Good honest story-telling. This chapter reminds me of much of the intrigue and adventure of fine old-fashioned children’s books. But not a tale for children, this, as there is much salaciousness for an adult taste to savour, i.e. for the specific intended reader (see the author’s own comments to my comments on chapter 32) and much else in addition for any collateral (ordinary?) reader of ‘Odalisque’ to enjoy.
The good honest story-telling includes a (wilful?) ruby and breeches! Two passages:
My words produced in me an odd mixture of emotions. At an outer level, the idea of being rid of the cursed stone was a far greater boon than a couple of days without lessons. Competing with the enormous relief, was a dark desire to keep the jewel – and also a dreadful foreboding. Inescapable was the idea that – in spite of my offering of pain the night before – the ruby would exact its revenge for this transaction.
At this time, such breeches were common to the generals of all Surrey’s enemies. By contrast, Surrey generals wore dark blue breeches or skirts with a plain red stripe. Meadowlands generals, to assert a certain neutrality, wore green breeches with a yellow stripe.
Another nice tantalising passage:
Perhaps the offering pleased the ruby, for I slept peacefully that night. Tuerquelle figured in my dreams, but as a happy memory – unclouded by regret or worry. As she entered the dream, her bright eyes looked up at me in expectation. We took cloths and polish to a large puzzling object, the outlines of which continued to shift.
This admirable novel obviously continues to give pleasure in many different ways to different people at different times, but *as a whole* only to one reader??? I think, essentially, that the artistry, subtlety, clarity, adventure, intrigue of the story-telling *should* appeal to everyone all the time, if the (ordinary?) reader is able to suspend any possible temporary misgivings of disbelief or distaste simply for the pure pleasure of reading this FICTION that has an inner truth *somewhere*. Naturally, I myself pleasurably anticipate reading the rest of the novel with a great degree of ... well, yes, pleasurable anticipation.
Speech-marks to be added:
A little, but…”
that = than
she’s more likely to ravish you that kill a pretty slave.
mid = mind
What did you have in mid to trade?”
Word docs of the actual chapters are freely available to readers of this blog.
The links to all Chapter comments by me are HERE