Inkwell Reader’s Group third meeting was heralded with a blast of sunshine meaning that we could sit outside and peruse the beguiling work that is Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. Well peruse most of it at least, as some had yet to reach the novel’s denouement which poised an interesting discussion.
For a novel that is about the influence of person whose ending was not quite known, it was interesting to talk about the book without the ending not quite known to some. Indeed, for a novel written in 1938, it was encased in a structure that was by then, outmoded for its time as the modernists began experimenting with new forms. The narrator herself though is caught within a structure that is imposing, rigid and if not dehumanising, defeminising, married to the parental Maximillian De Winter. If that famous first line is anything to go by though – “last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” – Du Maurier serves up a very illuminating experience. ‘Painterly’ was used to describe the images Du Maurier creates and the cliché “paints a picture” held true here.
Appropriately, Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation from 1940 was broadcast on Talking Pictures TV after the meeting. This will give apt discussion for when we meet again to briefly discuss the ending, and our next book, Julian Barnes’ The Noise of Time.
Julian Barnes – The Noise of Time (192pp: Jonathan Cape): Barnes’ fictionalised account of the composer Shostakovich, and the perils with a Stalinist administration.
16th June 11am.