Rose and I are talking about modern novels, 21st century archetypes, novels like Hot Milk and Netherland. Rose remarked that they – and we in the real – are ”in an era of existential dread”. As ever, The Great Gatsby is my touch stone to which all of reality and fantasy is compared, and I wondered how our contemporary dread compares with that of Fitzgerald’s characters. Are we more fatal and forlorn than Daisy? More performative than Tom? More wilfully out of it even than Gatsby? Maybe we are, or maybe we’re all just sharing more.

Oh, and if you’re reading this and you haven’t read Hot Milk by Deborah Levy, please do. It is a novel fit to define our time, not in a grand epic sort of way, but in a this is how we lived in this era sort of way. It’s beautiful, read it.