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Extra info for A.S. Byatt: Critical Storytelling
SS: 281) For much of the duration of the final chapter, Anna is (and is allowing herself to be) carefully written out of this familiar story, and written instead into the story of Peter’s family. Safely, if uneasily, installed as the prospective daughter-in-law at the Hughes-Wintertons’ ancestral home in Yorkshire, Anna, however, gradually comes to realise that this rewrite has resulted only in one plot, one ‘psychological net’, being replaced by another. In submitting to Peter’s plans for their future together, Anna, as she now recognises, ‘had not allowed for herself, or her own modes of knowledge; here, she would be halfhuman; a child in a nursery.
Eliot, and the tentative hope that there might just be a space for contemporary fiction that could be illuminated by its own and decidedly worldly light – neither Coleridge’s secondary Moon nor the bright primary rays of the Sun, but the knowledge that ‘one had to contain them, and continue somehow’. Like The Shadow of the Sun, A. S. Byatt’s second novel The Game has, over the years, attracted its fair share of biographical criticism. Commentary on this novel tends to focus on the perceived parallels between the portrayal of the two main characters’ sibling rivalry, around which the plot of The Game revolves, and the fraught and often publicly embattled relationship between A.
In the mid-twentieth century, the presumed split between Romanticism and Victorianism still dominated critical discourses at a conceptual level and F. R. Leavis and T. S. Eliot were alive and well. qxd 24/09/2010 13:23 Page 20 20 A. S. Byatt modernism nor Romantic or Victorian models were ultimately capable of healing the rift between ‘thought’ and ‘experience’, ‘words’ and ‘things’, the question of where contemporary fiction and its criticism were going to go from here was a difficult one to ponder.