Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Saturday, 10 April 2004

"Accident" by Nicholas Mosley (Minerva, 1965)

If Pinter considers it "a most brilliant and singular piece of work" who am I to argue? Here are some extracts

  • p.63 - "On the very few occasions we go to church we move around our house beforehand as if packing for a visit - trying to remember socks, hair-combs, money; Alexander sad and underprivileged as an orphan, Clarissa laced up in boots and bonnet. We move out of the door like ducks, half running down the path in front of the house towards the squat tower and the graves. This does not mean anything; a cold wind in a still sky and the smell of the dark."
  • p.69 - "I suddenly got a blow on the back of my head. I thought Angus must have taken off his leg and hit me with it. I have forgotten to say that Angus had a wooden leg."
  • p.102 - "Her hair grew from pores like a snowfield. Across the snow there was a building with the blank wall of the mind. Leaning over the landscape I was myself a cloud, a hand on her breast, a nerve in my cheek twitching. That beauty of earth, sky, iris, pupil. Behind me there was a row of windows and a chimney smoking. The power house. We had discovered everything, youth memories. I began to walk across the cold harsh landscape. Bump: the look of the dog. The cow with its front legs like flippers. A turtle."

Note the fusion of the internal and external; of description and narrator self-consciousness. The novel's by no means all like this - stress and drink tend to be the triggers.

The plot's conventional enough, as is the handling of time and PoV.

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