The Chandeliers of the Metropole: A Vivid Glow Upon the Just and the Unjust in Muriel Spark's The Driver's Seat
Abstract

Abstract:

Arguably Muriel Spark's greatest novel, The Driver's Seat (1970) has never received its fair share of critical attention. Often dismissed as a mysterious trifle, it is just that, a mystery, but not a trifle at all. Contextualised within the canon of Spark's work, The Driver's Seat is an eschatologically-focused parable with an emphatically spiritual point. It is to be viewed sub specie aeternitatis, or under 'a vivid glow [that falls] upon the just and the unjust alike.' Seen thus, the observation of Spark's protagonist, Lise, 'It's getting late. It's getting terribly late,' resounds with the force of a Biblical injunction.