Spark, Dame Muriel

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Spark, Dame Muriel,

1918–2006, Scottish novelist, b. Muriel Sarah Camberg. She lived in Edinburgh, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), London, New York, and Rome, and spent her last years in Tuscany. Spark's typically short, spare, and witty novels expose the pretensions, hypocrisies, and petty foibles of her characters with merciless satire and cool detachment. Her Roman Catholicism (she converted in 1954) informs her acute moral vision and underlies her interest in revealing the dark, terrifying, evil, and unexplainable side of banal human experience. Spark's 22 novels include The Comforters (1957), Memento Mori (1958), The Bachelors (1960), The Girls of Slender Means (1963), The Mandelbaum Gate (1965), The Driver's Seat (1970), The Abbess of Crewe (1974), The Takeover (1976), Loitering with Intent (1981), A Far Cry from Kensington (1988), Reality and Dreams (1997), Aiding and Abetting (2001), and The Finishing School (2004). Her short novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) became an acclaimed stage, film, and television production; its success made Spark famous and wealthy. Her poems and short stories are compiled in Collected Poems I (1967), Collected Stories I (1968), and Open to the Public: New and Collected Stories (1997, rev. ed. 2001). Many of her essays, written 1950–2003, were collected in The Informed Air (2014). She also wrote critical studies of Mary ShelleyShelley, Mary Wollstonecraft,
1797–1851, English author; daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. In 1814 she fell in love with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, accompanied him abroad, and after the death of his first wife in 1816 married him.
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 (1951) and John MasefieldMasefield, John
, 1878–1967, English poet. He went to sea as a youth and later spent several years in the United States. In 1897 he returned to England and was on the staff of the Manchester Guardian.
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 (1953) and a biography of Emily BrontëBrontë
, family of English novelists, including Charlotte Brontë, 1816–55, English novelist, Emily Jane Brontë, 1818–48, English novelist and poet, and Anne Brontë, 1820–49, English novelist.
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 (1953). She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993.


See her autobiography, Curriculum Vitae (1993); critical biography by B. Cheyette (2001), biography by M. Stannard (2010); studies by D. Stanford (1963), K. Malkoff (1968), P. Stubbs, ed. (1973), R. Whittaker (1982), A. Bold, ed. (1986), D. Walker (1988), R. S. Edgecombe (1990), N. Page (1990), J. L. Randisi (1991), J. Hynes, ed. (1992), J. Sproxton (1992), M. Pearlman (1996), F. E. Apostolou (2001), M. McQuillan, ed. (2001), and M. Herman (2010).

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"I'm a big fan of Muriel Spark and had read a lot of her books, but the great thing about the project is that I've really re-connected with her work.
Muriel Spark has often been acknowledged as the most European of Scottish writers, but Spanish or Latin American locations are barely mentioned (with the exception of the walled city of Avila, Spain, in Aiding and Abetting, where events seem to occur world-wide).
He goes on to examine the material and the spiritual in the work of Evelyn Waugh and layers of identity in the work of Muriel Spark. Lastly, he looks at alternative approaches of rationalizing the dual identity of British Catholics in the work of G.
Critique: Comprised of sixteen erudite and scholarly essays, "Hidden Possibilities: Essays in Honor of Muriel Spark" is a seminal collection that is enhanced with the inclusion of an informed and informative introduction by the editor, plus a Biographical Note: Muriel Camberg Spark 1918-2006; a ten page bibliography of the works of Muriel Spark; Notes on the Contributors, and a comprehensive index.
Kennedy, Ali Smith, Muriel Spark, Emma Tennant, and Alice Thompson to demonstrate how, over the past thirty years, these authors have redefined those discourses according to the new realities for Scotland, for those who identify themselves as Scottish, and for those who write predominantly about Scotland.
Eccentric Maggie Smith holds sway over a 1930s Edinburgh girls' school in Muriel Spark's Oscarwinning dramedy.
Murray's The Traveler Returned, sovereign law and bare life in Bleak House, the remedy of law, sexual harassment, the "devadasi," the legal performances of Georgia Weldon, Harper Lee versus Fannie Flagg, the anti-detective fiction of Muriel Spark, Derrida on the "democratic right to say anything," law and literature in the nuclear age, authorship and the work of Vergilio Ferreira, and a definition of defamation and privacy law.
The articles cover a number of highly differentiated interpretive approaches, methods and conclusions, including a philosophical perspective on the dialectics of marginalization; the motif of death in modern literature and philosophy; colonial Africa in Muriel Spark's fiction; journals from Greenland; the experience of marginalization in essays by Said and others; Africa and Europe in the Danish author Kirsten Thorup's latest novel; black male marginalization in American literature; Count Leon Skorzewski as a citizen of the world; Jewish soldiers in American war fiction; the narratology of marginalization; AIDS and discrimination in the film "Philadelphia"; the Other and vampires in the HBO series "The Blood"; disabled people in Korean film.
4 The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) MAGGIE Smith won an Oscar for her portrayal of writer Muriel Spark's teacher who wants to inspire her young "gels" in the prime of her life.
Suh's study begins with Wyndham Lewis, the lone male in the study, then moves through a range of little discussed 1930s female writers--Olive Hawks, Phyllis Bottome, Nancy Mitford, Elizabeth Bowen--and ends with Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961).
Which film, based on a Muriel Spark novel, victory in the 1981 Grand National by Bob won Maggie Smith her first Academy Award in Champion?