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Friday, 31 January 2014

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litlove

I had such a thing for Claude Lorrain for a while (his paintings, not the man, I hasten to add). How intriguing to read these books back to back and see similar themes developed in such different ways. And yet, in literary history terms, they are perfect exemplars of their times. For Powell, there was no question yet of language not being transparent to meaning, and no challenge to the supremacy of memory. Stoppard knows his postmodernism and writes with the sophistication of being able to challenge all those dearly held concepts, and see that truths remain in the way we hold truths, if not in the exact words we use to express them. Such a fascinating post, Helen! Thank you for giving me so much to think about.

Helen

Now you see, litlove, that's the kind of paragraph I'd love to have written, absolutely to the point. I'm crap about literary history; somehow I spent three years reading English literature at university to emerge untouched by theory. It's nice to have some perspective, thank you!

It's not often that I notice such strong parallels between books I read back-to-back, but the similarities and differences between these seemed quite startling. Also, I must confess, I hadn't actually finished 'A Question of Upbringing' when I wrote that post (I have now!) but I didn't want to fall behind the book-a-month schedule at the very first fence. I'm afraid it's rather muddled from the hurry.

Stefanie

You are off to a good start! And what an interesting confluence of reading between Powell and Stoppard!

Helen

Thanks Stefanie! Yes, and I want to read more Stoppard now.

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