NauenThen

3 books

September 10, 2015

Tags: Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Bishop, Colm Tóibín, Francine Prose

I finished 3 good books in the last day or 2:
= Prudence and Jane, by Barbara Pym, the great observer of English life and human foibles. I haven't decided whether I have to ration her or not. It's possible I could reread any of her novels with as much pleasure as I got the first time through.
= On Elizabeth Bishop, by Colm Tóibín. Short & insightful. I haven't been reading much poetry other than hers this summer, & it was great to live her work with this smart Irish novelist.
= Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose. It's taken me months to finish because she sent me (back) to many of the writers she talks about: Katherine Mansfield, Chekhov, Joyce, & lots of others. She points out techniques that it would be easy to miss, and is undogmatic: Every time she finds herself formulating a rule, she almost immediately finds a brilliant, convincing exception.

English novelists

December 10, 2013

Tags: Angela Thirkell, E.F. Benson, Barbara Pym

A few writers I really like are of the same ilk, descendants of Trollope, I guess you could say.

Angela Thirkell (1890-1961) is explicitly related: Her novels, which she turned out once a year for around 40 years, were set in Trollope's Barsetshire. Her books are light and gently satiric, but literary too: middlebrow. Her grandfather was the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, & she was a first cousin of Rudyard Kipling & (more…)