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Tony Grist

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Possession: A.S. Byatt [Jun. 11th, 2012|05:44 pm]
Tony Grist
A Victorian tragic romance folded up inside a modern romantic comedy- rather beautiful and quite extraordinarily clever with all its mirrorings, doublings and post-modern self awareness. If Charlotte Bronte had come after Joyce and Nabokov- instead of so long before them- this is the sort of thing she might have written. 

Just one note of regret: the poems ascribed to the imagined Victorian protagonists don't quite work. They are the simulacra of poems, not really poems at all. Poetry is one thing you can't fake- not even if you are a wonderfully skilled writer of other things. Real poems have an inner life- a certain vitality of language- which these cleverly-crafted pastiche poems almost entirely lack.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-06-11 06:21 pm (UTC)
The poems are very clever creations, but not poetical. It wouldn't matter so much if we weren't supposed to believe that Ash (at least) was a great poet.
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