Imagining Characters: Six Conversations about Women Writers: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eli OT, Willa Cather, Iris Murdoch, and T

A. S. Byatt, Author, Ignes Sodre, With Vintage Books USA $16 (288p) ISBN 978-0-679-77753-3
When the authors of this articulate, intelligent book acknowledge that ""just talking can [add] to understanding,"" they hit on one of the secrets behind the success of today's popular book groups. For in their six dialogues about Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, Charlotte Bronte's Villette, George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, Willa Cather's The Professor's House, Iris Murdoch's The Unofficial Rose and Toni Morrison's Beloved, Byatt and Sodre invite readers into an illuminating psychoanalytic and literary discussion. Byatt (Possession) and Sodre, a Brazilian psychoanalyst, ""talk about the characters in the novels as though they were real people."" With a healthy dose of Freud, the authors put central literary characters and their creators on the therapist's couch, discussing relationships with parents and siblings, fear of marriage, female energy, self-knowledge and religion. From Austen to Morrison, the authors reveal the imagined worlds of these novels and confirm Eliot's assertion that ""art is the nearest thing to life."" Swift introduces each chapter or ""discussion"" is introduced with a brief synopsis of the novel addressed. A final chapter ties dreams to the process of creating the narrative, with Byatt allowing the reader access to her own process of interpreting her dreams and transferring them into her writing. The individual conversations make for a demanding read, for they delve rather minutely into each novel. But the persevering reader will be rewarded with an engaging interplay of ideas. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.