Sunday, May 07, 2006

Another Tribute to Spark

The book section of Saturday's Guardian featured another tribute to Muriel Spark in the form of the reproduction of a new introduction to The Driver's Seat penned by John Lanchester for the Penguin Modern Classics reissue. This is the novel which Spark herself considered her best. The concluding paragraph reads:

There are no bad Spark novels; her consistency is one of the eerie things about her. But some of the books are less well-known than others, and it is fair to say that The Driver's Seat is not one of her most famous books. That, I think, is because it doesn't tell us a single thing that we want to hear. The Driver's Seat is cruel and violent and dark. It is also, in its way, a masterpiece. No one could read it and mistake its force. Only Muriel Spark would have dreamed of writing it. The book's near-jaunty tone would, in some fictional universes, be at odds with its jet-black content. In Spark-world, they go together like murderer and victim.

The Slaves of Golconda who are soon to collectively work their way through Spark's oeuvre will be pleased to hear the assertion that there are no bad Spark novels. Clearly we're in for a treat.

Click here to read the whole of Lanchester's introduction, but note that he warns those that have not yet read The Driver's Seat to stop reading half way through as, once he moves from a general discussion of Spark's work to a detailed consideration of that novel, he gives away many plot points.

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

This makes me want to start reading right now! :)