'But you must understand that everything happens to an artist; time is always redeemed, nothing is lost and wonders never cease' Muriel Spark
I first came across a fragment written by Muriel Spark in the disconcerting guise of a text to be translated into French at university. I remember litttle about it, apart from the name printed at the bottom of the page. Muriel Spark. It had a glamorous ring to it. The text was indeed a fragment; hors contexte. A series of words and sentences to be pored over in the solitary company of a Dictionnaire Larousse.
Yesterday, twenty five years later, I was in Edinburgh, and stopped in at the National Library of Scotland where I happened upon a wonderful exhibition about Muriel Spark’s life. She was quite remarkable. As a child she was vivacious and bright. She lived in Edinburgh, of part Jewish parentage, close to the library now celebrating her life. At school she was hardworking and talented, distinguished with early publishing success in a poetry competition. She always saw herself as a poet. Yet, as an adult, she pursued the writing of novels with relentless devotion. She lived in Africa, London, New York and Rome. Her marriage was short and her relationship with her only child complex.
Muriel Spark’s autobiography Curriculum Vitae was created from her extensive personal archive. I’ve added it to my reading list. Muriel Spark’s life and her passion for the written word are fascinating. My reading journey – and yesterday’s visit to a library – keeps opening up windows. Wonders never cease.