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.
There was something very special about recording that podcast. I like the idea of Lydia as a High Priestess but I’d prefer it if she didn’t bring the snakes to recording sessions.
I’ll see what I can do. Furies, lie low! *adjusting the toga, exiting dramatically stage left*