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Sex and Genius

by Conrad Williams

I disliked Michael intensely. Everything he did led to disaster and pain for others but he continued to drift on regardless. The story was intriguing and asked a lot of questions about art and its exploitation. What I will remember most vividly are the descriptions of places and people and feelings.

Extract

Light gilded the branches. Sun warmed the dusty earth. Nothing stirred except the fluctuating dapple on the temple's fluted columns and the trail of smoke in the valley. He relinquished himself to a slow joy, a depthless relaxation. The garden was immeasurably suggestive. It opened one up, salved the eye. Every vista stirred imagination; and as one lingered beneath the cedars or by the speckled beds of the rose garden one felt the pang of one's pure self, the soul's emotion.

Parallels

The Aspern Papers by Henry James
The Magus by John Fowles
  • Delius: Song of Summer - the TV film
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