By John Cowper Powys
"A Glastonbury Romance, first released in 1932, is Powys masterwork, an epic novel of incredible cumulative strength and lyrical depth. In it he probes the paranormal and non secular ethos of the small English village of Glastonbury, and the influence upon its population of a legendary culture from the remotest earlier of human background - the legend of the Grail. Powys's wealthy iconography interweaves the traditional with the trendy, the ancient with the mythical, and the imaginitive inside guy with the wildlife outdoor him to create a ebook of remarkable scope and beauty."
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Additional info for A Glastonbury Romance
While we should begin with what a book is and what a book does, we should not ignore what the author does, particularly in novels where the subject is the author’s self. The best way to locate this presence within the text is to know beforehand something about the historical ﬁgure. In other words, the text more readily yields its presence to those who know about an author’s other works, life, and historical context. As readers we respond to an imitation of the real creator of the text. The actual author is in the imagined world as a distortion – at times, a simpliﬁcation, an obfuscation, an idealization, a clariﬁcation – of the creating psyche.
Thus the technical convention of omniscience survives, but not the concept of a shared value system that originally gave rise to the convention. The recognition that self-expression and subjectivity are at the heart of the transformation of the English novel was long inhibited by the acceptance in ﬁction criticism of the New Critical credo that the best literature depends on the author’s separating his or her personal life from the imagined world of the novels or, at the very least, on his or her repressing those aspects of experience that do not have “universal” interest.
In Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and even more so in Jude the Obscure, humans are restless, isolated, and frustrated as they lose their physical and moral roots. One of the impressions that remains with readers is of Tess and Jude walking aimlessly through Wessex country, even while they believe they have embarked on a signiﬁcant journey. Hardy is the ﬁrst English novelist who wholeheartedly rejects the conventional Christian myth of a benevolent universe. Within his imagined world, he shows the irrelevance of that myth and shows how his characters are educated by their experience to adopt an alternative perspective.