Friday, 21 March 2014

Being Wound around Sarah's Little Finger.

The matter of The French Lieutenant’s Woman is gathering pace. I read four chapters tonight and am now at about the middle of it. It’s bothering me just a little because the similarities between Charles Smithson and me continue to present themselves ever more certainly as the plot progresses. The same predilections, the same delusion of a duty well done, the same naïve belief in the capacity to remain aloof, the same malleability in the hands of a truly enigmatic woman, and the same uncharitable drive for self-protection. In short, the same flaws and weaknesses. I’m almost afraid to finish the damn book for fear of reading my own destiny there.

And what of Sarah Woodruff, with whom poor, smug Charles is now experiencing the kind of difficulty with which I can entirely empathise? She is, I think, probably the most alluring, unfathomable, complex and completely observed character I’ve ever read. And isn’t it interesting that the author occasionally reminds us when he comes out of the story and goes into commentary mode (most unusual for a novel) that these are not real people, but merely characters of his own creation? Frankly, I’m not so sure. And, fortunately, only those with a good knowledge of the book will have a clue what I’m talking about.

No comments: