is cast as a voyeuristic shepherd: one thinks of the shepherds and shepherdesses in the lesser Bouchers in the Wallace Collection, visited by Jane in A Family Romance, in the summer of 1976. (The rue Laugier incidents take place in a similar summer five years earlier.) Meanwhile Tyler is again mythic - mythic to the 'earthbound' Maud - as was Katy Gibb to poor George Bland in A Private View. Crucially Tyler is Apollo, who of course features in A Family Romance's 'great Bouchers', at the top of the main staircase.

Boucher, The Setting of the Sun,
Wallace Collection

UK first edition

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