Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Chew a raw elephant
This is how a female character is described in Simon Raven's Fielding Gray: 'Angela. A real dish, breasts prominent but not outrageous, teeth sound enough to chew a raw elephant.' The protagonist, who sees Angela thus, is at public school, so the gaucheness might be excusable. Or maybe not. Fielding has an affair with a fellow schoolboy, who is later arrested for cottaging and kills himself. Fielding's father dies 'straining in Angela's vampire embrace.' Sex, for Raven, is fucked-up. It's all gnashing and intense and dripping with a kind of transferred self-pity that is rather unpleasant to read about. I don't recommend it.