The Figure in the Carpet
Santrauka: 'Did she know and if she knew would she speak?' The story of an unsolved literary mystery that explores what James referred to as "troubled artistic consciousness". An unnamed narrator reviews the latest novel by the author Hugh Vereker, and congratulates himself on having divined the true meaning of Vereker’s book. But at a party, he overhears Vereker telling the other guests that the narrator’s review was ‘the usual twaddle’. When Vereker discovers the narrator heard him badmouthing his review, he seeks to mollify him by telling him that nobody has managed to divine the true meaning of his work, but that there is an idea present in all of his novels, which he likens to the complex woven figure in a Persian carpet, which provides the ‘secret’ or ‘key’ to understanding all of his work. Spurred on by this, the narrator sets out to discover what ‘the figure in the carpet’ really is that will unlock the secrets of Vereker’s work.