Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Ellie Dehn as the title character in Arabella at SF Opera. Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

In the summer of 1927 the composer Richard Strauss asked his longtime collaborator Hugo von Hoffmansthal—the librettist for Elektra (1909), Der Rosenkavalier (The Rose-Bearer, 1911), and Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos, 1916), among others—to write a comic opera, "a second Rosenkavalier."

The two men sent ideas back and forth; nothing seemed quite right. But after a few months Hofmannsthal had an inspiration. He recalled a scenario he'd written sometime earlier for a play, Der Fiaker als Graf (The Coachman as Count): "Now yesterday it occurred to me that the whole thing had a touch of Rosenkavalier about it, a most attractive woman as the central figure, surrounded by men, mostly young ones, a few episodes, too—. . .a light opera (in the Rosenkavalier style, but lighter still. . .)" [1]

Hugo von Hofmannsthal around the time of the composition of Der Rosenkavalier.

Hofmannsthal fleshed out the action by combining the characters and setting of The Coachman as Count with plot elements from "Lucidor," a short story he'd written around the time of Der Rosenkavalier. In that story a younger daughter, Lucile, is disguised by her mother as a boy named "Lucidor" in order to aid the marriage prospects of the elder daughter Arabella (the family can't afford to have two daughters "out" at the same time). The new opera would be named after its heroine.

The action of Arabella takes place in the 1860s. Count Waldner has destroyed his family's wealth through his reckless gambling; their only hope is for their daughter Arabella to rescue their fortunes by marrying one of her three rich suitors. Arabella enjoys being taken on sleigh-rides on the Ringstrasse and out to dance at balls; but as she tells her sister (now named Zdenka, perhaps in tribute to the soprano Zdenka Fassbender) none of her suitors is der Richtige, "the right one," with whom there will be "no doubts and no questions."

Lisa della Casa as Arabella, with Anneliese Rothenberger as Zdenka (Munich, 1963, conducted by Josef Keilberth):

Aber der Richtige,
wenns einen gibt
für mich aus dieser Welt,
der will einmal dastehn,
da vor mir,
und wird mich anschaun
und ich ihn,
und keine Zweifel werden sein
und keine Fragen,
und selig werd ich sein
und gehorsam wie ein Kind.

ZDENKA (sie liebevoll ansehend)
Ich weiß nicht, wie du bist,
ich weiß nicht, ob du Recht hast—
dazu hab ich viel zu lieb!
Ich will nur, das du glücklich wirst
mit einem, ders vierdient!
und helfen will ich dir dazu.
(mehr für sich)
So hat die Prophetin es gesehn,
se ganz im Licht,
und ich hinab ins Dunkel.

ARABELLA (für sich)
Aber der Richtige,
wenns einen gibt
für mich aus dieser Welt. . .

ZDENKA (für sich)
Sie ist so schön und so lieb—
ich werde gehn,
und noch in Gehn
werd ich dich segnen,
meine Schwester!

But the right one,
if there is one
for me in this world,
will suddenly stand
there before me,
and he will gaze at me,
and I at him,
and there will be no doubts
and no questions
and I shall be as happy
and obedient as a child.

ZDENKA (looking at her lovingly)
I do not know your heart,
I don't know if you're right,
I love you too much to care!
I only want you to be happy
with one who is worthy of you!
And in this I want to help you.
(more to herself)
For that is what the fortune teller said,
She, bathed in light,
and I plunged in darkness.

ARABELLA (to herself)
But the right one,
if there is one
for me in this world. . .

ZDENKA (to herself)
She is so lovely and so loveable—
I’ll go away,
and still in parting
will I bless you,
my dear sister!

Zdenka, of course, is dressed as a young man, "Zdenko," and in that guise has been trying to act as a go-between with Arabella for Matteo, a poor young officer who is obsessed with her. Arabella is indifferent to Matteo, but Zdenka has fallen in love with him, and passionately pleads his case with her sister to no avail. To keep Matteo from killing himself in despair Zdenka has begun to write him love letters signed with Arabella's name.

Heidi Stober and Ellie Dehn in Act I of Arabella at SF Opera. Photo: Cory Weaver, San Francisco Opera

It is Shrove Tuesday, the last day of Carnival. That evening Arabella will attend the Coachman's Ball in the company of her suitors, and at the end of the night must choose one of them to marry or condemn her family to poverty and disgrace. But walking in the street that day she sees a man who looks at her with a thrilling intensity; she can't stop thinking about him.

It turns out that this stranger has been summoned to Vienna by Arabella's father. He sent her photograph to an old army friend in a last-ditch attempt to find her a suitable husband. The old friend has died, but his nephew Mandryka, smitten with Arabella's picture, has come to Vienna from his estates in Croatia in search of her.

At the Coachman's Ball Mandryka and Arabella finally meet. He declares his love; in him she recognizes "the right one," and accepts his proposal of marriage. However, doubt and questions soon follow. Arabella goes to dance a final dance with and bid farewell to each of her suitors. While she is in the ballroom Mandryka overhears "Zdenko" giving Matteo an envelope containing a key to Arabella's room. In a jealous fury Mandryka gets drunk and, when Arabella's father upbraids him, accuses her of betrayal. Everyone heads for the Waldner's hotel, where Mandryka encounters Matteo and Arabella together. . .

Ellie Dehn as Arabella is the center of attention at the Coachman's Ball in Act II. Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

Hofmannsthal was right to emphasize the lightness of Arabella—the plot requires a number of suspensions of disbelief. But Strauss, evidently moved by the themes of marital suspicion and forgiveness, produced one of his most passionately lyrical scores. In the first act there is the sisters' duet and Mandryka's aria of fervent yearning; in the second, the love duet between Arabella and Mandryka; and in the third, a touching reconciliation scene.

Brian Mulligan and Ellie Dehn in Act III of Arabella at SF Opera. Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

Seen in performance at San Francisco Opera on October 28, the musical glories of Arabella were almost overwhelmingly evident. Conductor Marc Albrecht savored but did not wallow in Strauss's lush melodies, and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra brought out all the detailed colors of the orchestration. It was almost as great a revelation as hearing Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne this summer.

Vocally this is an extremely demanding opera. It requires of both male and female singers not only beauty of tone, but the ability to float long-breathed high-lying phrases over a surging orchestra. As Arabella Ellie Dehn had a strikingly beautiful voice (if not always, perhaps, an ideally sustained legato) and an elegant demeanor; her performance, which emphasized Arabella's seriousness over her girlishness, gave greater emotional weight to her fateful choice. Her duet with the impassioned Zdenka of the pure-voiced soprano Heidi Stober in the first act was exquisite, and would have stopped the show had Albrecht permitted it. As Mandryka Brian Mulligan's voice glowed with burnished warmth; if later in the opera he seemed at moments to have tired somewhat (Mandryka is onstage for almost the entire second and third acts), he rose to the occasion of the reconciliation duet with soaring ardency.

Ellie Dehn as Arabella and Brian Mulligan as Mandryka in an excerpt of the Act II love duet from the San Francisco Opera production:

Where this performance was lacking was in the production. Director Tim Albery's blocking was sometimes puzzling, and missed several opportunities suggested by the libretto. He also updated the time of the action from the 1860s to 1910, but apart from the lovely gowns it gave Dehn the opportunity to wear, it wasn't clear why. There was no sense that the opera was taking place just a few years before the cataclysmic destruction of World War I, or at a time of intense cultural and political ferment in Vienna. The Rosenkavalier we saw at Glyndebourne also updated the action to the same period, and made far too much of a point of referencing contemporary figures such as Sigmund Freud and the painters Gustav Klimt and Ernst Kirchner. But something in between these two approaches might have worked. In addition to the costumes, the decor could have been another place to nod to fin-de-siècle Viennese design. Tobias Hoheisel's drab three-piece set, though, lacked either a sense of aristocratic opulence or of modernist experimentation. It just looked cheap.

Brian Mulligan's Mandryka confronts Daniel Johansson's Matteo in Act III. Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

There is another aspect of Arabella that perhaps could not have been alluded to without overdetermining our responses. The opera had its première on 1 July 1933 in Dresden just a few months after the Reichstag fire had enabled Hitler to consolidate Nazi power. (Hofmannsthal and Strauss had been working on the opera, of course, since 1927.) Through no fault of its creators, in these circumstances an opera looking back nostalgically to the days of Imperial Vienna might be seen at best as willfully oblivious and at worst as passively complicit. (Strauss's later cooperation with the Nazi regime, in part to protect his Jewish daughter-in-law, might further tilt the perception of some viewers towards the "passively complicit" end of the scale.) This context is mentioned in Larry Rothe's and Paul Thomason's program essays.

As if that isn't enough, there is more darkness hovering over this "light" opera: Arabella was to be the last collaboration between Hofmannsthal and Strauss. In July 1929 Hofmannsthal's son Franz committed suicide; two days later as Hofmannsthal was setting out for the funeral he suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage. We can't know what Strauss and Hofmannsthal might have gone on to create, but we can be grateful for the six operas they did complete together. For me first among them will always be Der Rosenkavalier, but the sheer loveliness of Arabella will always have its own special appeal.

Many thanks to Matthew Shilvock, General Director of San Francisco Opera, for programming this underperformed work. The final performance of Arabella takes place on November 3.

  1. A Working Friendship: The correspondence between Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, translated by Hanns Hammelmann and Ewald Osers, Random House, 1961, p. 442.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Angela Carter's fiction: The Magic Toyshop

A continuation of my series on Angela Carter's fiction.

Cover of the American Dell paperback issue of The Magic Toyshop. And no, Carter's novel has nothing to do with Rosemary's Baby.

Like a Victorian toy theater, The Magic Toyshop (1967) displays many of Carter's recurrent themes in exquisite miniature. Melanie, orphaned at 15, is sent to live in South London with her domineering Uncle Philip, his mute wife Margaret, and Margaret's brothers Francie and Finn. Melanie's first experience of Uncle Philip's house elicits a telling comparison: "She felt lonely and chilled, walking along the long, brown passages, past secret doors, shut tight. Bluebeard's castle." [1]

Uncle Philip creates extraordinarily clever (but also eerily uncanny, grotesque and macabre) toys that are not intended to bring joy to children. When he discovers Melanie exploring the toyshop, he tells her to "put those things away, miss. I don't like people playing with my toys." [2]

In his miniature theater in the basement (um, symbolizing the unconscious?) Uncle Philip likes to stage perverse mini-dramas featuring life-size marionettes. He compels Melanie to perform in "Leda and the Swan"—and as if that isn't creepy enough, the swan is disturbingly Uncle-Philip-shaped. As Finn says after he later destroys the swan-puppet, "He put himself into it. That's why it had to go." [3]

Still from the 1987 film version of The Magic Toyshop. Caroline Milmoe as Melanie playing Leda.

Melanie is repelled by Uncle Philip and finds herself drawn to Aunt Margaret ("'it came to her on her wedding day, like a curse. Her silence.'" [4]) and her brothers, especially Finn:
The curl of his wrist was a chord of music, perfect, resolved. Melanie suddenly found it difficult to breathe.

It was as if he had put on the quality of maleness like a flamboyant cloak. He was a tawny lion poised for the kill—and was she the prey? She remembered the lover made up out of books and poems she had dreamed of all summer; he crumpled up like the paper he was made of before this insolent, off-hand, terrifying maleness, filling the room with its reek. She hated it. But she could not take her eyes off him. [5]
The tensions that have been building in the house soon come to a head, and a conflagration (both metaphorical and literal) erupts.

The Magic Toyshop is full of pre-echoes of The Bloody Chamber (the "Bluebeard" and "Beauty and the Beast" references), Nights At The Circus (an orphaned young girl dependent on the exploitative kindness of strangers), and Wise Children (the patent falsity and psychological truth of theater, incest both symbolic and actual, and the catastrophic but cleansing fire that obliterates what has gone before). There are more of would become her characteristic images and motifs: twins, trains, flowers (Uncle Philip's ironic last name), mirrors, opera, adolescence and sexual initiation, among many others.

'She. . .inspected herself in the long mirror. . .Moonlight, white satin, roses. A bride. Whose bride? But she was, tonight, sufficient for herself in her own glory and did not need a groom.' [6] Caroline Milmoe as Melanie in the film version of The Magic Toyshop.

In his biography of Carter, Edmund Gordon describes his encounter with The Magic Toyshop, his first experience of her writing:
. . .I tore through the novel in a few intoxicated hours, stunned by the fearless quality of the imagination on display and by the luminous beauty of the prose. [7]
I had a similar experience on my first reading of The Magic Toyshop, and my re-reading has confirmed it, in my view, as one of Carter's masterpieces (the other being The Bloody Chamber).

The Magic Toyshop was adapted into an excellent feature film in 1987 produced by Granada Television, directed by David Wheatley and written by Angela Carter. Angela Carter currently seems to be having a moment, with recent radio and stage adaptations of Nights at the Circus and Wise Children. Can someone please restore this film and reissue it on DVD or make it available to stream? (Yes, Criterion Collection, I'm talking to you.)

Other works discussed in the series:  

  1. Angela Carter,  The Magic Toyshop, Heinemann, 1967, p. 82.
  2. Carter, The Magic Toyshop, p. 86.
  3. Carter, The Magic Toyshop, p. 174.
  4. Carter, The Magic Toyshop, p. 37.
  5. Carter, The Magic Toyshop, p. 45.
  6. Carter, The Magic Toyshop, p. 16.
  7. Edmund Gordon, The Invention of Angela Carter, Oxford, 2017, p. 417.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Angela Carter's fiction: The Bloody Chamber

A continuation of my series on Angela Carter's fiction.

The Bloody Chamber (1979): Carter's development of the Rossinian narrative voice she employed in Wise Children seems to have originated in the story "Puss-in-Boots," which was among the last stories she wrote for her collection of re-imagined fairy tales, The Bloody Chamber. In that story Puss-in-Boots helps his master (known only as Master) woo and bed a beautiful young woman who is held virtual prisoner by her miserly, impotent, elderly husband. Yes, we are firmly in opera buffa or commedia dell'arte territory; to underline the point the lady's husband is named Signor Panteleone (Pantalone is a stock commedia character).

The ribald tone of this story at first seems out of place in this collection based on dark fairy tales such as "Bluebeard," "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Beauty and the Beast." But there is darkness in Carter's "Puss-in-Boots" as well: the cat does not just outwit the aged Signor Panteleone but contrives his violent demise, freeing his young widow to marry the handsome young Master. Carter's fierce Puss is perhaps inspired by the illustrations of Perrault's tale by Gustave Doré:

In the remaining stories in The Bloody Chamber Carter's language is lushly evocative and creates a looming sense of dread and the uncanny that is often tied to sexuality. Here is the narrator of the title story lying in her bridal chamber after the wedding night:
. . .the last thing I remembered, before I slept, was the tall jar of lilies beside the bed, how the thick glass distorted their fat stems so they looked like arms, dismembered arms, drifting drowned in greenish water. [1]
It's a vision of horror that will prove all too prescient when she discovers the fates of her husband's previous wives.

But these stories often have endings that diverge from those of the tales on which they are based, and make us view their heroines in a different light. What if Little Red Riding Hood, unafraid and eager, climbed into bed with the wolf? Or Beauty, instead of transforming the Beast into a man through her love, embraced her own animal nature? The stories in The Bloody Chamber are beautifully written and strikingly imaginative; you will never think of fairy tales in quite the same way again.

The story "The Company of Wolves" from The Bloody Chamber was adapted into an outstanding feature film in 1984 produced by the Independent Television Channel (ITC), directed by Neil Jordan and co-written by Jordan and Angela Carter.

Next time: The Magic Toyshop
Last time: Wise Children

  1. Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber and other adult tales, Harper & Row, 1979, p. 22.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Angela Carter's fiction: Wise Children

A continuation of my series on Angela Carter's fiction.

The Dolly Sisters on the cover of the  first British edition of Wise Children

Wise Children (1991), Angela Carter's final novel, takes the working-class ventriloquism of Nights at the Circus and sustains it more consistently and entertainingly. Perhaps recognizing that the most enjoyable sections of her previous novel were the parts in which Fevvers recounted her life story, Carter wrote Wise Children entirely in the first-person voice of music-hall performer Dora Chance.

Raised by a woman they think of as their grandmother, Dora and her twin sister Nora are destined for the stage from an early age. Their career as the Lucky Chances (loosely based on the real-life vaudeville stars the Dolly Sisters) spans eight decades of popular entertainment, from pantomime and music hall to movies (a Hollywood version of A Midsummer Night's Dream that bears a close resemblance to Max Reinhardt's 1935 Warner Brothers production), the West End (a Shakespearean revue variously entitled What You Will, What? You Will? or What! You  Will!), and finally burlesque. Television also makes an appearance in the person of game-show host Tristram Hazard, who is either the cousin or half-brother of the Chance twins.

Still from Max Reinhardt's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

As the uncertain relationships among the characters imply, as well as the names "Chance" and "Hazard" (one of whose meanings is "chance"), the wise (or otherwise) children in this novel do not know their own fathers. The chief perpetrators of this ambiguity are the Shakespearean actor Melchior Hazard and his twin brother Peregrine, who between them beget three pairs of twins on Melchior's various wives and lovers.

The novel is organized around a series of celebrations that quickly descend into disaster, as revelations, resentments and jealousies erupt. There's a catastrophic Twelfth Night party which ends with Melchior's country manor, Lynde Court, burning to the ground; a calamitous 21st birthday party for Saskia and Imogen, the twin daughters of Melchior (or is it Peregrine?), which ends with the birthday girls smashing everything in sight when Melchior announces his remarriage to a woman no older than they are; and an ill-starred Hollywood triple wedding, which ends with the mother of Nora's groom dumping a vat of tomato sauce over the bride's head ("What? Her son marry a born-again virgin? Not good enough for Little Italy!" [1]).

The Dolly Sisters

So when Dora and Nora crash Melchior's hundredth birthday party in the company of his long-ago discarded first wife, we know that chaos is about to ensue (another meaning of "hazard," of course, is "danger"). As it does, but by this time the impending debacle has become a bit too predictable.

Wise Children is breezy reading, and bursts with Shakespeare, opera, literary and pop-cultural references. There are characters who bear strong resemblances to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mickey Rooney, Jack L. Warner, and John Christie, the founder of the opera festival at Glyndebourne (to which Lynde Court bears more than a passing resemblance [2]). And Dora's narrative voice is delightful, even if in the dark it would be impossible to tell her apart from Fevvers.

So it seems perverse to complain that the novel is too enjoyable, but somehow that's my feeling. I was a bit surprised to learn from Gordon's biography of Carter that I'm not the only person to feel this way; both Victoria Glendinning and Harriet Waugh "agreed that the hilarity came at the expense of emotional depth." [3] Wise Children is like a relentless Rossini farce instead of a mature Mozart opera. I have to say that while I can enjoy The Barber of Seville I much prefer The Marriage of Figaro, which reveals "the shadows of human sadness cast by the sunlight of comedy." [4] Your reaction may vary.

Wise Children has been adapted into a play by Emma Rice, which premiered at the Old Vic, London, in October 2018: https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2018/wise-children

Next time: The Bloody Chamber
Last time: Nights at the Circus 

  1. Angela Carter, Wise Children, Chatto & Windus, 1991, p. 161.
  2. Just so I'm not accused of seeing Glyndebourne references where they don't exist, Carter regularly attended the Festival Opera in the 1970s and 1980s. 
  3. Edmund Gordon, The Invention of Angela Carter, Oxford University Press, 2017, p. 405.
  4. Spike Hughes in Glyndebourne: A History of the Festival Opera, Second edition, David & Charles, 1981, p. 259.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Angela Carter's fiction: Nights at the Circus

Angela Carter

When I consider my favorite fiction writers, some are on the list because of the consistent pleasure they afford. Others earn their place for one or two works towards which I feel a special affinity. [1]

For me Angela Carter is in the second category, for the collection of re-imagined fairy tales The Bloody Chamber (1979) and her dreamlike second novel The Magic Toyshop (1967). It had been many years since I last read them, but Edmund Gordon's recent biography The Invention of Angela Carter (2017) inspired me to read them again, along with two books I had found disappointing when they were first issued, Nights at the Circus (1984) and Wise Children (1991).

Of course there's a risk in revisiting the work of favorite writers. While there are novels that only grow richer with re-reading, for others we may discover that aspects of the work we once felt were powerfully engaging and original can seem less so after the passage of time. As our taste evolves, our discernment develops and we ourselves change, once-favorite works can appear diminished, at least in comparison to our fond memories and associations. So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I approached this project.

As it turned out, I needn't have worried. What follows in this and the three subsequent posts are some of my thoughts about each of these four books, in the order in which I re-read them.

Nights at the Circus is the story of Fevvers, a circus aerialist at the turn of the twentieth century. In the first part of the book she tells her life story to Jack Walser, an American journalist. Against his better (or at least more rational) judgment Walser is charmed by Fevvers and winds up joining her circus in order to write about it from the inside. (The name "Jack Walser" seems to pay simultaneous homage to Jack London and to the Swiss writer Robert Walser, who among other parallels with the character also learned a highly ritualized profession—butlering—in order to write about it.)

It's not only Fevvers' name that's unusual. That name is an approximation of the Cockney pronunciation of "feathers," because (in her telling) as a foundling infant she bore a "little bit of down, of yellow fluff, on my back, on top of both my shoulder blades," which burst forth as full-fledged wings when she turned fourteen. [2]

The emergence of Fevvers' wings at puberty and her heart-pounding attempts to learn to fly are brilliant metaphors for the disturbing transformations and beckoning freedoms of adolescence. Fevvers tells Walser, "I suffered the greatest conceivable terror of the irreparable difference with which success in the attempt [to fly] would mark me. . .I feared the proof of my own singularity." Carter's conceit perfectly captures the teenaged anxiety of feeling utterly unique and at the same time yearning to belong. [3]

The metaphor's richness continues into Fevvers' adulthood: she tells Jack that to make a living as a performer (rather than as a sideshow attraction) she has to pretend to be a fake. She embodies the predicament of women who, in order to make their way in the world, find they must conceal their true powers and conform to confining (male) expectations. This is all made even more complicated by a hint in the final pages that Fevvers' wings may be fake after all. If so, she is pretending to pretend not to have powers that she really doesn't have.  (All performers are fakes, Carter suggests, and that's part of their appeal.)

Nights at the Circus may be a parable about the constricting roles forced on women, but the circus setting also provides Carter with plentiful opportunities to spin rollicking yarns. We witness the triumphs and disasters that occur both in performance and backstage and meet a menagerie of other performers, both animal and human. These include a cowardly strong man, a clown whose act careens into drunken murderous rage, dancing tigers tamed by the sound of music (but who occasionally break free and wreak havoc), a clan of rival aerialists who sabotage Fevvers' trapeze, and a fortune-telling pig.

But when in the final section of the novel the circus train derails in the snowfields of Siberia, the narrative also seems to go off track. Carter introduces new characters but fails to fully develop their stories, and at the same time she seems to lose interest in some of her extensive cast. Compared to the headlong momentum of the first two parts of the book, the last third feels static and ultimately anticlimactic.

There's also a strange shift in voice. For the first two parts of the novel the story is told in the third person, largely from Walser's point of view. In the last part some paragraphs abruptly shift into the first-person thoughts of Fevvers, but they are rendered in an utterly different voice than that of the Cockney raconteuse of the earlier part of the novel. If Carter is intending to remind us that performers are always on stage even in the presence of an audience of one, it's a point that by now surely has been made. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that this novel, Carter's longest, could have used some significant revision in the last section.

In the final pages of Nights at the Circus two of the stranded performers, the singer Mignon and her lover, the tiger-taming pianist Princess, meet a marooned music teacher, the Maestro. "'It's as though he found his long-lost daughter,' said Lizzie [Fevver's loyal dresser]. 'As at the end of one of Shakespeare's late comedies. Only he's found two daughters. A happy ending, squared.'" This passage, with its reference to doubles, reunions, and Shakespeare's comedies, seems as though it may have been the moment of gestation of Carter's next novel, Wise Children. [4]

Nights at the Circus has been adapted into a BBC Radio 4 drama, first performed in September 2018: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bkqcqh 

Next time: Wise Children

  1. In the first category are writers such as Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis and Anthony Trollope; in the second, writers such as Felipe Alfau (for Locos), Daphne du Maurier (for Rebecca), George Eliot (for Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda) and Philippe Soupault (for Last Nights of Paris
  2. Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus, Chatto & Windus, 1984, p. 12. 
  3. Carter, Nights at the Circus, p. 34.
  4. Carter, Nights at the Circus, p. 272.