On Histories and Stories: Selected Essays

Chatto & Windus, 2000 - 196 pagina's
In recent years many novelists have become increasingly interested in history as fiction and fiction as history. In her powerful opening essays - "Father," "Forefathers" and "Ancestors" - A.S. Byatt considers the renaissance of the historical novel. She discusses particularly the novel of wartime experience; the surprising variety of distant pasts that British writers have invented; and the new "Darwinian novel," stimulated in part by the discovery of DNA. These afford new readings of writers from Elizabeth Bowen and Henry Greene to Anthony Burgess, William Golding and Muriel Spark, and other contemporary authors, including Penelope Fitzgerald, Julian Barnes, Martin Amis, John Fuller, Hilary Mantel and Pat Barker.
There is a fascinating essay on Byatt's own translation of historical fact into fiction in the two novellas of Angels and Insects, while elsewhere she explores the recent European revival of interest in myth, folktale and fairytale. Finally, two short pieces look in detail at the perennial appeal of particular motifs: The Arabian Nights "the greatest story ever told," and a cluster of tales of ice, snow and glass from "Snow White" and "The Snow Queen" to the mysterious, "stony" women of Shakespeare and George Eliot.
Vivid, profound and full of original insights, "Histories and Stories redraws the boundaries of fiction today.

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On histories and stories: selected essays

Gebruikersrecensie  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In these seven essays, the British novelist Byatt examines many themes: the historical novel as created by 20th-century English writers, the relations between scholarship and the creation of fiction ... Volledige review lezen

Review: On Histories and Stories

Gebruikersrecensie  - David (Dafydd) - Goodreads

Not used to reading literary criticism but I have long admired AS Byatt. I became totally engrossed in this book and fascinated by many of the writers she cites, some of whom I'm ashamed to say, I ... Volledige review lezen


Introduction I

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Over de auteur (2000)

A.S. Byatt, 1936 - A.S. Byatt was born on August 24, 1936 in Sheffield, England to John Frederick Drabble, a judge, and Kathleen Marie (Bloor) Drabble. She received a B.A. from Newnham College, Cambridge in 1957, did graduate study at Bryn Mawr College from 1957-58 and attended Somerville College, Oxford from 1958-59. In 1959, she married economist Ian Charles Rayner Byatt, with whom she had two children. They divorced in 1969 and she later married Peter John Duffy, and they also had two children. Byatt was a staff member in the extra-mural department at the University of London from 1962-71. From 1968-69, she was also a part-time lecturer in the liberal studies department of the Central School of Art and Design, London. She was a lecturer at University College from 1972-80 and then senior lecturer from 1981-83. She became a full-time writer in 1983. She has also been a member of the British Broadcasting Corp. Social Effects of Television Advisory Group from 1974-77, a member of Communications and Cultural Studies Board of the Council for National Academic Awards in 1978 and a member of Kingman Committee on the Teaching of English from 1987-88. Byatt received the English Speaking Union fellowship in 1957-58, the Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1983, the Silver Pen Award for "Still Life," and the Booker Prize for "Possession: A Romance" in 1990.

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