Elizabeth, William Trevor, Cole discussed on Backlisted



Yet she fairly balances the scales of her argument and her vision is not unkind. I mean, I don't entirely agree with William Trevor on the last point. I think she's gimlet eyed. Can I be a good time to read the little extract I chose? Because I think it's funny. We've been talking about how funny she is, but also how grotesque it is. And how it is possibly there's a kind of unkindness to it as well. Take it away. So yeah, this is the introduction of the wife of somebody that Elizabeth has been invited to cook for. And this is when we first meet her. She was all together like a huge old doll, Elizabeth thought. Even her hair had a very wide passing in it like dolls hair. And she wore it in a long permanently waived bob. Like Rita Hayworth in ancient films. Misses Cole's head and the shoulders of her black crepe dress were showered with dandruff and well over and above her Chanel number 5, Elizabeth could detect the odor of cheap raspberry jam that so often accompanies this condition. What I mean? What? The moment that they were alone, this is Cole's grip on Elizabeth's arm, tightened. And just as Elizabeth was going to pull herself away from this rather surprising them horrible person. She said, why he's away, quick, write down her number. I only want to see her. She had let go at last and was fumbling desperately with her bag. You look for me darling. Any old scrap will do. I just want to give her my love. And for a moment, Elizabeth found herself looking down into the huge, heavily made up dolls face, whose eyes are of such open agony that she felt her hair prickling with shock. She would do anything to stop someone looking like that. The bag, which it seemed quite small was crammed with dirty broken spilt things, loose aspirins, coated with brown face powder, a miniature bottle of Gordon's gin. A gray elastic sanitary belt, a screwed up packet, which could contain no smokable cigarette. A little Disney type dog made of pipe cleaners, a chiffon handkerchief with the swans down puff attached. Some cloakroom tickets, pencils, broken, biro top off. A tube of something that we're losing out to the bottom. It's such a good passage, isn't it? Brilliantly. Brilliant Andrew brilliant. What I think is interesting is if you're reading that as quote unquote if it's 1969 and you were a review and you're reading that as quote unquote, a woman's novel. You'll be thinking, what's this stuff? What's this shit? Why? This isn't right. You know, it's really Gritty. But the way in which people described it as the ending, especially as an unsuccessful genre trick. Something she tries to pull off that doesn't work as if it's kind of like, you know, it's some kind of weird gear change towards the end.

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