Among the books on alchemy and philosophy in the library at Llys Rhosyn, did Aunt Megan think to include the works of that most philosophical alchemist, Douglas Adams? And if so, did our anonymous narrator, in the course of his eclectic studies, ever happen upon … Continue reading ‘The universe shall change, but I may not, thought I with melancholy vanity.’
‘Narrative truth: is that different from any other kind of truth? I mean the question seriously, because it relates to the idea of authenticity. ‘James Wood, who is a superb critic, has made the distinction between a reliably unreliable narrator and an unreliably unreliable narrator, … Continue reading ‘You too are a temporary resident, if you think about it.’
…and this year has forced us to do just that. Back in March, we honestly weren’t sure whether Cardiff BookTalk would be able continue, so it’s with some pride that we take this opportunity to share some feedback from our first two digital events – … Continue reading ‘You’ve been such a lovely audience, we’d like to take you home with us…’
Here at BookTalk we are very much looking forward to our second ever online event, which discusses Jane Austen’s Emma. Emma is a text full of surprises. Today on the Blog, Dr Lyn Dawes introduces us to a crucial moment in the novel. In Chapter … Continue reading Donwell: ‘It was just what it ought to be, and looked what it was’.
Shirley Jackson’s biographer, Ruth Franklin, discusses the unexpected and complex ways in which the author’s experiences of motherhood fed into her writing. ‘Jackson had always had an imaginative, even magical mind, filled with witchcraft lore, myths, and fantasies of her own devising. Hyman, ever a … Continue reading ‘All the time that I am making beds and doing dishes and driving to town for dancing shoes, I am telling myself stories,’
The Lottery is perhaps Shirley Jackson’s most famous work. A small town gathers one morning to perform its annual lottery, but who will be chosen and for what? This bold and unsettling short story first appeared in The New Yorker where its journalistic, matter-of-fact tone … Continue reading Shirley Jackson reads The Lottery
Shirley Jackson is the subject of a new film, Shirley, out this month and available to rent from Curzon Home Cinema. It is reviewed by our guest blogger, Cardiff University’s Robert Lloyd. Author of a doctoral thesis on Shirley Jackson, Robert will be joining us … Continue reading Film in Focus: Shirley (Dir. Josephine Decker, 2020)
‘The link between this book and another subversive fairy tale, Orwell’s Animal Farm, might not be apparent, but in fact Orwell’s is simply a politicized treatment of the theme Jackson confronts on a social level: ignorance is bliss. But it’s rarely accidental. In an ironic … Continue reading ‘My Mother’s Grave Is Yellow.’
Adam Thorpe’s translation of Madame Bovary was published by Vintage in 2011. Prior to its release, he wrote a piece for The Guardian explaining his approach to translating the text, and justifying what he believed set his translation apart from that of Lydia Davis, whose own translation predated Thorpe’s by only a year.
Writing for The Guardian in 2006, Julian Barnes reimagined the end of Flaubert’s iconic novel and provided Emma with opportunity to “correct” her story. This alternative ending was originally published in The Guardian on 30th September 2006 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first part of Madame Bovary in the Revue de Paris.