Possession characters Í 107

A.S. Byatt ´ 7 characters

Possession characters Í 107 Ë Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets As they uncover their letters journals and poems and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from spiritualist séaResearching the lives of two Victorian poets As they uncover their letters journals and poems and track their movements from London to Yorkshire from spir. Too much work for too little rewardI read somewhere that if you pick up a book and you're not enjoying it by either a your age if you are under 50; or b 100 minus your age if you are over 50 you should abandon it and move on There is too much to read and life is too short to be spent reading bad booksI think this applies particularly to books in that grey zone where you can tell the writer is winding up to something and the style and story has enough ooomph in it to keep you powering on despite perhaps your better judgement AS Byatt's Possession A Romance is definitely in that zone It's not that Byatt is not a good writer she is I am enjoying her eviscerating attack on the insular political world of academia with its serpent eating its tail kind of irrelevance The set up of the grad studentteaching assistanttemp couple living in a dank basement banned from the garden and feeding off of each other in passive aggressive co dependency was well pretty much perfect and hit a little close to home The send up of feminist scholarship is pricelessBut it's all a little too much to wade through for just a taste of these morsels It's too clever and too complicated by half So far I've got two major characters two minor characters a slew of tertiary characters including some that we see only through the eyes of the two major ones; two poets who are two major characters from each of whom I am getting internal monologue dialogue and painstakingly fabricated Victorian era poems letters and academic research papers reflecting all of that And these are rife with references allusions and imagery from Victorian and classical times both faux and likely real but I just can't sort it all out and right now I don't really want to Oh and we're on two continents one convincingly and one much less so I've given it to p 108 and I'm still not sure that I won't come back to it Perhaps a different season a different frame of mind This novel is likely for me like drinking single malt scotch in the summer sometimes I do but I rarely enjoy it I need a bracing cool autumn evening or a blizzardy night woodfire blazing my faithful companion Sutcliffe the Beagle by my side In other words I need to get into a rarified connoisseur's headspace and let the experience wash over me while I noodle away at it like a crosswordI will put this one back on the shelf and maybe try again in January

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Itualist séances to the fairy haunted far west of Brittany what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideasMan Booker Prize Winner 1990. Stolen snapshots that defy the laws of space and timePastA poet observes a mystical creature half woman half mermaid scouting cliffs and creeks bathing in unruly seas and still ponds getting drenched in the cascade of his flowing words The ache of losing God is not so acute when intellect is met with incandescent creativity Or with unrestrained love His gentle curiosity breathes life into inert things making them shine with an inner glow of their own because he doesn’t aspire to possess what he loves he cherishes it and makes it flourish in its natural state PresentA self effacing underpaid assistant researcher in a dark room that smells of stale history survives in reality while his mind thrives with verses penned by the dead Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash Unaware that he possesses a voice of his own he searches for the veiled truths of his life in the legacy of the iconic poetPastA petite pale woman with gleaming eyes green like emeralds crystalline like a dragon’s stare sits in a carriage oblivious of the bearded gentleman sitting opposite her who memorizes the lines of her features with fascinated absorption She is reserved protective of her independence and shrouded in mystery Skeptical of romantic love her passion is devoted to the life of language She speaks in tongues of fire and torrents of poems spring from the briny seas of her feral imagination She moves like water eluding possession in her ever changing shape PresentA successful scholar specialized in the underrated poetess Christabel LeMotte flushes with emotion as she anxiously leafs through yellowish pages wrapped by the familiar odor of mildew wax and ash Unusually blond and displaying a cool and poised detachment she covets loneliness guided by fear of being possessed Four characters Two stories Parallel plotlines Present and past dissolve in undelivered letters secret diaries and rose scented poems that act like two way mirrors where reality becomes a mirage and generally agreed facts mere artificial constructs Combining cultivated erudition refined literary taste and virtuous mastery of several genres Byatt exposes her characters to psychological vivisection merging fictional plot with intricate disuisitions and creates highly distinctive voices that speak to the different realities of the readerFast paced dialogues sprouting from picturesue secondary characters of the Academia tinted with sporadic brushtrokes of colorful yet haunting humor create the perfect palette for a Gothic scenario where raging storms spooky cemeteries and ancient legends blend with sumptuous meditation on the concept of possession Does love inevitably imply possession How can the bird fly free in the gilded cage of desire Can love be restorative rather than demanding Is selfless love a chimeraByatt doesn’t offer clear answers She uses the third person narrator not as an omniscent actor but as a means to bring her characters closer to the readers and allow them to reach their own conclusions All their voices speak to me in symphonic cannon with the unvarying idea that pure love thrives in letting go of the things we want to possess Only when the object of our desires be it the beloved person a professional career an idealized obsession or the inspiration to write is released from selfish need will it open its locked gateways freely and show us the pathway to fulfillment But that is not the only song I hear for raising above the melody I distinclty discern Byatt’s contralto singing the only truth that not even rigorous scholarship can claim to possess That after passion is spent heartache subdued and disappointments diluted in the sea of memories that long after the stillborn happiness has burnt out in the arson of irreconcilable pasts dead words will be rekindled from the ashes with every new reading Phoenix like And bygone lives will be infused with the spark of new beginnings for their essence will be preserved in the artistic creations writers sent sailing the tides of time to reach shores still to be read and mornings that smell of brine to wake up to Never to be fully possessed but forever adored In the morning the whole world had a strange new smell It was the smell of the aftermath a green smell a smell of shredded leaves and oozing resin of crushed wood and splashed sap a tart smell which bore some relation to the smell of bitten apples It was the smell of death and destruction and it smelled fresh and lively and hopeful

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PossessionPossession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story It is the tale of a pair of young scholars. OK I have to say something People keep writing reviews of this book and talking about how it was great except for all the boring poems which they skipped throughREAD THE POETRY PEOPLE What's the matter with everyone They're actually rather good they are full of plot clues and duh they're a key part of the novel you're reading I mean what is going on here Do people really hate poetry so much that they're skipping a few pages of it in the middle of a story If you try that shit with Hamlet you're going to miss half the play Or is this part of some weird trend Perhaps you hold your hands over your ears when the Rolling Stones switch to 128 time or fast forward through all the Frank Sivero scenes in Goodfellas Or is it literally just verse I mean you know there are books out there which are all poetry right What's the matter do you have a rhyme allergy Too much alliteration brings on your irritable bowel syndrome What's going onI give upPS the actual book is excellentOct 2009