THE CRÈME DE LA CRÈME

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‘The evening paper rattle-snaked its way through the letter box and there was suddenly a six-o’clock feeling in the house.’

One of my wonderful Creative Writing MA lecturers Caron Freeborn was praising the novels of Muriel Spark a week ago, and when she discovered I hadn’t yet read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, she told me to get to it immediately. So I did. Part of the same Waterstones exercise that provided me with Miranda July’s short stories from the previous post. And there is ‘a six o’clock feeling in the house’ as I read Spark’s perfect lines. Miss Jean Brodie is a novella, which has always been one of my favourite manifestations of story-telling. Scalpel work woven with a poet’s hand. I feel as though this is a poem disguised as a novella. Maybe that is because poems are woven into the body of the work. Or maybe the best works of fiction always feel like poetry to me. I am enjoying myself, and not a little in awe of the eponymous leader…

‘Plainly,’ said Miss Brodie, ‘you were not listening to me. If only you small girls would listen to me I would make of you the crème de la crème.’

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4 thoughts on “THE CRÈME DE LA CRÈME

  1. Once in 2009, during my best, star struck meeting with Josh Ritter, he asked me what books I was studying in my first year English (which I had only just begun) I completely drew a blank and Spark’s book was the only name I could remember, and he said ‘That’s my favourite book!’ And chatted about how wonderful Muriel Spark is. Magic x

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    1. I love your Josh Ritter related anecdotes – it’s such a lovely happy mutual appreciation between you both.

      You’ve already read Spark and July?! You’ve read everything! I’m only just catching up! Definitely time to take a break from social media but then I’d miss the likes of you 😚😚

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        1. You can definitely have both – we need both!
          But I think that comment feels like inspiration for a post – write about contemporary vs period pieces on lyrics and lemon – I’ll be glad to read what you think xx

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