The Limits of Vision

Robert Irwin, Author Viking Books $12.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-670-80797-0
If a world can be seen in a grain of sand, then surely phobia can be found in a handful of dust, or so contends obsessed British housewife Marcia, as she does endless battle with dandruff, the carapaces of roaches, grease, rust, grit, the whole panoply of household detritus. Terrorized by the imminent arrival of her coffee-morning ladies, she vacuums the carpet, only to be bested by the spirit Mucor, whose Latin name embodies all elements of slime and grime and who tries to entice her into the kingdom of filth over which he rules. To avoid him she enters the dazzling cleanliness of the Pieter de Hooch canvas hanging on her wall, invoking de Hooch and a raft of other geniusesDarwin, Teilhard de Chardin, Leonardo, Blake, Dostoyevski, even Jesusto assist her. The coffee-morning ladies arrive; she half-listens to their prattle while impatiently waiting for them to leave so she can attack the dishes they have dirtied. Soon her husband, whom she suspects of having an affair with one of the ladies, will come home; how can she defeat Mucor before that moment? The solution is in perfect harmony with this astonishing work of imagination and erudition by a former professor of medieval history. (August 4)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1986
Release date: 08/01/1986
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-14-008886-1
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