Friday, July 21, 2017

You supply what is not there.

From It's not what you put in but what you leave out that matters by Paul Johnson. On Jane Austen
So I beg readers who have not yet acquired that thorough familiarity to do so with all deliberate speed. On that same occasion, Miss Lascelles quoted to me an observation of Virginia Woolf (which also occurs in her book on page 134). Mrs. Woolf called Jane Austen 'a mistress of much deeper emotion then appears upon the surface. She stimulates us to supply what is not there.' Miss Lascelles added, 'It is a mark of a great writer that he or she takes the reader into the magic circle of composition, and gets you to join them in the art creation. You supply what is not there. And what you supply is to some extent of your own choosing, though to be sure within the parameters of the author's intentions. The supreme gift of authorship is to make the reader his co-creator. Shakespeare had this gift. So did Jane Austen. So does that remarkable Mr. Eliot who is astonishing us with his "Four Quartets".'

No comments:

Post a Comment