What does the novel know? It has no practical or educational aim; yet it knows what ordinary knowledge cannot seize. The novel’s intricate tangle of character-and-incident alights on the senses with a hundred cobwebby knowings fanning their tiny threads, stirring up nuances and disclosures. The arcane designs and driftings of metaphor – what James called...
Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes.
Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream, And scenes of bliss pass as a phantom by?—“On death
And in a mad tranceStrike with our spirit’s knifeInvulnerable nothingsWe decayLike corpses in a charnelFear & GriefConvulse is & consume usDay by dayAnd cold hopes swarmLike worms withinOur living clay