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“. . . Act 3 leads back to Act 1. Haines’s narrative makes an effective loop to finish where it began. It unfolds towards its own starting point, drawing in this way a circle round its central concept: the self, the modern ‘I’ stuck in the middle of the ring of its own making, unable to penetrate ‘beyond the bounds of [its] own self’—I borrow here a phrase from Blake, as indeed Haines’s criticism of the self and the circumference that constitutes the utmost horizon of its experience resembles Blake’s . . .”

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