LIFE AFTER LIFE
Last month I posted my review of Kate Atkinson's newest novel: Life After Life. Click here for that post.
It wasn't easy to write as you will understand when you read the novel - and please, please do. If you need convincing, here is a 'proper' review of the novel in The Guardian. Now that's how to write a review!
I have written about this before and in passing in my previous post. Google 'literary fiction' and you'll get hundreds, nay thousands, of matches. It has always proved a thorny topic and polarises opinion far more sharply than any other genre - or is it a genre? To me, it is merely a spectrum of writing style. One's preferences depend on so many things and most especially whether one feels at any particular time like wallowing in sheer indulgence or giving the brain a bit of a work-out.(And even then, that can be a lramble across rolling hills or a session on the treadmill at maximum heart-rate.)
Anyway, I was alerted to this through Twitter. Paul Magrs is a novelist and also co-editor of what I consider one of the best writing guides around: The Creative Writing Coursebook. See what you think.
I've just come across this written in response to Paul Magrs. I'm sure his article has generated many replies.
IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION AND MODERNITY
This is an exhibition currently showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, in New York. This is my favourite art gallery after La Musee d'Orsay in Paris which is the best place in the world to view the Impressionists.
I am not a follower of modern fashion, having got to the age when, as long as what I wear is clean and comfortable, I'm happy. But I am a bit of an anorak when it comes to fashion history, especially that of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century fashion and no other period of painting is so concerned with fashion.
So, as I have a birthday coming up soon, I have treated myself to an early present: These two glossy hardbacks.
I have qwuite a collection of books about fashion and design. When I was in my thirties, I joined a local 6th form class and along with them studied for an A level in 'Fabric and Fashion.' It was a fascinating subject and covered textiles and its history and development from wool through to the latest synthetic fibres, dressmaking and learning how to make one's own patterns from design to finished article. (I made a nineteen-thirties day dress in a draped bias style using only natural fabric and without zips (Oh, those tiny buttons!) We also studied in detail the history of fashion from 1800 and the present day. If you think all bustles and crinolines are interchangeable and that styles did not develop, progress and alter, then think again. Part of my course work was a study on Victorian underwear!
And as I'm now in a definite Impressionist fashion mood, here are two paintings by Renoir that I particularly love. They're here for no other reason than pure self-indulgence. Both have inspired short stories that were long ago published. Maybe my two new birthday books will inspire me further. Incidentally, using paintings of all kinds are great story prompts, even if you don't necessarily admire the artist. I have bought postcards or greetings card that appeal to me, especially when talking about short story writing.