C. Franken's A. S. Byatt: Art, Authorship, Creativity PDF

By C. Franken

ISBN-10: 0230510043

ISBN-13: 9780230510043

ISBN-10: 0333801083

ISBN-13: 9780333801086

This publication considers the paintings of the novelist and critic A.S. Byatt within the context of up to date debates approximately artwork, authorship, creativity, and gender. A.S. Byatt emerges as an writer who offers us with interesting and ambivalent pictures of writers and who makes use of metaphors of creativity in unique methods.

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Extra resources for A. S. Byatt: Art, Authorship, Creativity

Example text

64 Leavis reserves his unqualified admiration for George Eliot’s portrait of Gwendolen Harleth in Daniel Deronda. Gwendolen is an example of Eliot’s art at its ‘maturest’, a compliment reinforced by Leavis’s comparison with Henry James’s Isobel Archer in Portrait of a Lady. 65 This seems to counteract my argument that Leavis shrinks back at what he sees as the ‘feminine quality’ of Eliot’s writing. Here he seems to see it as a positive aspect of her ‘genius’. 66 Eliot judges Gwendolen’s preoccupation with self severely according to Leavis and, therefore, her vision of Gwendolen is more complete, disinterested and realistic than Henry James’s ‘indulgence’ towards Isabel Archer.

Byatt shares for instance Leavis’s rejection of Marxist theories of literature and authorship. She views them as a threat to literature and great writers: The Turtle and Its Adversaries 15 I am deeply troubled by the accusations of elitism that are levelled against anybody who really cares about the canon in the broadest sense as we have known it. The culture is all fraying at the edges; a lot of powerful people in positions in teaching are saying that the canon of English literature must go and, anyway, literature doesn’t matter; any piece of writing is as good as any other .

Byatt does not have one particular home to write in. The complexity and structural ambivalence inherent to her views on literature, authorship and gender make it impossible to place her critical work into one category or within the boundaries of one critical school. Judging from the foreword, the young writer A. S. Byatt also had difficulties in carving a niche for herself in a writing tradition. Looking back at the beginning of her work as a novelist, she sets herself outside the tradition by emphasizing that there were hardly any writers she admired.

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A. S. Byatt: Art, Authorship, Creativity by C. Franken


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