“to become a prey to the spoiler” 


T. F. POWYS: The Key of the Field

“The leaves spun around him in the wind, for the October frosts had turned them yellow, and the November blasts had shaken them from the trees.”

The ghostly-like incantatory yearning and importuning being Uncle Tiddy’s for the Squire’s Field (a sort of Heaven as I found out when finally given the key myself by discovery of this superlative story, no comparison, otherwise) near Madder Hill, the key to which is yearned for by both Grandmother Trott (who lives with her lusty grandsons) and Uncle Tiddy (who gives a home to his comely adolescent niece Lily.) Tiddy sees the key — once he had lost it by fell Trott means — everywhere as a form of pareidolia in every object he sees. Out of reach but ever there. His loss of the key through gossipy innuendo about his fulfilled yearning for his niece (he did love her, but how he loved her we shall never know), but some of the other Trott machinations also lead to rape, childbirth and death. But who knows what was sown where. And whether I myself have indeed been given the wrong key, to stop, at all costs, this story “to become a prey to the spoiler”, nobody can know. The Squire himself, you see, was deemed ‘merry’ in his ways, and the guests he had are left indeterminate, and the final innuendo prevails as to what key Tiddy was finally given by the Squire and to unlock into what sort of Heaven — or Hell? The spinning dead leaves had their own pareidolia shape of a key, as was said at outset.

***

Context anthology of this review: https://nemonymousnight.wordpress.com/915-2/

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