A Lighthearted Quest by Ann Bridge

By Ann Bridge

While Julia undertook to discover her cousin, Colin Munro, final heard of cruising a yacht off the north coast of Africa, the hunt appeared lighthearted sufficient. yet, earlier than she had entire, she was once concerned with Moorish old purchasers, a Belgian lady archaeologist, Purcell, the enigmatic barkeeper, and American airman, the saurian Mr. St. John, and diverse different characters captivating or sinister. Julia’s seek takes her a cargo-boart to Casablanca, and thence to Tangier, Fez and Marrakech. Her ’dumb-blonde’ attractiveness, camouflaging a full of life intelligence, will get her via unforeseen problems and risks. Colin is located, and the mysterious explanation for his disappearance ultimately printed. . .

The first in a sequence of 8 Julia Probyn novels, The Lighthearted Quest monitors a mix of humour and experience which transports us to unique areas and introduces us to pleasing humans, but additionally throws a great deal of mild at the explosive political concerns that French Morocco encountered within the 50s.

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His rounded chest heaved plainly, his thin arms were raised and tensed, and his face was strained, lost in the solipsism of an exciting plan. It was likely that Tarpin had been in many scraps as an adult. Before Beard could duck, Tarpin had drawn back his arm and lashed the older man’s right cheek and ear with an open-handed smack. Beard’s consciousness exploded behind his eyes, and for seconds afterwards the world was a humming white blank. When it seeped back, Tarpin was still there, clutching at his towel, which had loosened with the movement.

His groin was so tender that he waited until the others had gone inside, then he walked backwards up the gangplank. It hurt less that way. He paused in the entrance of the boot room, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the poor light, and soon it was clear enough – someone had hung all his stuff at Beard’s station. In a constructive spirit, he removed the lot, boots and all, to a vacant spot in a corner. When he took off his woollen balaclava, it slipped to the floor with a clunk and seemed to stare up at him in open-mouthed disbelief.

He could not have phrased it better himself, for there was no better interrogation of quantum theory than this. It was a matter that had dominated years of Einstein’s life and led him to insist that the theory was correct but incomplete. Intuitively, he just could not accept that there was no reality without an observer, or that this reality was defined by the observer, as Bohr and the rest seemed to be saying. In Einstein’s memorable phrase, there was out there a ‘real factual situation’. ’ Quantum mechanics seemed to imply that a measurement of the state of one particle could instantaneously determine the state of another, even if it was far away.

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