Reading Possession post-structurally....
Posted by Kate on October 24, 1997 at 16:45:07:
I am finding as I read this that because I am so busy at the moment and simply don't have time to sit down and read it in consecutive order, I'm flipping back and forth - reading bits towards the end, and then going back and reading the poetry, and rereading parts at the beginning.... this actually makes some kind of sense because the Ash/LaMotte story does actually come out in strange order - we know at the beginning that she died a spinster so we already know they don't end up "together" before their story even begins.
One of the themes of the book is actually the relevance of narrative structure. When Maude and Roland go to read the letters (have we got to this yet? I'm confused...!) she won't read them in narrative order, partly because, in a post-modern world, narrative is irrelevant. But later in the book, they both become gripped by the narrative, by wanting to know what happened next... so they are driven by the actual story.
I find my approach to this book kind of reflects this confusion about narrative - as does the way the book is written, jumping from modern story, to old story, to poetry, to the view point of different characters, to letters and diaries.... it is in fact part of the achievement of the book that this rich and eclectic collection of materials tells a ripping good yarn.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.