His library seemed the source of his habitual odour of Russian leather. Row upon row of calf-bound volumes, brown and olive, with gilt entering on their spines, the octavo in brilliant scarlet morocco. A deep-buttoned leather sofa to recline on. A lectern, carved like a spread eagle, that held open upon it an edition of Huysmans's Là-bas...This was a scenario I knew. What happened was secondary. Standing at the lectern and reading, as interloper, as greedy thief, as innocent. That was as much as I could understand. The bloody chamber, the murdered wives, the gothic gore, were beyond me.
What did I make of the ruby choker that saves our fragile but resilient heroine? How did I wear it in 1979? With defiance, fear, quiet assurance or absolute refusal? Where did I stand, exactly, in my own life, at what distance from it? How much mythic could I stomach? How many prototypes? Then? Now?
Angela Carter leaves with more questions than she arrived.