Aiding and Abetting (novel)
infobox Book |
name = Aiding and Abetting
language = English
26 July 2000
media_type = Print (Hardback &
isbn = ISBN 0140297472
Reality and Dreams
The Finishing School
"Aiding and Abetting," is a
novelby Muriel Spark.
One of her final works, it was published in 2000, six years before her death. Unlike her others, it is based partly on a documented occurrence; however, as the author states in a note, she has taken liberties with the facts.
The central figure, Hildegarde Wolf, is a fraudulent
psychiatrist, née Beate Pappenheim, working in Paris. She has two patients, each of whom claims to be Lord Lucan, an English earlwho, in an actual event in Londonin 1974, killed his daughter's nanny, mistaking her for his wife, whom he did intend to murder. From this premise, the novel proceeds to present successively greater coincidences and improbabilities, for the sake of dizzying, sometimes paradoxically bewildering, hilarity. In comic Christian spirit, the evils committed by Wolf, the real and false Lord Lucans, and secondary characters result in disconcerting reconciliations and final happiness.
The late chapters in
Africarecall the comical episodes in " A Handful of Dust" (1934) by Spark's model and sometime mentor Evelyn Waugh.
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