Literary Influences Of Iris Murdoch, Marcel Proust And George Eliot
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Other Literary Influences
After F.r.Leavis, the names that can be heard or seen more often when Byatt speaks or writes about herself as a writer, are Iris Murdoch, Marcel Proust and George Eliot. Murdoch is a contemporary British novelist who has written over twenty novels and a number of critical and philosophical studies. Both Byatt and Murdoch write packed, textured novels that take for granted an audience with the time and the desire to linger over words and philosophical knots. Other contemporary English novelist with whom Byatt remains often related includes Margaret Drabble-her younger sister -Faye Weldon, A. N. Wilson, and David Lodge.
Murdoch’s essay “Against Dryness: A Polemical Sketch” is one that Byatt often quotes as a way to understand her own aims as a novelist. Murdoch argues that “through literature we can re-discover a sense of the density of our lives”; that at the end of the 20th century, “we have been left with far too shallow and flimsy an idea of human personality”. In this essay, Murdoch also identifies and argues for what she calls the “crystalline” novel: “a small quasi- allegorical object portraying the human condition.” It is, she says, “what the more serious writers want to create.”
When Byatt writes in one of her critical studies of Murdoch that “ there is a large number of suspicious reviewers and readers who find the elaborate, in some way intensely artificial, world of her novels difficult to take,” she is partly responding to her own