Harriet will be doing a proper round-up of reviews on her blog tomorrow, and I might well do something after that, so I have a record here too – but I wanted to throw today’s post over for discussion in the comments. This is especially for those of you participating who don’t have blogs, but of course everyone is welcome.
1.) How have you found Muriel Spark Reading Week? What did you read – and was it your first time reading Spark?
2.) Which novel/novels have you been inspired to read next in Spark’s canon?
3.) What themes do you identify across Spark’s novels?
4.) Which other authors would you recommend to the Spark fan?
I’ll answer this one myself, first – I would first and foremost tell people to read Jane Bowles’ only novel, Two Serious Ladies, which is very much in Spark territory. I’d also recommend anything by Barbara Comyns, if you love Spark’s detached, surreal-but-matter-of-fact style. And, perhaps controversially, I’d recommend Ivy Compton-Burnett – because I think Spark learnt a lot about dialogue from reading her. And Spark does write in her autobiography, Curriculum Vitae, that she loved ICB before writing her own novels, saying ICB ‘resembled the Greek dramatists in her stark themes, and […] her art was surrealistic.’ Remind you of anyone?
EDIT: Annabel has now suggested a Beryl Bainbridge Reading Week – more here. Exciting!
5.) Just, well, discuss! Anything you want to bring up…
Thanks for making this week so fun – maybe we’ll come back next year, or maybe the work has been done in getting everyone excited about one of Britain’s foremost authors. Is there an author you think would be great material for a Reading Week? If there is, don’t just tell me – feel free to organise one yourself!