Clara Reeve

Clara Reeve - Leonie Hargrave, Thomas M. Disch [These notes were made in 1983:]. One of my most interesting reads in recent days has been Leonie Hargrave's [Thomas Disch's:] Clara Reeve; as the title suggests, [s:]he's playing with Gothic conventions, mocking them, almost -- the climax is at the summit of Vesuvius. But [s:]he's superimposed a certain post-Freudian sexual sophisitication on it, which makes the somewhat incredible sex-identity confusion in the plot seem more than just the classic identity-switch / revelation which winds up a Gothic plot. The narrative voice, too is clear, sensitive and articulate - I must say I rather enjoyed it, and think it compares favourably with other ventures into bygone genres such as, say JOhng's Fanny.