Sunday, 11 December 2016

Transit by Rachel Cusk



Rachel Cusk continues to hypnotise me with the angle through which she sees & hears the world 😍 "Transit" is the place in which the narrator finds herself after her divorce. She is now moving back to London with her two sons. The house she buys is completely run down and she is having it overhauled. A metaphor for a broken marriage and the necessary steps that must be taken to rebuild a life.


Now back in the neighbourhood she once knew well, she takes us through her encounters, and lets us glimpse, ever so slightly, into the reasons for her separation.


In "Transit" as before in "Outline", Cusk's narrator engages with the characters she meets exclusively through conversations. The narrator herself rarely speaks but instead lets the characters she meets speak through her, as she hears and listens to them.


The manner in which these conversations are retold, not through direct speech but through the narrator's mind and through remodelling the rules of punctuation, make for a fascinating insight into how we relate to others and their words, and how much it reveals of ourselves. 

Cusk's previous novel Outline had a gentle movement that led the reader from one page to the next. In Transit, although each of the discussions her characters have is thoroughly thought-provoking and deliciously poetic, the lack of movement outside of each conversation was a little frustrating, especially for a place that a transit represents as the novel itself reveals: a place where the planets are shifting, a place as bustling as a London tube station.


All the same, am looking forward to reading more of Cusk's poetic prose.

"Transit" by Rachel Cusk, published by Jonathan Cape, 2016.

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