Monday, March 30, 2009

Way to go, Antonia ...

... Blue Met launches 2009 lineup; A.S. Byatt to be honoured.

Readers of this blog will know that I am extremely fond of Antonia Byatt. One of the great moments of my reading life was when, in Wayle, Ill., of all places, I finished reading Possession. It brought me to tears. I think it is a great novel. To meet Antonia was a privilege and a great pleasure.


  1. ITA. One of the top five novels of the twentieth century. Bought it about eight times to give to friends because they'd borrow my copy and wouldn't return it and I kept having to replace it. What was astonishing about it, aside from the thrilling chilling narrative strokes of a master? The fact she buried post-modernism :) in a way only close readers understand. I'd love to have met her. I love her Frederica series, too. AND? She loves McLuhan and F. Scott (whose also up there in my top five with TGG).

    How great is that? As great as she is to the Nth Degree of Gorgeosity when it comes to compelling novels of exquisite complexity. Uh-oh, I'm sounding sorta like I'm writing a review, erp . . .

    You thinkin' o' goin'? You could drop by and visit, eh? K . . . JSYK . . .
    p.s. Joyce, Pynchon, and ???

  2. May I second the motion that Byatt's POSSESSION is one of the most engaging masterpieces of the late 20th century. Byatt's provocative fusion of Victorian aesthetics and post-modern metafiction is deliciously ironic and a whole lot of fun. Your posting reminds me that it is time to reread and savor the novel.

  3. Jaysus, R.T. That's a great lead (said the hack). Think I'll steal it from you for the review I'm currently writing, X's Y ranks as one of the most engaging maestro-strokes of this century to date, a provocative fusion of Victorian aesthetics and post-modern metafiction so deliciously ironic you'll be on the prowl for seconds (and, if you're in the neighbourhood of BITE, you shall surely discover an eager seconder).


    p.s. The sound you don't hear? Someone unbuttoning that button on their trousers; you know, the one guys got? LOL. Fill 'er up (but, don't top it)
    p.p.s. Montréal's a gorgeous cosmopolitan city, home to some of the greatest writers of that century, Irving Layton and Leonard Cohen foremost among same, IMO; if you've never been, you could knock off two must-do items on your F*ckit List [tm] in one zone!
    p.p.p.s. Oh, I do remember exactly where I read it, precisely the way Frank does; I remember just flipping those pages so fast and hungrily, it was almost trance-like; and, yes, I do remember thinking, at the time, with tears gush-flowing down my cheeks (wrecking my mascara), how exquisitely painfully beautiful it was that it had ended at all; what an astonishing novel; and, your description should be on every course outline for the book that should be on every course that ought to feature such a masterpiece, magnif with a diff . . . and, I looked for it last night and remembered the last time I lent it to someone, they never returned it (even though I told them I'd never find another copy up here in the North and I'd never forgive them if they snarfed it -- I called them this morning; and? What Possession? Did you lend me that great book; give me a couple days, I'll have a look . . . ARGRRR)! Make that NINE :(
    p.p.p.p.s. Oh, okay; maybe I'll change it to this decade thus far :)