Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

the stranger's child

Expand Messages
  • Jeffrey Manley
    Several writers make appearances in Alan Hollinghurst s latest novel The Stranger s Child and Waugh is among them, although indirectly. The novel is written
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 10, 2012
    • 0 Attachment

      Several writer's make appearances in Alan Hollinghurst's latest novel The Stranger's Child and Waugh is among them, although indirectly.  The novel is written as a number of set pieces spread over the period 1913-2008.  In one of these, set in the 1980s, the lower middle class character Paul Bryant (a blank clerk who morphs into a biographer and literary critic without much explanation of how he managed that) is shopping in Blackwells and spots a copy of Waugh's newly published selected Letters.  He is at this time just beginning his literary career and has been sent on assignment by the TLS to cover a conference in Oxford.  He doesn't have the cash to buy the Waugh book (and rather oddly for some one in his line of work seems to lack a Blackwell account or a credit card) so he uses some TLS paperwork in his possession to make it appear that he was sent a more expensive history book as a review copy and takes it to Blackwell's top floor where he sells it for a sum that covers the price of the Waugh Letters and leaves a few pounds change.  There is no further mention of Waugh or the Letters.  In a later episode it is revealed that prior to his larcenous actions in Blackwells, Paul had been dismissed from his job as a bank clerk for some sort of fiddling of the accounts.  I'm not sure whether his theft of the Letters is intended to have some further meaning or is merely another of the numerous literary allusions which occur throughout the book in this case used to preview quite cleverly the later revelation of another of the several flaws in Paul Bryant's character.  Does anyone else on the list who has read the novel have any thoughts on this?  jeff

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.