And while I was asleep I dreamt that I was on a hospital trolley, all gowned up and about to go into surgery (for what, I have no idea.) I was given my pre-med, and then I heard a man’s voice somewhere in an adjacent reception area say ‘You’ve lost that girl of yours.’ I felt it had some relevance to me, so I leapt off the trolley and went dashing off to find out who was speaking, who he was speaking to, and to which girl he was referring. I woke up before I got there. Or maybe I collapsed from the effect of rushing off under the influence of a pre-med. Or maybe my subconscious mind wasn’t prepared to be loaded down with a list of all the girls he could have been referring to.
* * *
One thing that is giving great pleasure at the moment is The French Lieutenant’s Woman. I’m getting through only two short chapters a night, and it’s going to take ages to read the book. That’s because the prose is what you might call meaty (as long as you’re not a vegetarian and find the word ‘meaty’ a trifle unpleasant.) Every sentence has to be lingered over and savoured, which is a damn fine thing in my opinion. I haven’t found a single example of dubious credibility yet, and it’s as rich as you could wish for in perceptive exposition of human nature. I think I’m going to have to find out a bit more about John Fowles (apart from the fact that he’s dead, which I already know.)
And I’m going to hazard a guess that if Charles Smithson is as much like me as I think he is, it won’t be long before his affections for the pretty but prissy Earnestina will cool, and he will, instead, find himself hopelessly under the spell of the plain but profound Sarah Woodruff.
But now I’m beginning to sound like the soap-obsessed Lucy Moran from Twin Peaks, so I think it’s time I unscrewed the scotch bottle and re-discovered my natural environment.