Post a Comment. It only took me a month to get this review from Geranium Cat's Bookshelf posted. This is a painful little book. Appropriately so, since its theme is melancholia.
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The term wading through treacle springs to mind, endless paragraphs on depression, melancholy, death and lunacy. Oddly enough, Olivia quite likes her, although I suspect that she finds her life in the Library rather painful at times.
But she never says anything. How could she? Apart from her unspoken love for Nick, there is her unspoken dislike of his behaviour. Neither, of course, will ever register with him. It is when I think about this that I congratulate myself on not being in love with anyone. I am not in love with Nick. I am not in love with Dr Leventhal difficult to imagine or Dr Simek even more difficult or even with James Anstey, even though he is tall and ferocious-looking and presentable and not married and undoubtedly what Mrs Halloran would call a bit of a handful.
It is interesting that the initial part of the book that bored me with the descriptions of depression and melancholy are in a way what this book is about.
Brookner is on fine form well after the initial hurdle in this book and everything after the awkward start makes up for it without question. The background characters are always vivid and fully formed another thing I love about Brookner.
It is such a shame it is out of print. I am only hoping that my further reading of Anita Brookner carries on in the same way. This book is one I bought second hand many moons ago. There is of course the possiblility you have read this, if so what did you think? Can any of you recommend which direction I go next with Brookner? I am sure it will be a joy whichever path it takes me down.
Oh and who is joining in with International Anita Brookner Day, do let me know. Lac leman of the title I know very well indeed and that might slightly colour my enthusiasm for the book, so you have fair warning! Hotel du Lac was the first Brookner that I read. I have used this taster idea for a new way of trying more authors again recently. Simon, I know exactly how you feel. Being prone to hyperbole I worry that I oversell things.
Well I think we did really well and hopefully lots more people have found an author. I loved this book. Read it a while back. I have loved both the ones that I have read since Hotel du Lac. Or have I read another since.
Oh dear too long between comments. Should be good, I have no idea what the book is about or anything about Brookner herself which is nice sometimes.
I do actually really like not knowing very much about a book before I start it. It is nice just to have a random reading experience now and again, more often than not frankly. Her actions, of course, are impeccable, but her inner commentary repeatedly undercuts the sincerity of them.
Frances or Brookner is very good at giving reasonable shape to the fundamentally irrational which is why that the novel, despite a slight pomposity of style, is ultimately successful. Olivia is of course the only good character, symbolically disabled, mostly silent, and whose absence yet constant evoking remind us that Frances is not entirely in control or sole sovereign of her writing.
But sublimely statuesque style and poignant characters. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.
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NOT HUNGRY ENOUGH
Look Inside. A lonely art historian absorbed in her research seizes the opportunity to share in the joys and pleasures of the lives of a glittering couple, only to find her hopes of companionship and happiness shattered. Anita Brookner was born in London and, apart from several years in Paris, was a lifelong Londoner. She trained as an art historian and taught at the Courtauld Institute of Art until She is the author of twenty-seven books,… More about Anita Brookner. Add to Cart. Also available from:.
Look at Me by Anita Brookner
This early novel by Brookner is about Frances Hinton, a not-young woman who works in the reference library of a medical research institute and does not like to be called Fanny. Her life is a lonely one, lightened only by her friend and co-worker Olivia, a woman who is never discomposed. Simek and the blowsy Mrs. Then there's Nick Fraser.