The Course of the Heart
The lives of self-styled gnostic magician Yaxley and a trio of Cambridge students become irrevocably altered by an occult ritual which shatters the barrier between reality and a fabled sensuous realm known as "the Pleroma." Years later the participants, now disillusioned, middle-aged intellectuals, find themselves incapable of remembering what, exactly, transpired on that fateful midsummer night.
All are troubled by strange
hallucinations: epileptic Pam Stuyvesant is menaced by visions of a
copulating pair of apparitions, a dwarfish creature torments her
estranged husband Lucas Medlar, Yaxley becomes increasingly obsessed
with a terrifying transcendent reality, and the novel's enigmatic
narrator, seemingly the least affected member of the group, is haunted
by the smell of roses.
Consuming personal mythology, sexuality, and fear collide with hallucinogenic intensity in M. John Harrison's dense, savored prose and intoxicating, complex storytelling.