Archive for the Other writers Category

Alice Munro

Posted in Other writers on April 21, 2010 by kateonyates

Well I’ve given up apologising for the relapses……

So to bring you up to date, I’ve submitted my thesis for examination and nervously await my examining Viva. I have no idea when it will be. Since February, when I submitted, I haven’t dared even look at my work. I did re-read an article I wrote for an online journal of some repute and I didn’t find it impressive; I had shied away from saying the difficult things which now annoys me a lot. It was just all a bit ‘safe’. I think my negative thoughts about Yates’s writing about women and their sexuality involved very explicit writing – on his part – and therefore need similar scrutiny on mine. I just didn’t feel able to do that in an article – pathetic! It is all in my thesis though.

In the meantime, I’ve been taking a break from all things Yatesian but I have been reading some of the work of Alice Munro who I understand ‘rates’ Yates and has for a long time: so not completely leaving Yates behind! I absolutely love her work and can see lots of links with Yates’ work not least in the way she uses and fictionalises her own biography: The View from Castle Rock and Runaway were my entry points but  Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage is a sublime collection of writing. I now have Too Much Happiness waiting for me. Canada and it’s landscape just comes alive as does a very unique authorial voice.

Enough for now but I’ll be back….


James Agee

Posted in Other writers, Uncategorized on May 27, 2009 by kateonyates

I know this is a bit of a departure from my work on Yates but I have only just discovered the incredible work of Mr James Agee, and in particular A Death in the Family. I have been struck by it as forcibly as I was struck six years ago by Revolutionary Road. It is a work of true genius with recognisable homage paid to Faulkner, Hardy and, I think, many of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century poets.

I am only two thirds of the way through my first reading but I am getting up early and staying awake late to keep reading. The prose is poetic without ever being overdone; the observations about human behaviour are so precise, so detailed and breathtakingly sharp; the shift in narrative view, and the gap between the inner and outer person, all carefully and dynamically conveyed. And then there’s the debate about Man and his beliefs threaded throughout, like an argument the author is having with himself, that strikes me as being so like Wallace Stevens’s work. It’s all a very different perspective on the family from the one Yates gives and makes for some interesting comparisons.

I want to know more about James Agee….Have any of you read any of his work, prose or poetry? Is there a biography? I only have the information that Wikipedia provides and it is’t much.

I have to thank my friend Mark for putting me on to this work and I look forward to finding time to read Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.