This is a novel about a novelist's notes for a novel about a novelist writing a novel about himself as a painter and a cuckold, and it flickers in and out of art and reality much as does Fellini's 8(apple). You generally know where you are but not always why, and it is based on the device of assembling the manuscripts of one Edward Thornhill, a famous writer, after his death in a car accident along with his wife. The manuscripts are interconnected pieces and variations on a central theme of ""two people who turn up somewhere in disgrace."" At first Thornhill tries to tell his story with an African setting, then an Indian, then Spanish, and it is always the same story but with new facets. Finally, in despair, Thornhill tells how he has tried to tell the story, and this results in the novel's longest massage which drifts between actuality and three versions of the story with instant transitions. The story itself involves his wife's adultery with a very young man, and the epiphany comes while watching the corrida of the title, but it is wisdom out of rhetoric rather than action. Paul Scott is, as always, a tantalizing writer, perhaps too evasive for the common reader.