Saturday, March 28, 2015

Marius as Heathcliff?

Bad to the Bone
Google Books

I'm glad I'm not the only reader to see that Howard Jacobson was channeling Emily Brontë in his novel The Act of Love through his depiction of Marius as Heathcliff, though not in each and every respect, of course, but the resemblance is definitely there in Marius's dark good looks, rough roguish manners, and corruscating intellectual brilliance:
Marius is Much Wenlock's answer to Heathcliff, brooding and muscular. (Tim Adams, "Take my wife . . . and I wish somebody would," The Guardian, October 5, 2008)
Not that we had no assistance from Jacobson himself, for he 'hints' as much on page 41: "the Heathcliff-if-all-else-perishes rocky-eternity beneath you."

The book is morbidly fascinating and forces its readers into assuming the perversely voyeuristic perspective of the first-person narrator, Felix Quinn, manipulator par excellence who somehow brings his wife and Marius into an affair that appears headed toward disaster for all.

I say appears because I've finished all but ten percent of the novel and have yet to see how things end . . .

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