There’s a line in Lydia Perović’s new novel Incidental Music that has so far stayed with me like a motif.
Roughly a quarter of the way into the book, Petra & Martha, two of the main characters start chatting, having made incidental acquaintance at a party. While their ethnicities might be different, there’s no reason for that to be an impediment.
Martha makes the classic self-deprecatory remark, so typical of a representative of the white anglo middle class, negativity that is contagious.
Petra sees it differently however, bringing a faith in something more transcendent –or illusory—to the moment, when she replies.
Well then maybe you’ve created an island here in your home. A refuge for the sect called the Lovers of the Art of Conversation.
It’s a wonderful moment, one of several that capture Toronto bourgeois life. But it stayed with me because it reminded me so much of Lydia Perović herself.
I just had the pleasure of meeting her c/o the COC’s great podcast #6.
Our chemistry (between myself, John Gilks, Gianmarco Segato, plus Lydia Perović) on this occasion was different, fluid, laughing, ebullient, and I have to think the catalyst was the High Priestess of the sect called Lovers of the Art of Conversation.
And if there isn’t such a sect, there ought to be.
I have just devoured the first chunk of Incidental Music like a good meal, sad to go to bed and leave that world behind, but glad to know I’ll resume reading tonight. I’m very happy with what I’ve read so far.