By Jeanette Winterson
In her hugely experimental 5th novel (after Written at the Body), Winterson abandons a linear plot in prefer of a kaleidoscopic, polysemous learn of ruptured lives and creative ambitions. the tale is filled with philosophical musings at the intertextuality of paintings, the marginalization of girl creativity and the ravages of modernity. It matters 3 characters who converge on a educate departing a dystopian, futuristic London: Handel, a brooding, defrocked priest and health practitioner; Picasso, an introspective painter who tried suicide after being raped through her brother; and Sappho, a stressed, airy incarnation of the Greek lyric poet. every one personality is fleeing earlier traumas and current injustices; every one undergoes a imprecise apotheosis by way of the novel's finish. the tale additionally includes the invention of an historic booklet whose passages, by means of writers all through background, are interpolated into the textual content. regardless of its poetic cadences and epigrammatic phrasings, Winterson's language frequently succumbs to weird and wonderful imagery and bewildering narrative leaps (the ultimate 9 pages are from the rating of Strauss's Rosenkavalier). This emphatically esoteric novel will present these readers sufferer adequate to string jointly its patchwork of issues and ideas.
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Additional info for Art & Lies
The nearest houses were four hundred metres away, and showed great blank walls with one or two miniature windows – bathroom windows surely. Oh to be there, in a heated tiled room, barefoot in his pyjamas, taking a leisurely piss before crawling back under the duvet for one extra hour. But he could go right here, in the ditch, turn his back to the wind, remove his gloves, grapple bare-fingered with the frozen chunky zip of his one-piece snowmobile suit, grope under his jacket to reach the shoulder buckles of his salopettes and somehow push them down, burrow past sweater, shirt, long silk under-shirt, long johns, underpants, to gain at last the moment of the release he dared not think about.
Only in the final seconds, when his clumsy pink hand, as cold as a stranger’s, reached into his underpants, did he think he might lose control. But at last, with a joyous shout that was lost to the gale, he directed his stream against the ice wall. His mistake was to wait a few seconds at the end, as men of his age tended to do, mindful that there might be more. He should have turned his head to hear what Jan had shouted. Or perhaps he could only have avoided the inevitable if he had accepted one of the other invitations, to the Seychelles or Johannesburg or San Diego, or if, as he thought later with some bitterness, climate change, radical warming above the Arctic Circle, was actually taking place and was not a figment of the activist imagination.
How had it come about? Perhaps it was true that the Committee, angrily divided between three front-runners, had settled for its fourth choice. However Beard’s name had slipped through, it was generally felt that it was the turn of British physics anyway, though, in certain senior common rooms, some muttered that the Committee in its compromise had confused Michael Beard with Sir Michael Bird, the gifted amateur pianist who worked on neutron spectroscopy. Those ungenerous rumours aside, what a brief state of grace, those blessed months of frenetic calculation and revision in the old rectory on the South Downs, trapped in a soundscape formed by the complaints of his first wife, Maisie, and the incessant wailing of the lodgers’ identical babies.
Art & Lies by Jeanette Winterson