There’s a Spark of life in Beattie

SMRT-guy Steven Beattie, champion of the short story, examines Muriel Spark.

Never a writer given to verbosity, Spark found in the short story a vehicle to strip her language to its bones, ruthlessly excising anything extraneous and focusing in on her subjects with an intensity that is almost chilling. The word is appropriate: there is an icy quality to Spark’s writing that derives in large part from her unsparing, unsentimental approach to character and situation. If you are looking for consolation as a reader, you would be well advised to look elsewhere.

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