Scots of Note - Dame Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark (1 February 1918 – 13 April 2006) was born in Edinburgh, later moving to Africa, London, New York, and Italy, places which all provided material for her novels. In her opionion, her conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1954 had a crucial influence on her further writing.

She won lots of literary awards, among them the TS Eliot prize in 1992 and the British Literature Prize in 1997.

I read only five of her novels, „The Comforters“,, „Memento Mori“, „The Ballad of Peckham Rye“, The Girld of Slender Means“, „The Prime of Miss Brodie“, and her autobiography, "Curriculum Vitae". What intrigues me is her sketching of characters, her observations of the dark and inexplicable sides of human beings, her sharp sense of humour. She’s always a challenge to the reader and fun to read.

As a teacher, I was and still am enamoured by “The Prime of Miss Brodie“ which is probably one of the best English novels ever. Miss Brodie is an Edinburgh spinster living in the 1930s and teaching at Marcia Blaine school. Her teaching methods can be called „progressive“, as she provides „her girls“, the „crème de la crème“, a chosen set of outstanding talents with details of the real life, such as skin care, the ‚fascisti’, her own love life, and more.

Quote Miss Brodie: One's prime is elusive. You little girls, when you grow up, must be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. You must live it to the full.

Below you can see a part of the film made by Ronald Neame, starring Maggie Smith.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

"only five" - huh? That's impressive, Francessa! I am ashamed to say that I've never read her. But "The Prime of ..." is still one of the best movies I've ever seen. As I was reading your post I was hearing Maggie Smith's voice saying those words, then I scrolled down to fine the clip...very much fun!

I'm enjoying your Scots of Note series a lot. :)

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