The Greater Infortune and The Connecting Door were both originally published as halves of a pair, and both released in the early 1960s as author Rayner Heppenstall turned fifty. The Greater Infortune is a revision of his Saturnine, first issued in 1943. They represent Heppenstall’s engagement with two literary genres, one quite archaic and quintessentially British; the other aggressively modern and French. For The Greater Infortune his guiding principle was that film had assumed the nineteenth-century novel’s exteriorised narrative function and that literary prose “would do well to become more lyrical, more inward.” The Connecting Door is Heppenstall’s attempt at a British answer to the nouveau roman or ‘anti-novel’, challenging readers to disentangle three simultaneous planes of time, to work out which characters exist in the present-day reality and which as the central figure’s memories, with incongruous and disorienting signifiers throwing the temporal sequence into constant doubt. These two works represent his beguiling prose and tussle with form at its peak. Introduction by Juliet Jacques.
“You have only to read a novel that interweaves past and present clumsily to appreciate Mr. Heppenstall’s deftness. He has an eye so sharp it dazzles and sometimes hurts.” — Isabel Quigley, The Guardian
“Mr Heppenstall’s rapid, nervous storytelling makes most other novelists look like crawling removal vans.” — V.S. Pritchett
Release Date: Sep 2 2015. Available from all booksellers and usual online retailers. ISBN: 9789810967611.
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