Saturday, December 09, 2006

A.S. Byatt on Willa Cather

A.S. Byatt on Willa Cather:

One of the virtues of her writing that I notice all the time, and find hard to describe, is the distance at which she stands from her text. Part of what I mean by this is contained in the fact that more than any other novelist she sees her people's lives as whole and finished - they feel stress and passion, they discover and lose, but they are bounded by birth and death, by nothing and nothing, and they move between the two, adjusting their consciousnesses as they go. The writer always sees the people's lives whole and complete, wherever the story is along their line.

To read the rest of Byatt’s article on Cather which appeared in today's Guardian, click here.


jenclair said...

I've only read two things by Byatt: Possession (which I loved) and Angels and Insects (not so much). This is the first criticism I've read by her, and the excerpt that you posted seem perfect. I'm off to read the rest of the article. Thanks, Kate.

K-Oh said...

Wonderful excerpt. Echoing jenclair-- thanks!