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The ‘Difficult’ Relationship: Christine Brooke-Rose, Catholicism and Muriel Spark

Jones, Stephanie (2017) The ‘Difficult’ Relationship: Christine Brooke-Rose, Catholicism and Muriel Spark. Textual Practice, 32 (8). pp. 245263-19. ISSN 0950-236X Online: 1470-1308

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Abstract

Christine Brooke-Rose has often been regarded by critics and readers alike as ‘difficult’ in the sense that her work seems to deliberately elude classification and definitive labels. This tendency to eschew categorisation with her writing has been well documented in academic criticism; however, most critics have failed to recognise the displacement in her life as a contributory factor informing the nature of her work. This essay considers Brooke-Rose’s development as a writer through a biographical lens, not to reduce her to her own experiences but rather to highlight her extraordinary life and the way that it has impacted upon her work. This essay focusses upon her early development as an author during the 1950s using the friendship she established with Muriel Spark during this period and her frequent negotiation of Catholicism as important biographical touchstones in an effort to enhance the reader’s understanding of Brooke-Rose’s early development as an author. It uses archival material alongside excepts from her novels to align the author’s work with her biographical experiences. This is by no means a full critical depiction of Brooke-Rose’s life or her relationship to Catholicism, but it serves as an introduction to both in order to go some way towards ‘demystifying her origins’.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: Brooke-Rose, Spark, Catholicism, Catholic church, 1950s, Bletchley, Second World War
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts
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SWORD Depositor: Prof. Pub Router
Depositing User: Stephanie Jones
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 16:13
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2018 12:02
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/6252

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