Category: Muriel Spark

‘Excluding the lumpen hoi polloi’: The auto/biographies of Muriel Spark

I’m a Death-Of-The-Author kind of student and I’ve never been a reader of biographies, but I’ve recently read through a fair amount of biographical material relating to the subject of my research thesis, Muriel Spark, and I thought it would be a useful exercise to collect my thoughts on this material and record them here.…

Ghost Stories Part IV (b): Muriel Spark’s ‘The Executor’

We meet another punitive ghost in Spark’s The Executor, in the form of written messages from Susan’s deceased uncle, a famous author. Susan is appointed as executor to her uncle’s literary estate, and following his death Susan sells almost his entire archive to ‘the Foundation’ – but she keeps back her uncle’s final unfinished novel…

Ghost Stories Part IV (a): Muriel Spark’s ‘The Portobello Road’

I posted previously about a ghostly I-narrator in Spark’s The Girl I Left Behind Me, and in The Portobello Road we have another I-narrator ghost, but in this story the murder victim haunts her murderer. This was one of Muriel Spark’s favourite short stories, along with The Executor. The Portobello Road tells the story of…

Three Spark Novels Covered

We all know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, and we all do it nevertheless. Of course we do. So much so, in fact, that the cover design is now recognised as part of the narratology of a book: the ‘layout and illustration of a book’s cover and the design of…