My name is Leah. I live and write in Wellington, New Zealand. Welcome!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Inspiration: 'Possession' by A. S. Byatt

"It is possible for the writer to make, or remake at least, for a reader, the primary pleasures of eating, or drinking, or looking on, or sex. Novels have their tour-de-force, the green-flecked gold omelette aux fines herbes, melting into buttery formlessness and tasting of summer, or the creamy human haunch, firm and warm, curved back to reveal a hot hollow, a crisping hair or two, the glimpsed sex. They do not habitually elaborate on the equally intense pleasure of reading.There are obvious reasons for this, the most obvious being the regressive nature of the pleasure, a mise-en-abime even, where words draw attention to the power and delight of words, and so ad infinitum, thus making the imagination experience, something papery and dry, narcissistic and yet disagreeably distanced, without the immediacy of sexual moisture or the scented garnet glow of good burgundy."

'Possession' is one of A. S. Byatt's most popular novels.It won the 1990 Booker Prize and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. It is a melding of romance, detective work, and academic thrill seeking. It centers around Roland Michell and Maud Bailey, two academics researching the lives of two Victorian poets, and follows their scholarly obsession with these poets' works and lives, and the surprising results their research uncovers.

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