I Am Big. It's the Pictures That Got Small

for those wonderful people out there in the dark

16 April 2006

Leslie Norris, Muriel Spark

Recent news of the deaths poet Leslie Norris and fiction writer Muriel Spark.

Norris was a Welsh poet, taking up the mantle of Dylan Thomas, at least as far as using the natural landscape as a grounding to his poetry. He ended up at BYU in the early eighties, which alone should kill any other comparisons (which are inherently unfair) to Thomas. Heard him read a number of times out west, an elegant reader, gentlemanly.

Muriel Spark is someone I admired since I read The Girl of Slender Means as an undergraduate: I liked her piercing comedy, amid the aloof observations, all hovering above the grave, too. Her skinny little novels, too, had such range, even goofiness, in their subject matter--her interests seemed less novelistic to me, but more psychological and poetic. Shimmering and deep.

Both writers lived productively into their 80s, too, which I find comforting and admirable.

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