photo by National Historisch Museum
I am a huge fan of A.S. Byatt. Her prose is unbelievable, her vocabulary, particularly when describing a setting, is unparalleled, and her psychological insight is so nuanced. What a talent!
Source: penamerican“At first he had thought that he could write a plain, exact verse with no figurative language, in which a yellow chair was the thing itself, a yellow chair, as a round gold apple was an apple or a sunflower a sunflower. Sometimes he still saw the brushstrokes, as it were, in this naked way, so that any more metaphorical thoughts of this garden had to be undone, the idea of black wings to be stripped from the painted leafage, the vulgar idea of blood splashes washed off the notation of geraniums. But it couldn’t be done. Language was against him, for a start. Metaphor lay coiled in the name sunflower, which not only turned toward but resembled the sun, the source of light.”
Still Life by A.S. Byatt, winner of the 1986 PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award, who turns 76 today!
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