‘Precisely what you would have done in the circumstances, old chap. No more, no less.’
He’s right, you know. He is.
* * *
But to go back a little way:
I was aghast with shock, dismay and disappointment. Charles, my literary doppelganger, reneged on the kindredness of our spirit tonight. He took the safe road, the conventional road, leaving poor beautiful, benighted Sarah to vanish into oblivion.
Only he didn’t. I said Sarah was irresistible, didn’t I, and I meant it literally. Mr Fowles cheated. Two chapters down the line he admits his little game:
‘What you just read in the last two chapters isn’t what happened at all. That was only what Charles imagined might happen as he was taking the tedious train journey from London down to the West Country. He did break his journey at Exeter, and what actually happened was this…’
I’m sorry I doubted you, Charles. Blame your author. He thinks you’re just a character he invented, but we know differently, don’t we? Only one thing now troubles me (though I don’t suppose it should, since the deepest shadow is the natural corollary of the brightest light.) This has to end in tears, doesn’t it? It always did for me, sooner or later.
* * *
This post will only make sense to those who’ve been reading this blog diligently for the past two or three weeks and know of my current preoccupation with The French Lieutenant’s Woman. How different my posts about this novel have been from those I wrote about Dracula and Frankenstein. That’s because they deserved to be lampooned, being mostly populated by implausible characters and situations. This one’s different: I'm in it...