By Penelope Lively
Booker Prize–winning novelist Penelope Lively’s most recent masterpiece opens with a photograph: Kath, earlier than her loss of life, at an unknown collecting, keeping fingers with a guy who's now not her husband. The picture is in an envelope marked “DON’T OPEN— DESTROY.” yet Kath’s husband doesn't heed the caution, embarking on a trip of discovery that finds a good internet of secrets—within marriages, among sisters, and on the middle of an affair. Kath, together with her enthralling seems and informal methods, strikes like a ghost during the stories of each person who knew her— and a portrait emerges of a lady whose existence can't be understood with no plumbing the emotional depths of the folks she touched.
Propelled by way of the author’s signature mastery of narrative and psychology, The Photograph is vigorous at her absolute best, the astonishing climax to all she has written earlier than.
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As García Düttman writes of Agamben’s reading of Benjamin’s integral actuality, the idea of prose evades either “poetic singularity” 26 or “philosophic generality” in order to present “the thing no longer separated from its intelligibility . ” The world of integral actuality establishes a “between” that is no longer oriented to “two extremes” but rather “exceeds what it simultaneously separates and brings together . ” However, one cannot “persist within pure possibility” since one would no longer be hesitating before its fulfillment.
For Levinas, however, we can only know of our death, of our finitude, in experiencing the deaths of others. ”79 For Nancy, the experience of Bataillean sovereignty is an “abandonment” of being to what is outside itself. ”83 Heidegger’s “authentic being” and organic community is rejected as a being-toward (or working toward) subject to the future; instead, where community denotes only a limit that is interrupted as soon as it is reached, it is “unworked” (désouvrée). Anything one might offer as a “work,” whether it is a people, a nation, or a work of art, is “abandoned” at this limit, its proposal of exemplarity withdrawn.
106 Agamben, Coming Community, 35. 107 Agamben, Coming Community, 2. 108 Nancy, Inoperative Community, 60. 109 Nabokov, Ada, 587. Emphasis in original. 110 Nabokov, Lolita, 13. 111 Nabokov, Ada, 536. 112 Nabokov, Ada, 18. 113 Nabokov, Ada, 18. 114 Nabokov, Ada, 536. 115 Nabokov, Strong Opinions, 156. 116 Nabokov, Ada, 550. 117 Bataille, Accursed Share, 220. 118 Nabokov, Ada, 536. 119 Nabokov, Strong Opinions, 69. 120 Bataille, Accursed Share, 210. 121 Nabokov, Ada, 219-220. 122 Nabokov, Ada, 556.