Fwd: Re: Byatt on Potter

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Thu Jul 10 20:13:04 EDT 2003

> > Byatt's work is often the opposite of grindingly realistic. She writes (and
> > rewrites) fairy tales, and a couple of her novels are fairly intensely
> > about 19th/20th century interests in spiritualism (mediums, etc).
>Oh yes. _Possession_.

Actually, I was thinking more of The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, and 
Fire and Ice, which are both collections of fairy tales.

>Gak. Periodically I make attempt to read it. It's
>still coming across to me as tragically-hip, City-Lights-Bookstore to be
>bothered with.

Well, I guess if you have that kind of superior attitude, I can see why you 
wouldn't actually manage to read it. In fact, it is a very interesting and 
well-written book, despite the dismissive comments of shallow smart-arse 
reviewers like Charles Taylor, who say the poetry is "bad" because it has 
big words they don't understand in it, and because it actually requires 
them to think.

Both Possession and David Lodge's Small World are both a little dated now, 
because they address literary critical movements of the 1980s, so it is 
easy to make snotty comments about them with the benefit of hindsight.

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