By Madeleine St. John
Madeleine St John's poignant often witty new and novel tells the tale of 3 humans locked in an unsatisfied tangle of feelings and needs, none in a position to articulate the fitting caliber in their longing and dissatisfaction. There's Alex, depressing in his chilly and flippantly expert marriage, not able to go away due to his kids. subsequent comes Andrew, lately domestic from ten years in the USA, leaving an ex-wife and a loved daughter at the different part of the area. and at last there's Barbara, the enthralling and lustrous item in their affections, officially self-possessed yet surprisingly aimless and unfulfilled.
With beauty and acuity, Madeleine St John chronicles their growth via quite a few fake starts off, reversals, and misapprehensions. the result's a deeper figuring out of longing and its major spouse -- loss.
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All that through a glittering dust, and soon through that mist too which rises in me every day and veils the world from me and veils me from myself. The bleating grew faint, because the sheep were less anxious, or because they were further away, or because my hearing was worse than a moment before, which would surprise me, for my hearing is still very good, scarcely blunted coming up to dawn, and if I sometimes hear nothing for hours on end it is for reasons of which I know nothing, or because about me all goes really silent, from time to time, whereas for the righteous the tumult of the world never stops.
I shall have occasion to do so later perhaps. When I seek refuge there, bet to the world, all shame drunk, my prick in my rectum, who knows. Good. Now that we know where we’re going, let’s go there. It’s so nice to know where you’re going, in the early stages. It almost rids you of the wish to go there. I was distraught, who am so seldom distraught, from what should I be distraught, and as to my motions even more uncertain than usual. The night must have tired me, at least weakened me, and the sun, hoisting itself higher and higher in the east, had poisoned me, while I slept.
And if I have always behaved like a pig, the fault lies not with me but with my superiors, who corrected me only on points of detail instead of showing me the essence of the system, after the manner of the great English schools, and the guiding principles of good manners, and how to proceed, without going wrong, from the former to the latter, and how to trace back to its ultimate source a given comportment. For that would have allowed me, before parading in public certain habits such as the finger in the nose, the scratching of the balls, digital emunction and the peripatetic piss, to refer them to the first rules of a reasoned theory.
A Stairway to Paradise: A Novel by Madeleine St. John