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By Muriel Spark

The Driver’s Seat, Spark’s personal favourite between her many novels, used to be hailed via the New Yorker as “her spiny and treacherous masterpiece.”

pushed mad by way of an place of work activity, Lise flies south on vacation — looking for passionate experience and intercourse. during this metaphysical shocker, infinity and eternity attend Lise’s final poor day within the unnamed southern urban that's her ultimate vacation spot.

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She buys a striped man’s necktie, darkish blue and yellow. Then, glimpsing in the course of the crowd a rack from which dangles a bigger collection of men’s ties, every one well enfolded in obvious plastic, she alters her brain concerning the colored tie she has simply got. the lady on the counter isn't really happy by way of the problems inquisitive about the refund of cash, and accompanies Lise over to the rack to work out if an trade should be effected. Lise selects ties, one simple black knitted cotton, the opposite eco-friendly. Then, altering her brain once again, she says, ‘That eco-friendly is just too vibrant, i feel. ’ the woman conveys exasperation, and in a way of vexed resignation Lise says, ‘All correct, provide me black ties, they’re continually precious. Please get rid of the costs. ’ She returns to the counter the place she had left Mrs Fiedke, will pay the variation and takes her package deal. Mrs Fiedke appears to be like from the entrance the place she has been interpreting, by way of sunlight, leather-based notecases. A shopman, who has been soaring by way of, in case she might be a kind of who make a touch for it, items in hand, follows her again to the counter. He says, ‘They’re either first-class leather-based. ’ Mrs Fiedke says, ‘I imagine he has one already. ’ She chooses a paper-­knife in a sheath. Lise stands observing. She says, ‘I approximately acquired a type of for my boy-­friend on the airport prior to I left. It used to be nearly a similar yet no longer relatively. ’ The paper-­knife is made up of brassy steel, curved like a scimitar. The sheath is embossed yet no longer, just like the one Lise had thought of past within the day, jewelled. ‘The slippers are enough,’ Lise says. Mrs Fiedke says, ‘You’re really correct. One doesn’t are looking to damage them. ’ She seems at a key-­case, then buys the paper-­knife. ‘If he makes use of a paper-­knife,’ Lise says, ‘obviously he isn’t a hippy. If he have been a hippy he may open his letters together with his palms. ’ ‘Would it's an excessive amount of trouble,’ she says to Lise, ‘to placed this on your bag? And the slippers — oh, the place are the slippers? ’ Her package deal of slippers is misplaced, is long gone. She claims to have left it at the counter whereas she were to the door to check the 2 leather-based notecases. The package deal has been lifted, has been taken away by way of anyone. every body seems to be round for it and sympathizes, and issues out that it was once her personal fault. ‘Maybe he has lots of slippers, anyway,’ Lise says. ‘Is he my form of guy, do you're thinking that? ’ ‘We should see the sights,’ says Mrs Fiedke. ‘We shouldn’t enable this golden chance cross by way of with no seeing the ruins. ’ ‘If he’s my style i would like to satisfy him,’ Lise says. ‘Very a lot your type,’ says Mrs Fiedke, ‘at his most sensible. ’ ‘What a pity he’s coming so late,’ Lise says. ‘Because i've got a prior engagement with my boy-­friend. notwithstanding, if he doesn’t ensue earlier than your nephew arrives i need to satisfy your nephew. What’s his identify did you assert? ’ ‘Richard. We by no means referred to as him Dick. purely his mom, yet now not us. i am hoping he will get the aircraft alright. Oh — where’s the paper-­knife? ’ ‘You placed it in here,’ says Lise, pointing to her zipper-­bag. ‘Don’t fear, it’s secure. Let’s get out of right here.

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