The Narrow Corner, xviii

Here’s another example of why I haven’t liked calling Narrow Corner’s chapters chapters. The doctor and the captain have dinner together. They talk about a few things—the captain’s harpy wife, which even the doctor is sick of hearing about—before getting to the doctor asking about the crime he suspects Fred the fugitive of being involved with. He doesn’t tell the captain why he’s so interested, nothing exactly gets revealed. There’s more details about the crime, more about how Fred the fugitive could have been involved. It’ll be interesting to see the doctor’s suspicions are correct, as he initially dismissed them based on Fred the fugitive’s character. Or at least how he interprets that character. Writing-wise, it’s solid stuff. The first paragraph’s the most interesting. Maugham opens it with “He,” meaning the doctor. Close third person as usual. Only at the end of that paragraph, Maugham’s using second person for an observation about the captain. It’s strange, as though Maugham were indecisive throughout on what voice to use.

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