Saturday, July 16, 2011

Confessions of a Brookner Lover

The following musings on Anita Brookner come from the cosmopolitan Donna at Rambling Fancy.

Thomas of MyPorch and Simon S have arranged this day to celebrate Anita Brookner's books. I've recently re-read quite a few and have found myself pleased with how well they stand up over the years. I stumped as to how to talk about them. I don't do book reviews well anyway, and they're neither terribly hopeful nor cheerful books, but the writing is very fine indeed, they have the most exquisite characterisation and, perhaps surprisingly, they are very witty and frequently funny. They are tough and demanding reads of you in some ways too: I always find myself thinking about the characters and the endings long after I've finished the books.

  Anna Massey and Denholm Elliot in Hotel du Lac

I love Hotel du Lac. It's set in a hotel on Lac Leman -an area I lived near for many years so could really picture the setting. I still find it the most accessible of her novels, even if not perhaps her best. There's also the BBC version with the wonderful (sadly missed) Anna Massey as Edith that I wanted to watch again, but now can't find. Anita Brookner has the advantage of having a very distinguished style both as an author and in person. It might sound like a very strange thing to say, but she looks satisfyingly exactly as I imagined she would look after reading the novels. I appreciate her distinctiveness: that auburn hair, the overflowing ashtray, her crisp, restrained, impeccable and extremely English manner of dressing. Like her books, it's all so very fitting and how often can you say that?


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