Revelation Hunger (After Charles Baxter)


Southerly

by Rebecca Giggs

How then, she had asked herself, did one know one thing or another thing about people, sealed as they were? Only like a bee, drawn by some sweetness or sharpness in the air intangible to touch or taste, one haunted the dome-shaped hive, … the hives, which were people.

—Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927).

The cloche comes off. The veil drops. A dawning recognition. Bingo. In our age of multi-track information — when official narratives are profligately revised, and zealous fact-checkers snowball inexhaustible detail online — is it any wonder this device, the literary ‘revelation,’ has accrued a powerful voltage? Irreversible swerve in the mind, a revelation. Privately undergone. I’m talking here specifically of the self-reveal; that moment when a mysterious motivation or behaviour clarifies within. The hinge of so many HBO series, reality television and novels equally. Think: Tony Soprano’s gabagool epiphany. Think:…

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