THE NEXT BIG THING
As Hertz struggles with his self-induced dilemma, he looks back over his life, searching for an answer. If he can only think things through rationally, perhaps the way forward was always there, hidden somewhere in the past, waiting for him to finally realise its significance? With a mixture of pathos and mild distaste, he reflects on his distant, ordered childhood in pre-war Germany, his unrequited love for his beautiful, haughty cousin Fanny, to whom, in desperate middle age, he would rashly propose. He remembers the family's enforced exile to London, their role as polite refugees, obligated to kindly compatriots. And then the onset of his brother's "illness", precipitating the end of his career as a concert pianist, the crumbling of his mother's dreams and his own rise as family carer. And his brief respite marriage to Josie whose pragmatism could never dovetail with his own servility.