Writing the contemporary: <i>The Virgin in the Garden</i> and <i>Still Life</i>

Alexa Alfer and Amy J. Edwards de Campos

in A.S. Byatt

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780719066528
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701751 | DOI:
Writing the contemporary: The Virgin in the Garden and Still Life

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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This chapter discusses the ‘greed’ for reading and the notion of co-creative reading. It studies Byatt's engagement with realism, the premises, possibilities, pitfalls and puzzlement that are explored by the first two Quartet novels in terms of highly original fictional inquiries. This chapter determines that Byatt's fictional probings of realism's problems are informed by the notion that an acknowledgement of the constructed nature of human thought does not necessarily come before the existence of objective realities.

Keywords: greed for reading; co-creative reading; realism; Quartet novels; fictional inquiries; fictional probing; constructed nature; human thought; objective realities

Chapter.  11049 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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