Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark

By Muriel Spark

Fortunately loitering approximately London, c. 1949, with the reason of collecting fabric for her writing, Fleur Talbot reveals a task “on the grubby fringe of the literary world” on the very atypical Autobiographical organization. Mad egomaniacs writing their memoirs upfront — or negative fools ensnared by way of a blackmailer? while the association’s pompous director steals Fleur’s manuscript, fiction starts to acceptable existence.

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The entire subcontinent of India to be put in order, to be ventilated, to be drained. 81 Woodham-Smith confesses to be wearied by the mere contemplation of the work Nightingale performed from her sickbed. "Work always loomed ahekd of her, mountains of it, endless labor, endless toil which somehow must be struggled through" (225). All this frantic activity — urgent, momentous, unlimited in scope, incalculable in effect kept her as insulated from the common concerns of life, the dreadful pull of the mundane chores and sapped energies that she associated with the life of the idle and ornamental woman of her class, as did the invalid life in which she immured herself.

92 The danger seems to be the possible collapse of those gender distinctions which preserve the female attributes he is attracted to and insure the continued empowerment of the male. Linked to the danger attendant upon such a loss of definitive distinctions, and perhaps underlying its terror, is the threat of a thoroughly ontological crisis - a frightening indeterminacy of being most graphically presented in The Princess by the "weird seizures" of the prince: " O n a sudden in the midst of men and day," the prince recounts, And while I walk'd and talk'd as heretofore, I seemed to move among a world of ghosts And feel myself the shadow of a dream.

47 George Eliot notes in "Janet's Repentance" that "here in the sickroom there are no selfquestionings, no weighing of consequences"; and Harriet Martineau cites among the "gains and sweets of invalidism" the "extinction of concern" about "the ordinary objects of life" and "the abolition of the future, of our own future in this life" (LSR 197). The sickroom marginalizes, in other words, the requisite attributes of mimetic realism - the significance of details (in particular the details that make familiar intercourse difficult), of causal relations, of ordinary life, and of temporal sequence, while still invoking them by its very nature.

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