Dear Serial Readers,
More delays! Will Lucilla's sight be restored during her convalescence, and if so, to what extent? And which of the twin brothers will prevail as Lucilla's suitor and, eventually, husband? The good/evil binary that Mme P constructs in her story of Oscar and Nugent keeps blurring and shifting. Now is each one"good" inasmuch as he selflessly wants the other brother to succeed with Lucilla? But, when will she see the light of who they are and how will she respond to the deception?
I'm struck by how the narrative seems to play with the cliche of "love at first sight." Nugent says as much--"from the moment I first saw that heavenly creature...." And the reverse seems true as well with Lucilla recoiling from Oscar's blue face at her very first sight of him. However, there is a great deal of questioning whether vision is a reliable sense for knowing the world. Not only does Lucilla claim that her sense of touch is superior to sight, but also the narrator draws the comparison between the surface view or "outer covering which is physically wholesome" with "the inner nature which is morally diseased." Perhaps only Jicks's vision is reliable--or is it?
Does vision also function as a disability to see beyond a surface appearance in some respects? I'm also struck by Oscar's blue face, a kind of social disability that is the side-effect of his cure of a life-threatening disability of seizures.
For next week: chapters 39-43. We're approaching the end!