Monday, February 02, 2015

Virginia Woolf, meet John Dortmunder

As the snow blows and blows outside, making me glad to have stacks of unread books surrounding me, let's take one last dip into Hermione Lee's Virginia Woolf before I leave it behind. In an undated, unpublished manuscript, Woolf described watching police cars chase a thief in the Tottenham Court Road, then reflected:
What does it feel like to be chasing a criminal? What does he say about it when he gets home and takes off his heavy boots and jacket? In all modern fiction there is not account of this that convinces one that the writer knows.
Well, if Westlake's Dortmunder is any guide, what he does when he gets home is goes to the fridge and gets a beer, Then, when May asks what went wrong, he says, "I don't want to talk about it, May." Then Andy Kelp tells her. At length.

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