Showing posts with label fairy tales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fairy tales. Show all posts

January 23, 2015

Spotlight on Byatt

Besides fiction, Byatt  writes poetry and literary criticism.  Rhythm and wit coupled with conflicts that often astound, Byatt, a weaver of  unique novels, peppers her books with facts: historical, scientific, and specifically in the case of The Children's Book performance theatre: i.e puppetry.

While her erudition might lead one to assume that her subject matter only reaches the loft, she often brings to light the shadows that run amok in peoples' lives, including the well-educated, and the gentry who, like the poor, also suffer from poverty, (theirs--moral, spiritual) wrongheadedness and the human condition.

Of course, there are love stories such as Possession in which one character compacted and self- restricted eventually opens to the power of love. And in Babel Tower, a place where language was, in the biblical context, confused by the induction of different tongues, the story is framed by fairy tale   refrains of "it might begin" meaning, possibly, there is no right way into a story, or that the path is as intricate as our lives. But, more than that, it's a brilliant way to introduce character. Babel Tower begins with the story of the thrush; a bird admired in spite of its appetite and its limited tune. Attributes that, at one time or another, we may have noticed and dismissed in others to our peril. It's an intriguing, mysterious and thought provoking "it might begin." And it makes me think of the dark, foreboding woods, but I may have read too many fairy tales. Further, there's also a sense of foreshadowing, things hidden, upheaval and change.  

A.S. Byatt's novels promotes critical thought, educate and are, in the end, among the best books that have been written.  She has won many prizes, including the Booker for Possession and is, rightfully, a contender for the Nobel.

Jacket via Goodreads

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