Getting back to the content of the novel itself, as usual I flagged a number of passages as I was reading it. The page numbers are from the US hardback edition and may not match what Lale and Guillermo were reading:
p. 36: "Adrian paused. He took a sip of beer, and then said with sudden vehemence, 'I hate the way the English have of not being serious about being serious, I really hate it.' In another mood, I might have taken this as a strike against the three of us. Instead I felt a throb of vindication." (italics in original)
This comes after Tony introduces Veronica to his friends. Adrian's statement seems to come out of the blue, and I'm not sure I understand the narrator's reaction. As a generalization I suppose it's true, but admittedly my knowledge of English manners is based entirely on movies and TV. I've never had more than a passing conversation with someone from England.
p. 43: "If you'll excuse a brief history lesson: most people didn't experience 'the sixties' until the seventies. Which meant, logically, that most people in the sixties were still experiencing the fifties...'"
This is very true. I don't know how many times I've explained to younger people that most of what they think reflects the 60s is actually from the early 70s.
p. 48: "...mental states can be inferred from actions. That's in history--Henry VIII and all that. Whereas in private life, I think the converse is true: that you can infer past actions from current mental states."
Interesting but probably too oversimplified to be useful.
Same page: "You might think this is rubbish--preach self-justificatory rubbish. You might think that I behaved towards Veronica like a typical callow male, and that all my 'conclusions' are reversible. For instance, 'After we broke up, she slept with me' flips easily into 'After she slept with me, I broke up with her.' You might also decide that the Fords were a normal middle-class English family on whom I was chippily foisting bogus theories of damage; and that Mrs. Ford, instead of being tactfully concerned on my behalf, was displaying an indecent jealousy of her own daughter. You might even ask me to apply my 'theory' to myself and explain what damage I had suffered a long way back and what its consequences might be: for instance, how might it affect my reliability and truthfulness."
Well, the author is obviously waving a flag saying "Unreliable narrator." This begs the question, Is what we learn in the end the final answer? Is Tony lying to us about not having slept with Mrs. Ford? Is he really the father? Did Adrian suspect this? Is that why Tony is in the equation? Is that what Veronica suspects and why Sarah willed the diary to Tony?
p. 113: "Perhaps character resembles intelligence, except that character peaks a little later: between twenty and thirty, say. And after that, we're just stuck with what we've got."
Another gross oversimplification, but perhaps some truth to it. Scrooge wouldn't agree with this, though.
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