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Passages (British Literature Series) by Ann…

Passages (British Literature Series)

by Ann Quin

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What is more or less a simple plot--a woman accompanied by her lover--searching for her lost brother in a Mediterranean kind of landscape; that brother some kind of revolutionary (or not), with some sort of alias (or not), imprisoned (or not) and being tortured (or not) or even worse--dead (or not). Having said that though the plot of the story is really almost secondary to a stream of conscious kind of imagistic prose that really subsumes all the elements of the plot into a kind of undercurrent of the novel itself. What it seems at times to be is almost hundreds upon hundreds of snapshots one following another almost in corelation to one word following another. There is a precision to the language used here that seems to multiply almost generically upon itself seeming to create new images with practically every single word. There are resemblances (at least to me) to some of the French new novel writers (particularly Robbe-Grillet) but I think Ann Quin goes further and in a sense her work here is more easily accessible than most of those writers. It often alternates between voice of sister, voice of her lover (who is a kind of protector, a guide sometimes--who is confused himself sometimes about why he is helping her) within sentence and paragraph structure changing from one to the other without cue--giving it the sense of schizophrenia or fragmentation that the blurb on the back of the book talks about. Very erotic in nature with some elements of a mystery or a thriller--the plot is ultimately left unresolved--much like a dream. ( )
2 vote lriley | Dec 24, 2006 |
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For Ian In Memory
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Not that I've dismissed the possibility my brother is dead. We have discussed what is possible, what is not. They say there's every chance.
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