I feel the urge to sort out the feelings that overwhelm me after, for once, reading a book - however futile such an attempt is destined to prove. For a while it has deprived me of some meals and proper hydration, thrilled and intrigued, as if it was a days-long suspense masterpiece movie that absorbs both eyes and mind alike. Time and again, right on the brink of apparent understanding of the actual meaning, the motives and the reasons, there was a twist, and what seemed to build up into a logical and clear picture just a while ago became a first step of yet another ladder to yet another promise, to another explanation - for the new unexplainable that has just happened.
And yet, besides this outstanding entertaining quality, there's something else that made my mood and heart respond. It is the earnest aim to display the true nature of feelings. The very essence of love and fidelity. Shockingly fierce experiences of people barring practically any resemblance with whatsoever in my bringing up, background or mindset suddenly reflected my own utmost feelings, hopes and uncertainties. Encouraged to exploit and exercize the last bit of them, dive into pursuit of their meaning, until no fear, remorse or doubt cast shadow any longer.
And in the end of it I find myself, surprisingly, feeling same as Nicholas feels towards Maurice. Despite the eagerness to seize every hidden meaning, to unscrew and disassemble the meticulous creation, see all its parts, realize its design and possess its secret. Just as with the plot itself, the presence of the splendid fabrication is more important than being able to unleash the strings that control its magic. After the cascade of bewildering states, which the book imposed on me - I was, as one of John Fawles' devoted readers has nimbly stressed, "haunted, obsessed, confused, and horrified" - all that is left is mere gratitude. For being a spectator of the masterful godgame. For having all those thoughts aroused, assessed, confirmed.
Hat's off to the great magician.
Grand gestures are splendid - if you can afford them.
Love may really be more a capacity for love in oneself than anything very lovable in the other person.
It took me only five years to discover what some rich people never discover — that we all have a certain capacity for happiness and unhappiness. And that the economic hazards of life do not seriously affect it.
If Maurice were here he would tell you that sex is perhaps a greater, but in no way a different, pleasure from any other. He would tell you that it is only one part — and not the essential part — in the relationship we call love. He would tell you that the essential part is truth, the trust two people build between their minds. Their souls. What you will. That the real infidelity is the one that hides the sexual infidelity. Because the one thing that must never come between two people who have offered each other love is a lie.
John Fowles, 1965