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John Cowper Powys. Anyone?

(11 Posts)
OrmIrian Sat 05-Sep-09 22:49:17

Have just re-read Maiden Castle for the first time in years. Much more aware of it's failings and innate 'maleness' but still loved it. Thomas Hardy with added magical realism.

Anyone else love his books?

cherryblossoms Sun 06-Sep-09 10:12:40

Oh my goodness. I read, actually tried to read, one of his books a while back and I just couldn't get into it. I'm trying to remember which one it was. Somebody comes to a village and there are lots of odd characters, involved in odd relationships. Including a girl who can imitate birdsong ... .

It occurred to me that I needed someone to explain to me how to read him. "Thomas Hardy with magical realism" would really have helped.

Might go back and give him another try.

Do you know anything about him? The whole family sound as though they were a huge charismatic cult in the early twentieth century - but I can find very little on them.

(See - I did try to do some research to help me read the book.)

OrmIrian Sun 06-Sep-09 11:05:09

Yes give him another go cherry! It does reward the effort IMO. Perhaps start with Weymouth Sands - I think it's the most accessible. Start off with the same state of mind you use with Dickens - ie it's going to be a marathon, but really enjoy the individual images as they come. And keep an open mind - he does like freaks and weirdoes grin

kickassangel Sun 06-Sep-09 11:28:46

interesting article

OrmIrian Sun 06-Sep-09 12:12:23

Very interesting! And it explains much of the oddity of his characters. I agree about the description of the flooding of the Levels - incredibly evocative. I live there and reading it have me a huge sense of the precariousness of life here - almost below sea-level And in places you find you find yourself loomed over by dikes full of water.

Have you read him kickass?

OrmIrian Sun 06-Sep-09 12:13:26

Have never read Porius. Dad has it but I over did JCP many years ago and I got put off tackling it.

cherryblossoms Tue 08-Sep-09 01:17:31

Thank you kickassangel and ormirian. I am inspired to go out and re-try JCP now.

If I follow through with my intention I shall get back to you.

OrmIrian Wed 09-Sep-09 13:49:31

Glastonbury Romance is also good. And not too wacko! Have fun.

Terpsichore Thu 10-Sep-09 08:58:20

OK, I guess this thread is pretty dead now, but will just add that I can highly recommend the Morine Krissdottir biography - it's fascinating. The whole family was deeply strange but JCP especially so, it seems. The account of his relationship with the 'Tiny Thin' (Phyllis, his much younger American 'companion') is gripping, but I spent a lot of the time with my eyes popping out of my head at their weirdness hmm. Get hold of it if you possibly can!

OrmIrian Thu 10-Sep-09 09:46:03

Thanks terpsichore. I will. I knew nothing about the man before but it sounds as if it will read even stranger than his novels.

PeggyGuggenheim Thu 08-Oct-09 13:35:21

Another addition to a deid threid - but I had a brief craze for JCP and got sometone to buy me his Collected Letters on Amazon. One day I will dive into them, and this discussion has maybe brought that day a little closer, so thanks!

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