Archive for March 13th, 2020

13
Mar
20

3.13.20 … “How sensible. People are desperate to probe mysteries which for the most part are best left unprobed. It is the modern curse: this demented drive to explain every blessed thing. Not everything can be explained. Nor should be, I think.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (18/40), “The Cleaner of Chartres” by Salley Vickers:

Last year, I read Salley Vickers “The Cleaner of Chartres”, and I’m rereading it now.

In the book the central character Agnès Morel, a savant in many ways, comments on the labyrinth which she is tasked with cleaning. When Agnès observes the famous labyrinth on the floor of the cathedral: “It was clever,” she reflected, “the cross, being composed not of the stones that made the path, but of those that marked its absence.”

“The Abbe Paul looked at Agnes rather as Alain had, with respect. ‘How sensible. People are desperate to probe mysteries which for the most part are best left unprobed. It is the modern curse: this demented drive to explain every blessed thing. Not everything can be explained. Nor should be, I think.”

― Salley Vickers, The Cleaner of Chartres

When I read it the first time, I felt like the labyrinth was a character. This reviewer felt it revealed plot and structure:

It’s all a bit much for Ms. Vickers’ character to bear on her slight shoulders. Agnes’ obsession with a photograph of a labyrinth she encounters in childhood leads her to the site of the actual labyrinth in Chartres and informs the structure of this novel. The Cleaner of Chartres is told in a twisting manner, jumping from the past to the present in ever narrowing, looping passages until they meet at the apex of the story.

Source: https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/cleaner-chartres-

Salley Vickers is a very interesting writer and an interesting person as well. She has written

1. Miss Garnet’s Angel

2. Instances of the Number 3

3. Mr Golightly’s Holiday. 2003

4. The Other Side of You. 2006

5. Where Three Roads Meet. (part of the Canongate Myth Series) 2007

6. Dancing Backwards 2009

7. Aphrodite’s Hat, The Collected Stories of Salley Vickers 2010

8. The Cleaner of Chartres 2012

9. Cousins 2016

10. The Librarian 2018

And here is a really interesting interview: Salley Vickers’ Confessions – Faith, fiction and A Christmas Carol, https://youtu.be/gmA5Vq0oyeA

3.13.20




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