Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Bright Spark Goes Out

Prolific writer, Muriel Spark, died on Friday, April 14th at the age of 88.

Best-known as the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - one of Time magazine's all time 100 novels - Spark created an impressive body of work that includes novels, short stories, essays and so much more. She decided in the 1940's to keep a record of her professional and personal activities, beginning a personal archive that is now one of the largest and most comprehensive held by the National Library of Scotland.

The Muriel Spark archive is unique among the National Library of Scotland's collections of papers of Scottish writers. No other author has so deliberately and carefully preserved a record of their life.

Spark is quoted on the National Library of Scotland's website as saying, "since 1949 onwards I have thrown away practically nothing on paper." When one thinks of the amount of paper created by a writer being saved and archived for future generations it boggles the mind. What a wonderful gift and legacy to leave behind.

I remember reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie when I was in my early twenties and thinking, "this broad has guts." What is interesting is the theme of the novel - "standing up against conventionality," - is still relevant today. Just this past week the movie adaptation of the novel was on TV and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed Maggie Smith in the role of Miss Brodie. Oft times the movie adaptations are a let down but in this case I was pleasantly surprised.

Maggie Smith in her role as Miss Jean Brodie

For more information on the amazing Muriel Spark check this out.

Thanks for this! I had not heard of her death until I read it here.
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