15 thoughts on “The Little Girls by Elizabeth Bowen

  1. We rejoin Dinah and Clare with one giant fantasy hop or leap forward (see the Big Book of Classic Fantasy), as the former visits the latter’s Mopsy Pye…

    ‘We-ell … My Weird Sister, you have got a kitchen here! I mean honestly, haven’t you? Trade terms for your weirder sister, I do hope? Anything in my line, have you this morning? Any wombats’ wombs or anything – powdered, naturally?’

    Part 3 (1)

    “…Dinah lit a cigarette and drew on it at some length, abnormally calmly. She then looked back through the arch; from where she stood, she saw the shop in reverse.”

    A sort of (quasi-Sapphic) rapprochement after the ‘good part of 50 years’ by Dicey and Mumbo.

    Coffee from La Poupée nearby, not from the Mopsy kitchen…
    Second time of meeting since the ‘gap’…
    Mumbo’s busy with the Mopsy packing-cases…

    “She directed a calculating scowl at her last (it might have been life-long) enemy, the impregnable-looking packing-case. She side-longed a glance at her armoury, chisels, hammer, etc., as though fingers itched in her mind.”

    Dicey’s cigarette-dancing…
    Completing this rapprochement, yet tellingly dangerous in the light of the packing…
    “…a-wash with shavings, inflammable-looking wadding, thin twists and untwists of flame-hungry paper.”

    “…a thought-dark arbour.”

    They talk of Mumbo’s abrupt departure from Applegate a week ago.
    Thus then leaving Sheikie and Dicey alone as ‘two strange women’…

    Dicey says ‘I slept, slept, slept, slept.’

    Mumbo wonders whether she ‘Should have written a bread-and-butter?’

    “But one can miss without knowing what one misses.”

    Talk of that distant Dicey Cumberland holiday following the distantly past picnic, and of Sheikie, who probably alone defended Southstone from the Cliff against the Germans in 1940!

    “We stayed on up there. I mean, Cumberland – Cousin Roland made us. He got in a state about leaving us, when the war’d begun, when it didn’t seem going well. Didn’t want us anywhere nearer Germans.”

    Sheikie…
    “‘Yes. More barnacled over. Far, far more barnacled over than you or I are. Wouldn’t you say? She’s certainly thickly covered with some deposit.’”

    “…what became of her dancing? And that no-children: does she, or not, care? And I tell you another thing she’s done: she’s invented Trevor – doubtless for some good reason. We all knew Trevor. That ‘Trevor this’, ‘Trevor that’ she is always quoting is not Trevor.”
    The real Trevor stayed in the drain-pipe?

    Dicey then, with Mumbo listening, makes an avant garde telephone call to ‘avant garde’ Sheikie with brackets, if not elbows, used for narratives of Shekie’s unheard replies. Probably the most avant garde telephone call in all literature, with La Voix Humaine?

    There is talk of White Elephants and of Dicey’s obsessive plan to unbury what they once ritually buried in the garden at St Agatha’s, now all built over with housing, but houses have their own gardens, don’t they?

    We learn that Dicey’s son seems to be called William, which throws a new light on what I have already said about Jane Turpin, I guess.

    “Round these cups, indeed around all this china, dolls danced ring-a-ring. All were brightly got up – amongst them danced teddy bears.”

  2. Part 3 (2)

    Sorry, I was quite wrong earlier that an earlier chapter in this book was Bowen’s shortest chapter. This is ridiculously, fantastically tiny! Just Dicey’s own ‘bread and butter letter’ to Mumbo following their Mopsy meeting… !!

    A magnificently lethal Bowenesque irony about the butter knife, bearing in mind that Mumbo did not earlier write such a polite thank you letter to Dicey!

  3. Part 3 (3)

    “There is seldom anything convulsive about change. What is there is there; there comes to be something fictitious about what is not.”

    Dicey and Mumbo go together in the car to where the coffer was once buried…

    “Both got into the Hillman, which trickled clear of the plateau, then swooped downhill. The passenger, looking orthodox, pulled on one, then the other, of her good hogskin gloves. ‘Let’s be clear,’ she began, ‘as to why I’m here—‘“

    Spades rattling in the back, Francis mis-stowed them?

    No, thru way, landscaped new housing that Bowen often noticed with a critical eye…
    “There was no way up till the embankment had cornered itself off:” – or kôrnered or elbowed itself off?

    “Once located, the two ex-thickets were unmistakable. One above the other, modified out of being groves into being strips, they stood out like two conspiratorial dark moustaches.”

    “Colourless glass dusk was like a glass dome over a stopped clock. The sea was out of action. Here on the coast road unlit cars slid by with cargoes of ghosts – observant ghosts, however, who turned their heads.”

    Yet darkness is too slow, like a watched pot, gluey and with a sort of Zeno’s Paradox. So they listen to the Light Programmes, as I often once did, a concert show to help time slouch past… and they talk small talk, bread and butter talk..

    “‘ … Any news of the butter knife?’
    ‘I am negotiating.’
    ‘Mumbo, what became of the Unknown Language?’
    ‘Gone.’”

    But here in this Bowen chapter, the Unknown Language of plot prevails, as the chapter’s second half is almost beyond my comprehension, yet…

    “This is a dream doom.”

    …being, arguably, an Aickman Amen, icky time. Gluey, too.

    “‘Oh, I am only hunting for my transistor. . .Here we are. What’s on the Light?’
    She obtained a concert. Throughout it and some part of its successor, which was Variety, the listeners, arms folded, sat with their eyes shut.”

    “Up the hill, shallows of electric lantern-light alternated with gulfs where the black road surface blotted into blackness of shadowed walls. Seen or unseen, the close escallonia sent out its humid, varnishy smell.  Between the lamps, trees had beneath them caverns, from one of which stepped a figure still webbed like a black cobweb to the shades out of which it had taken form.”

    Shock, Sheikie, just arrived here!

    ‘This is very sporting of you, Mrs Dracula.’

    “a statuette of Pan or some unknown faun,…”

    Beware PLOT SPOILER, but this is not a pot boiler, so little matter.
    Empty Coffer!

    Light descends, in the garden, inscrutable man to whom this garden belongs….

    “She invited his attention into the thicket, in which her friends rather oddly stood like a non-matching pair of caryatids in transit.”

    Cf those carytids I showed in my Cheltenham photo at the start of my review of Friends and Relations…

    Dicey…on the coffer’s emptiness and this her own demon Nemonymity….her Nemonymous state beyond the throw of any dice or chance plot turns…
    “Nothing’s real any more.”

    And the rest of this chapter, after they return to Sheikie’s place, now no. 11, not Number Nine thrown…yes, it is now its own nemonymity or numerology of surreality-waded meaning!

    “‘Oh, yes,’ said the positive one. ‘Because this poor chap has at least only been trying to portray what he thought he saw – and as we see, beyond getting the details correct he didn’t see much, and what he did see he didn’t see right. But if he’d been a bit better, then he’d have waded in and started portraying or trying to portray what he thought he felt; and as we know, what anyone thinks they feel is sheer fabrication. – Not that it doesn’t have quite a powerful effect, though: in or out of pictures.’
    ‘What effect?’
    ‘Well, I’m thinking more of what it has an effect on.’
    ‘What?’
    ‘Oh, Mumbo – people! People are glad to feel anything that’s already been fabricated for them to feel, haven’t you noticed? And those things that have been fabricated for them by people who in the first place fabricated them for themselves. There’s a tremendous market for prefabricated feelings: customers simply can’t snap them up fast enough. Nothing’s so fishy to most people as any kind of feeling they’ve never heard of.’
    ‘What would you say, Sheikie?’
    I’ve no idea what she’s talking about, I’m sorry to say.’

    My italics.

    And the painting of the high street reprises the earlier Nemonymity of the High Street as the shadowy third in its own reality and as its reflection in a window and as its depiction in a painting….whichever is the greatest lie of dispersed older property that Bowen cherished… all three existences created in lying words of fiction truth…

    “‘All I want to add is this, we did know those things were in that box. That’s, perhaps, why this evening has been a shock?’ About to depart, the guest looked again, for the last time, at the water-colour of the Old High Street. ‘Also, I owe an apology to this picture. It is not such a lie, really, as lies go. I was too ready to think it must be a lie because of its even attempting to be a picture. And also because it’s here when the street is not – when the street’s gone, you tell me? It might be better to have no pictures of places which are gone. Let them go completely.’”

  4. Part 3 (4)

    “Roads were wide, gloomily tree-invested, empty and much the same. Massive houses, built rather far apart, loomed up into the night out of evergreens – their forms being, where visible, of that hue in which dark-red brick invests itself after dark. In one dim-lit porch could be numbered many electric bells. Tops of boundary parapets were pitted where fanciful ironwork must have been snatched out during the fervour following 1940. Gateposts were gateless or else had flaccid gates propped back with a look of desuetude. Leaves deadened the pavements; here or there a late-fallen chestnut fled from under foot. The dog probed ahead through a slight ground-mist.”

    Dinah leaves for home from no. 11, while Sheila and Mumbo walk Trevor’s dog, a dog that was once owned by a ‘patient’ at No. 9, a patient he ‘took up with’. Don’t go there! Except to note the ‘flaccid’ houses that Bowen frowned upon! (Elbows were never exactly flaccid!)

    “The dog came back into view, selected a lamp-post, slowly went through its performance, looked round to make certain this had been noted.”
    …somehow reminds me of Trevor’s drain-pipe…?

    “Clare said: ‘What I don’t see is, why you never got out?’
    ‘You mean, don’t you, what became of my dancing?’
    Clare, starting as though Dinah were at her elbow, said: ‘Right – what did?’
    ‘That’s the world’s shortest story. It came to nothing.’”

    Hard for Sheikie to to shake off vulgarity in her statuesque pose, I guess….

    “Suspecting herself, rightly, to be unlistened to, she got a hold on Clare’s elbow and wheeled her round. […] Sheikie gave a lobster-nip to the elbow.”

    Many home truths spoken by Sheikie about Dicey and her lap-dog Frank, and the two sons that D thrusts in their faces, while S is childless, D having ‘savaged’ S’s hymen curtains with cords as umbilicals of Bowen’s Anti-Natalism, despite S’s once being rescued from widowhood by Trevor, who suddenly arrives home early, while Clare/ Mumbo slips off.

    Dinah, like ElBow herself…
    ‘She thinks, therefore it is?’

  5. Part 3 (5)

    “‘What’s this?’ asked Frank, picking up the butter knife.
    ‘I couldn’t tell you,’ said Francis.
    ‘What’s it doing here?’
    ‘Looks mummified to me, doesn’t it to you?’
    ‘How did it get into the house?’
    ‘It’s for butter, according to Mrs Delacroix.’
    ‘But how did it get into the house?’ Frank liked the knife less the longer he looked at it. “Looks like something intended for the cave.’
    ‘Far from it. It’s in high favour – it’s to go on her tray.’
    ‘Where did it come from?’ asked Frank, altering his tactics.”

    Possibly the funniest dialogue in Bowen, bearing in mind the context.

    Frank and Francis discuss D’s cave, in another shortish chapter. And Francis complains of parcels porch postmen…

    Dinah comes in at this point, still suffering from her new-found emptiness…empty even of junk, I guess. A mid or late life crisis that I guess Bowen is enduring in 1964?

    “The châtelaine, framed in the pantry doorway, wore two jerseys; heavy, high-necked, pulled on one on top of the other. Gardening gloves crammed bulkily into a pocket distended one hip of her narrow slacks. Raked into tails by the battle into the jerseys her hair hung round a particularly shining morning face, etherealized  rather than clouded by a look of grief. ‘Well, it’s come,’ she told Frank. ‘The frost’s got the dahlias!’”

    And they discuss the ‘junk’ collected by all and sundry for being walled into the cave, and whether there should be a ceremony for this, with a band!

  6. Part 3 (6)

    “It was a half-diabolical way to announce Evensong. Holy-unholy changes, slicing and climbing on one another,…”

    Dinah/Dicey and Clare/Mumbo, amid that change-by-halves campanology, visit Frank’s cottage and hang a mask there. Take that as you will. So many implications. Mask made by ‘our local witch’, it seems, a witch according to Frank, but he knows not that it is now hung in his home. The masks that have been sold to Mumbo to sell on at Mopsy Pye… Or is it still hung, or fallen from the nail D used?

    “Sunday church-bells started their work on the tawny evening while good-byes were being said to the mask-maker at her gate. She conveyed by a gesture at once resigned and fanatical that everything else must now be suspended. She cast a look upward, as well she might.
    Her village (no great distance from Dinah’s) was famed in  this part of Somerset, and indeed beyond it, for its ringers. Rooks, evidently familiar with the bells, undeviatingly streamed through a sky filled by the pandemonium, and villagers, face­lessly there in their darkening doorways or stuck in groups out­side the blinded shops, seemed as inured. For non-natives, the disturbance was elemental. The village was hard to get out of­ – the frantic Hillman darted hither and thither, a thing trapped. One had been caught in a raid.”

    D’s letter to M, about bonfire, mask maker, masks at Mopsy. The scars of the land, centuries as opened wounds, a pilot’s thumb and Dicey dashing about, he shock of emptiness still infusing….

    “Nothing’s ever really got going when there wasn’t Sheikie too. Look at the other night.”

    Some revelations…

    Cumberland, all those years ago? Mrs P… D’s mother dying of our future retrocausal plague….
    “She didn’t go vapouring over a crag while gazing at the moon. […] …That Spanish ‘flu, that was like a war more. Why had people to live through that, then die then? Anyway, they had to. That, like war was, was the common lot.”

    “…a series of scarlet warnings –“
    Frank had been widowed.
    Labrador absorbed his badness.
    Hung mask falls, but is it nailed back? Bowen often wears the same mask, for example when she makes the triangulating gesture with her fingers in that now famous painting of her…

    “bird pictures (Peter Scott)”
    Yet another connection with Aickman.

    My reviewing of this novel is forming the ‘dying fall’ of my long Bowen /\ Aickman journey — with myself (!) as the shadowy third side to complete the triangle out of the two-sided elbow or circumflex or Kôrner?

    “‘Dicey, this is not like Feverel Cottage!’
    ‘Oh, no. No. No, of course it isn’t. – Come on!’”

    SPOILER
    Shelley, gun… what D and M had left secretly from each other in the now empty coffer…we were all coughers during the plague…
    Runaway train song… the same train, not the gun, the train that self-killed D’s father?
    Francis at French film with Mrs Coral’s niece…

    What fact? I forget…

    “This fact did not reflect particularly upon the cottage – almost any surroundings would gain by surrounding Frank: this room was doing so at this minute. Still wearing and strikingly well become by the suit in which he had been over to Shepton Mallet or its neighbourhood, he looked like Sunday, a Sunday of an enjoyable, by which need not be said wholly secular, kind. Any slight touch of fantasy about his appearance he could carry off. This fortunate man not only liked his clothes but was liked by them: not always is the liking reciprocated. Whether or not (Dinah said, not) in his life Frank had had the recognition he de­served, he looked fortunate, and how far better that is than to look deserving.”

    “Clare, changing her attitude on the sofa, knocked a cushion overboard with her elbow.”

    I think this elbow moment presages the first time today that I encounter the word ‘Lesbian’ in Bowen during my Bowen reviews….

    Puts the cushion back to perfect the endless moment…

    “Round the walls ran racks, brackets and shelves;”

    Children’s photos, Bowen’s Anti-Natalism as a fear of a Hostile Race?….a fear she blocks out from her mind but places in her fiction truths?… pre-meditated as the Wyndham book was mentioned much earlier in this Bowen…

    “‘I thought you might laugh at me. But now, what a thing to have done to him, when he’s worried anyway! He’s less happy, and I’m making him less happy. Everything I’ve done’s been stupid and wrong: I should never, for instance, have lent him The Midwich Cuckoos.  – You’ve read The Midwich Cuckoos?’
    ‘No, I haven’t.’
    ‘Well, that’s the last straw! – how am I to explain? Frank’s terrified of children. Otherwise he’s the bravest, most fearless man; but he has, perhaps, got a conspiracy complex slightly. He’s terrified that some terrible Hostile Race, which will go on to drive everyone else out, is at any moment going to begin to be born. He was highly suspicious of his own grandchild, even: convinced that that poor little thing would have Yellow Eyes ­which was why he wouldn’t go next or near it (last week, he finally did, I’m glad to tell you). When I went and lent him that book, the damage was done. – Yet, was it only The Midwich Cuckoos?’”

    The King in Yellow. Those Haggard Chambers…
    D’s ability to play without knowing she is playing, or vice versa, as happens with political lies in my own real-time? That yearning the two women have to live together, but blocked by one’s need to not need that, the mask that hangs precariously…

  7. Part 3 (7)

    “But the elf was nowhere.”

    The chapter to end all chapters. How can I cope with it? SPOILERS, too, but no matter, as you must already know this momentous chapter….

    “The one sign she gave of sickness was this indifference, but it was an indifference so great as to be a sickness in itself.”

    “In a chintz armchair by the fire sat Sheila Artworth, knitting. Now, after a second cautious glance at the patient, she risked switching on the table lamp at her elbow – perhaps for company? – so tipping the shade down as to protect the bed. She was framed, thus, inside a circle of light:”

    Well, you surely all know this chapter already. Dinah in her own death bed, or not, in a a physical state equivalent to her empty epiphany at the sight of the empty coffer. Now with rainbow bruise on her head — a row with Mumbo, or swinging too hard on the crooked swing? Roland come. Mrs Coral, too, who wants to provide beds for the grandchildren. D’s sons now come, you see, and her grandchildren, featuring a future ‘THREE’ as LITTLE GIRLS in the cycle of things.
    Francis, Frank, Sheikie as a self-appointed nurse, Mumbo herself sitting in D’s Hillman next to an imaginary driver, until Sheikie taps on the window, having later told D’s sons about her amputated SIXTH TOE as the secret transcended by emptying it out into that coffer, a secret secret, like mathematical negatives cancelling each other out by multiplication. Fiction x fiction, too. The essence of Bowen as culmination of that ivory puzzle that went clickety click… that frozen dance pose as a battle against once having 11 toes.
    Send Dinah as patient to Number Nine, not no. 11, now she is Doo-Lally or Dotty, if not Dicey?
    Children ironically play in in the apple tree’s orchard. Later with scissors cutting jags into mags, echoing the butter knife and a lost thumb, if not an extra toe.
    D confused, does she know her sons are there?
    Francis had thought he was still watching that avant garde French film when he came home to find Dinah in such a state…

    “The moment was psychological.  As the two at the bottom looked up the stairs, a lady from the top began to come down. Round the turn of the banisters, she came down towards them smoothly, as though descending a waterfall, nonchalantly balancing a tray. The copper beech being now denuded, but for some tatters, evening came freely if faintly in at the staircase window: it silhouetted her, silverly outlining the hair, the strong though light figure, the bare arms.”

    And so much more….
    “If they shrank from hearing what had happened, why had they come?”
    Two birds of ill omen, Macbeth…
    Two sons argue with Francis.
    Granddaughter’s hullo.
    ‘We can’t go into the cave, it’s tied up with string. And the swing’s gone.’
    Duck, bath…

    “She said, if we want to go into the cave we must have a knife; she says you have a knife made like a thumb…”
    Emma her granddaughter touches the bruise…
    “Macbeth It’s full of particles of sadness which are seldom noticed – deluded expectations, harmless things coming to dreadful ends.”

    “Could one fear that one had done an irrevocable thing, without knowing exactly what it was?’”
    Why no doctor?

    ***

    Dinah had raised herself on an elbow. Down her white face, under the ignominious bruise, a tear made its bewildered way.” (My italics)

    But the self was nowhere. Nor the elbow?

    Frank…
    “One of the sons, after an instant, said: ‘Well, we half-saw him.’”

    “The drawing-room had been still in that lampless state known as blind man’s holiday; outdoors, it was drawing towards the end of that hour in which land seemed haunted.”

    “So far, the situation at Applegate made less rather than more sense with every minute, thanks to the bafflingness of Mrs Artworth, the spider’s-web ambiguities of Francis.”

    Vagrant Frank seen by sons on the lawn…

    “‘I agree. It would be a great mistake not to have a word with him.’
    ‘Yes.’
    ‘Look, why didn’t he send for a doctor?’”

    Clare and Frank…
    “Somewhere, the orchard had Frank at large in it. Clare knew, scarcely though footfalls were to be heard on the nerveless grass, sodden with November and rotted apples. To be seen was an occasional flicker of thicker darkness in an out of the gaps between tree and tree.”

    Frank — angry about C and D having a row, and banged about !!!
    His view that…
    ‘Any of us, any of us around her. This life of hers here. This place. She’s come unstuck.’
    “It’s all gone, was it ever there? No, never there. Nothing. No, no, no …” And so on. Terrible to hear her.”

    Diana…
    “‘For years – years – I’ve been afraid that his whitened skeleton still was stuck up there in that drain-pipe. You know that dreadful Mistletoe Bough story?’
    […] Because when, in 1940, Mr Churchill gave us that splendid, rousing talk about probably fighting on the beaches, do you know what my first reaction was? ‘Now they’ll blast open that drain-pipe, and there’ll be Trevor.’”

    “The long room remained empty, but for the patient. The fire burned ceremonially in the shapely grate; the dark she liked was allowed to stay pressing against the panes. Roses, roses all the way, some visible under the tilted lampshade, some not, could be known to stretch from the distant door to the distant bed. Back again into the unexpectancy which had reigned since Sunday lay the patient, not for these minutes having to arouse herself for anyone, like someone uncaringly being carried out to sea; or still more, as though she were herself the outgoing tide.”

    Frank and Dicey, the latter sorry about the mask she hung in his wall…

    Rainbow bruise, mask scared him
    Put swing back!

    “Three of them: three other children. Down there in the pit, that bucket of dusk, she had not counted them – on the flit, they had been innumerable. They had answered from all over the place. They had cast looks rather than shown faces.”

    The Three, Caliban fringe, jagged mags, dinosaur…

    “Out came the Chinese ivory puzzle. She gave herself up to it, scowled over it, was altogether obsessed by it, scarcely breathing. Intricate, interlocking ivories gave their clickety-click.“

    “Enter these enchanted woods, You who dare –“
    Sheikie, car crash salesman, died – another secret….
    Dancing
    Threw her drink out
    “Sheila’s gesture, almost that of a dancer, wafted hither and thither a diaphanous sleeve.”

    ‘Yes. Mistakes have histories, but no beginning – like, I suppose, history?’

    Francis, finger bowl…

    The secret secrets that D’s sons know, but not yet of Sheikie’s toe! Not even a Sixth Sense…
    “Bunching together the tips of her pretty and manifestly unsullied right-hand fingers, she let them go in for a little dip.”

    “With a continuous swish of the pink sleeves – which, slit open downward from the shoulders, only to be gathered together again when they reached the wrists, somehow were more mellifluous than mere sleevelessness – Mrs Atworth was peeling the banana…”

    “Into the cobwebby distance the bed retreated, lengthening everything: the room was an avenue at whose far end something was happening, sleep. Deep into the curtains’ shelter, the head of the sleeper was invisible. Sleep so gave this room a sensual climate that to enter was to know oneself to be in the presence of an embrace. Was it to be feared, or to be hoped, that she might not wake? Or, how if she never woke at all?”

    Trevor arrives to see Dinah. To expunge Diana’s Drain phobia, her Dicing with death.

    “Chance is better than choice; it is more lordly.”

    “The world of china…”

    “Shepherds and shepherdesses branched towards one another their mended arms; beautiful bowls stayed cradled within their networks of cracks; stitches held obstinately together what had been broken; handles maintained their hold on cups by grasping with tiny alloy claws. She was looking into a fragile representation of a world of honour, which was to say unfailingness.”

    But who was the ‘she’ there? That Kôrean SHE.

    “You – she thought, looking back at the bed again. Me. And of course Sheikie. Entrusted to one another before we knew. Mistrustful of one another, and how rightly. You were the least mistrustful, however wrongly. To a point you were right: in our way having noble natures, we knew each others’. We have our pride. Yet now, look! … Never should we have called each other to account: that was the catastrophe. But, see how remorseless children are – where were we to stop, and indeed how? And now, nothing. There being nothing was what you were frightened of all the time, eh? Yes. Yes, it was terrible looking down into that empty box. I did not comfort you. Never have I comforted you. Forgive me.”

    ‘Not Mumbo. Clare. Clare, where have you been?’

    The most poignant lifelong unrequitedness now finally to be requited?

    ****

    “She raised herself on an elbow.”

    end

    • No mystery that Prothero reviews things like I do, and his name rhymes with elbow.
      The Zeno’s Paradox /Time syndrome, Ghosts, Shadows, Psychological Furniture, Apple Trees, Anti-Natalism, Triangulations, double negatives, mid to late life crises, Aickman synergy, Bowen herself.
      Fractured, if not bruised.
      My reviewing of this novel has now ended my long Bowen /\ Aickman journey — posing myself as the shadowy third side to complete the triangle out of the two-sided elbow or circumflex or Kôrner? Or just another meddling middling finger in Francis’ finger-BOWL?
      Eva Trout, already reviewed by me, the final consolation.

    • I don’t think anyone before has mapped out this gestalt of themes in Bowen fiction, particularly the Elbow Syndrome as such a hugely predominating one and the Aickman synergy.
      Unless you know different?

  8. Pingback: Astounding Synchronicity | The Des Lewis Gestalt Real-Time Reviews (from 2008)

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