• Current Reads

      Life after Life Jill McCorkle
      This Is Your Captain Speaking Jon Methven
      The Starboard Sea Amber Dermont
      Snark David Denby
      Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
  • Popular Tags

  • Recent Reflections

  • Categories

  • Moleskine’s All-Time Favorites

  • Echoes

    The HKIA brings Hong… on [788] Island and Peninsula 島與半…
    Adamos on The Master and Margarita:…
    sumithra MAE on D.H. Lawrence’s Why the…
    To Kill a Mockingbir… on [35] To Kill A Mockingbird…
    Deanna Friel on [841] The Price of Salt (Carol…
    Minnie on [367] The Rouge of the North 怨…
  • Reminiscences

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,081,327 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,710 other followers

[14] The Folding Star – Alan Hollinghurst

The Folding Star tells the story of Edward Manners, a sentimentally detached man who leaves England to earn his living as a private language tutor in a Flemish city. The exquisite prose of this 1994 release delineates a man’s aching melancholy and longing for love despite his odd sexual economy during the few years prior to his arrival in Belgium. Therefore, unlike the most recent, highly-acclaimed The Line of Beauty, the novel affords a plot no more than Edward Manners’s hypnotic fantasy of one of his young pupils. The 33-year-old seems to be at the emotional crossroad: he often smiles at his own sense of anticipation, of being poised for change, and is ready to fall in love. But he is not used to spending so much time with one person that he thinks of a committed relationship dreads him.

It might be love at first sight that no sooner has he met Luc than he takes an intimate fancy of him. The adoration quickly becomes a morbid infatuation that manifests into a pepperoni type of spying on the boy during his weekend excursion. He has no doubt driven Edward mad at times – he feels empty and is aching for him. The boy has affected everything Edward does to the point that he suffers without feeling afflicted. The stream of consciousness reflects Manners’s despair over the unfulfilled love and the thumping of the heart. He can only console himself with other affairs to which no sentiment constitutes, other than the minimal trust of two people pleasuring themselves together, without much grasp of friendship or understanding.

The Folding Star is about the unrequited love that leaves a man constantly longing, without the prospect of ever finding love. The mixed feelings of anxious longing and fear of commitment constitute a poignant air that hovers over the novel. It delivers the message that the course of true love never runs straight. The reading reminds one of the similar sentimental nuances Henry James experiences in Colm Toibin’s THE MASTER. While Henry James consciously makes it a habit to keep his affection at bay and secretly longs for the intimate companion of a man, Edward Manners always finds himself marveling at how his sudden burst of feeling has wrongfooted him. Both engage in a somnambulist journey to find love. The former lives in such vessel of loneliness and independence – in a social sphere that is pinned and stifled with rules. The latter leaves his home to escape the same constraints only to find himself trapped by his emotions. That his sex life has well petered out before he comes to Belgium is the impediment to his surrender to commitment.

The Folding Star is a stoic tale about the quest for love. Edward Manners lives among many gay men not only in the regard of the longing for a relationship but also in the sense of the nervousness, excitement, sensuality, and anxiety. One may think of the novel being made up of snapshots all these contradicting emotions that roam back and forth the character. It exquisitely depicts the nuances of affection, the anticipation for intimacy, and the desire of fulfillment of unconditional needs. Hollinghurst renders with artistry and haunting precision love’s merging of language and lust.

One Response

  1. Your blog is very well put together! If you get a chance and think you might be interested please look at my site hypnosis facts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: