Still Life Paperback – Jun 24 1995
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From Library Journal
Still Life is the second volume of a te tralogy. The three Potter children, Stephanie, Frederika and Marcus, in troduced in The Virgin in the Garden ( LJ 2/15/79), continue in conflict with their Yorkshire roots. To them, and to the author, intellectual passions are as all-encompassing as emotional ties, and always at war with them. Frederika, whose novel this really is, escapes to Cambridge and the life of the mind, al beit not without constant struggle. Mar cus, after a long breakdown, manages to stay and function in Yorkshire. Stephanie, having opted for small-town family life, loses her fight to retain an independent intellectual existence and is horribly vanquished by the material world in the book's one tragic moment. This is an opaque, challenging, and re warding novel . While its intellectual preoccupations and allusions will not be readily accessible to a broad reading public, it belongs in major fiction col lections. Diana Vincent-Davis, New York Univ. Sch . of Law Lib.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A major novel…a marvellous and most unusual work.” -- Iris Murdoch
“Affords enormous and continuous pleasure.” -- Anita Brookner
Top Customer Reviews
Still Life reads differently from The Virgin in the Garden, the author less obssessed with moment-to-moment reporting through painstakingly-gathered details. It is more sprawling, emphasizing characters' growth over a wider span of time (relatively speaking). What hasn't changed is Byatt's love for and mastery of language, and concern for the life of the mind. The novel contains many passages where Byatt boldly, and almost intrusively, airs her provocative views on everything from writing, visual perception, love, to politics (i.e. delivered in the authorial first person instead of through a character's mouth or mind). But she is also an astute observer of the ordinary, whether depicting childbirth, adultery, or domestic vignettes. There's something for everyone here. The final section is a shocker. I finished the book not quite convinced that a freak accident belongs in a literary novel. All the same, be prepared to read some moving passages on grieving.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a book that made me want to look at paintings. That statement probably won't make any sense to someone who has not read the parts of A.S. Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2001 by Martha E. Nelson
I read Still Life two years ago, I found it in a horrid little used book store on West Main Street, the type that pile books on top of books instead of using walls. Read morePublished on May 3 2001 by Anj V.