The Same Dog by Robert Aickman


THE SAME DOG by Robert Aickman

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“; when all was so obscure, and so properly so?”

For me a Proustianly self-memorable story, and surely you must remember it, too, as well as me! The story of Hilary, much the youngest of three brothers, who later oddly joined the army because, he was a sensitive soul. His trip as a young boy with his then childhood sweetheart Mary, who had grabby fingers for him, but not a ‘Lolita’ as explicitly hinted later by the story itself, a trip to what turned out later in his life to be  a house called Maryland, was part of what these two children concocted in their secret maps of reality as well as of Fairyland, and the slithery  yellow-skinned  dog and Maryland’s yellow wall (a yellow patchy wall like that of Vermeer in the famous Proust book). The implications of what happened shake me even today, decades since I first read it, even though I am now, of course, a different self reading it. I never now lurk anywhere naked, although I am bald.

“A further complexity is that the sensitive are sometimes most at their ease with the less sensitive.”

My other reviews of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/robert-aickman/

Edit: see comment below

One thought on “The Same Dog by Robert Aickman

  1. My relevant comments below from here in 2011: here: http://www.ligotti.net/showpost.php?p=58934&postcount=13

    ============

    I have long seen THE SAME DOG as Aickman’s attempt to be Proustian.

    I shall have to freshly re-read it to give chapter and verse. But it seems
    essentially in the mould of ‘Remembrance of Things Past’ (aka ‘In Search of Lost
    Time);

    This is what I wrote on the Proust Yahoogroups – I discover – on January 17
    2003:

    “Sorry, I’ve now been thinking of the Robert Aickman connection as a
    Proustian writer. He is really superb and once you’ve read a few of
    his stories they will haunt you forever. Unlike with Bowen (with
    whose work I am also impassioned), I can find no direct reference on
    the Internet connecting Aickman and Proust, but he seems obviously a
    Proustian writer to me. Take as just one example his story ‘The
    Same Dog’ in his collection ‘Cold Hand In Mine’ (1975). Time and
    Love in often uncomfortable interface. Style not so tentacular, nor
    quite so delightfully florid as Proust, but the aftertaste is just as
    strong and just as compelling and uncannily similar to Proust’s
    aftertaste. (‘Aftertaste’ being a key word!). Des”

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