Chapter 25 consists only of letters from Arthur to Victoria, filled with memories and beginning with his time as a young man in Toronto. After a decade-long gap, he writes again to let her know that he’s marrying an artist who does beautiful comic strip-type things. The next letter informs V that Arthur has met and fallen in love with someone else: Elizabeth Colton. He also writes of a dinner with Clark and Elizabeth, which was a bit awkward since the last time Clark was there was the dinner party when Arthur was still married to Miranda.
This chapter is filled with Arthur’s memories, insecurity, and vanity. The leap from a letter about Miranda to a letter about Elizabeth portrays Arthur as somewhat fickle and womanizing as he moves from one marriage to the next. Arthur’s mention of the awkward dinner party reinforces its significance as a crucial moment where many key figures in the novel overlap. The book is also a testament to Arthur’s celebrity and the type of obsession with his personal life characteristic of Mandel’s portrait of modern civilization.