Possession: A Romance Analysis

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Possession: A Romance Possession: A Romance published in 1990 and became Winner of England’s Booker Prize and the literary sensation of the year. Possession stood a best- seller book in England and in America By March 1991, by selling more than 100,000 copies in the United States alone. Warner Brothers bought the film rights in 1991, and the playwright Henry David Hwang (M. Butterfly) has written the screenplay. The novel became a film by the same name in 2002. When Byatt’s American publisher, Random House, asked her to omit some of the poetry and place description-the novel is 555 pages in hardcover-she refused. On the other hand, she agreed to make a trivial nonetheless, telling change in her description of Roland, who is in the American…show more content…
And it has that kind of dreadful energy that comes of having written it from the first word to the last with the whole book in your head. Counting in the following way shows that she knew everybody would accept it: It’s the only one I’ve written to be liked, and I did it partly to show off. I thought, why not pull out the stops, why do these painstaking observations . . . why not write about the 19th century!” but she also says that “I actually paced it for the first time with the reader’s attention span in mind”. However, these and other comments Byatt offers about her work may be stands the proverbial grain of salt-there is indeed a good deal of art in Possession, and sometimes the life becomes imprisoned within the art, nevertheless, in its exploration of love and loss, the novel rings true and deep. Even though authors are not always the best commentators on their own work, Byatt as a literary critic is better than numerous in this regard. Still, Byatt is as susceptible as the next author to the “interview effect”: an author, forced to make pronouncement on the ineluctable creative process, loses or obscures a bit of the truth of…show more content…
. . . The librarian fetched a checked duster, and wiped away the dust, a black, thick, tenacious Victorian dust. . . . Roland undid the bindings. The book sprang apart, like a box, disgorging leaf after leaf of faded paper, blue, cream, gray, covered with rusty writing, the brown scratches of a steel nib. Roland recognized the handwriting with a shock of excitement.” It was her mother who inspired Byatt the passion for the old-fashioned Victorians who provided her Browning (the model for the fictional 19th-century poet Randolph Henry Ash in “Possession”) as a child. “For the Victorians, everything was part of one thing: science, religion, philosophy, economics, politics, women, fiction, and poetry. They didn’t classify-they thought BIG. Ruskin went out and learned geology and archaeology, then the history of painting, then mythology, and then he thought out, and he thought out. Now, if you get a literary theorist, they only talk to other literary theorists about literary theory. Nothing causes them to look
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