Dame Muriel Sparkthe highly acclaimed Scottish writerpublished over twenty novels and more than a dozen short-story collections from the late 1950s until her death in 2006. Two of her novels, The Public Image and Loitering with Intent, were short-listed for the Booker Prize, and another, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, was made into an Academy Award–winning movie. David Herman here assembles an international group of scholars to contexualize and analyze Spark's works, highlighting the continuing relevance of her texts in the twenty-first century.
With three new essays and a reworked introduction by the editor, this volume expands a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies dedicated to Spark and her writings. Organized thematically into three parts, the volume includes essays that consider Spark as both Scottish and world author, situate Spark in the broader contexts of postwar culture, and offer exemplary readings of specific works from various critical perspectives.
A resource for students and scholars alike, this volume provides information about Spark’s oeuvre while also featuring current, theoretically informed interpretations of individual texts.
About the Author
David Herman is a professor of English at the Ohio State University. He has published widely on narrative theory, modern and postmodern fiction, and storytelling across media.
Table of Contents
Introduction David Herman 1
Part I Spark as Scottish and World Author
Chapter 1 "Fully to Savour Her Position": Muriel Spark and Scottish Identity Gerard Carruthers 21
Chapter 2 "The Magazine That Is Considered the Best in the World": Muriel Spark and the New Yorker Lisa Harrison 39
Part II Situating Spark in Postwar Culture
Chapter 3 Muriel Spark and the Metaphysics of Modernity: Art, Secularization, and Psychosis Patricia Waugh 63
Chapter 4 Muriel Spark and the Meaning of Treason Marina MacKay 94
Chapter 5 Reading Spark in the Age of Suspicion Bran Nicol 112
Chapter 6 Stylish Spinsters: Spark, Pym, and the Postwar Comedy of the Object Hope Howell Hodgkins 129
Part III Reading Spark
Chapter 7 The Mandelbaum Gate: Muriel Spark's Apocalyptic Gag John Glavin 153
Chapter 8 "Her Lips Are Slightly Parted": The Ineffability of Erotic Sociality in Muriel Spark's The Driver's Seat Jonathan Kemp 173
Chapter 9 "Look for One Thing and You Find Another": The Voice and Deduction in Muriel Spark's Memento Mori Allan Pero 187
Chapter 10 Matters of Care and Control: Surveillance, Omniscience, and Narrative Power in The Abbess of Crewe and Loitering with Intent Lewis Macleod 203
Appendix: A Bibliography of Recent Criticism on Muriel Spark Allison Fisher (with the assistance of Shannon Thomas) 225
What People are Saying About This
A substantial addition to Spark criticism, of which there has been surprisingly little published in recent years.
Aileen Christianson, University of Edinburgh