Loitering with Intent PDF ↠ Loitering with ePUB

Loitering with Intent [PDF / EPUB] Loitering with Intent How wonderful to be an artist and a woman in the twentieth century Fleur Talbot rejoices Happily loitering about London c 1949 with intent to gather material for her writing Fleur finds a job on the g How wonderful to be an artist and a woman in Loitering with ePUB Ñ the twentieth century Fleur Talbot rejoices Happily loitering about London c with intent to gather material for her writing Fleur finds a job on the grubby edge of the literary world as secretary to the peculiar Autobiographical Association Mad egomaniacs hilariously writing their memoirs in advance—or poor fools ensnared by a blackmailer Rich material in any case But when its pompous director Sir uentin Oliver steals the manuscript of Fleur's new novel fiction begins to appropriate life The association's members begin to act out scenes exactly as Fleur herself has already written them in her missing manuscript And as they meet darkly funny pre visioned fates where does art start or reality end A delicious conundrum The New Statesman called Loitering with Intent.


10 thoughts on “Loitering with Intent

  1. says:

    When I woke up this morning a tiny fragment of dream lingered in my mind I uickly grabbed what I could of it and stored it in a safe place — in my experience such fragments can come in handy as for example when I'm at a loss for an angle to begin a review And so it has proved in this case one way or another because what's immediately relevant here is that Muriel Spark or at least the narrator of this book Fleur Talbot is constantly storing up fragments of life for future use in her novels Not dreams perhaps but people their characters speech and actions She stealthily observes the people around her as a pigeon observes the ground beneath a park bench ready to pounce on any scraps that may fallFleur is uite frank about all this loitering with intent At the meeting I gave close attention to the six members without ever actually studying them with my eyes I always preferred what I saw out of the corners of my eyes so to speakShe also seems to use her eyes when listening Dutifully now I kept my eyes on his words No matter what drama is going on around her she is unperturbed coolly picking up any colorful phrases that get left behind Apparently the switchboard was in process of repair and a man was working overtime on it ‘The board’s asunder’ bellowed the boy I liked the phrase and picked it out for myself from the wreckage of the moment as was my wontThe wreckage of that particular moment is only one of the many wreckages in this book Fleur is struggling to finish her first novel under difficult circumstances and soon finds that her life and her writing have become entwined in very odd ways with wreckages abounding not only in the pages of her novel but in real life as well But Fleur is an unreliable narrator and the reader doesn't know if she is converting real life into fiction or if real life has converted her fiction into reality It's interesting to note that Spark's own first novel The Comforters which I haven't yet read is about a writer who finds out that she herself is a character in a book The border between reality and fiction is clearly something Spark enjoyed playing with and I'm looking forward to discovering of her inventiveness as I make my way through her long list of books I'm also looking forward to discovering of the pithy remarks she drops into the text here and there This one for instance caught my own beady eye It it not to be supposed that the stamp and feeling of a novel can be conveyed by an intellectual summary I smiled at that I smiled a lot while reading this book — there's humour on every page Here's another scrap I feasted on She was looking at me without really noticing my presence For a moment I felt like a grey figment the ‘I’ of a novel whose physical description the author had decided not to set forth I was still of course weak from my ’flu Apart from the 'flu jab what I enjoyed most in that excerpt is the reminder of the games the writer is playing in the background Spark hasn't given the reader any physical description of the narrator 'Flu or no 'flu Fleur is uite an opaue 'I'Speaking of the opaue the dream fragment I saved this morning might serve for than an opening angle; I feel I can recycle it to close this review of the very clever book that is Loitering with Intent What I managed to save were these words the vocation of a pigeon


  2. says:

    My first Muriel Spark And I feel like I've finally discovered another British female author of genius The most deliciously witty and clever book I've read all year And what fabulous characters It reminded me a bit of Nabokov the hall of mirrors she creates around her narrator One of the interesting things she said in a documentary I recently watched about her was that every book has a hidden author and that one of the first tasks of the writer is to work out who is writing the novel She does a masterful job of dramatizing this narrator behind the narrator conundrum in this book I now have a plan for the remainder of 2019 to read the other twenty four Muriel Spark novels Huge thanks to Fionnuala for giving me the nudge


  3. says:

    This one’s a real LARK I loved itFleur is a struggling novelist MIGHTILY struggling in postwar London All inspiration and no money But inspiration won’t pay the gas bill so she demeans herself and searches for workWell she finds something UITE promising very uickly Something that can make real USE of her literary know how She jumps at the chanceSir uentin is an odd old codger and an odder choice of boss But his Autobiographical Society seems uite above boardBut then she realizes it’s NOT There is something ROTTEN in merrie olde London towne and if Sir uentin was an American he’d be fit only for SAN uentinWill this young girl armed only with her native intelligence free herself from a Dark Imbroglio dreamed up by an Unprincipled Peer that is becoming and Nefarious with each passing moment?Read this and CHUCKLEMs Spark’s irresponsibly sparkling wit SHINES again FOUR full stars


  4. says:

    This was my fifth Spark novel and perhaps the most entertaining so far As always her writing is sharp and perceptive and her characters uirky and interesting This one centres on Fleur Talbot an aspiring young writer who must be at least partly based on the young SparkThe story starts when she gets a job with Sir uentin Oliver a minor aristocrat who has conceived an Autobiographical Association whose members are expected to write candidly about their lives in manuscripts that will be locked away for 70 years by which time everyone will be safely dead Fleur works as a secretary cum ghost writer and amuses herself by livening up the dull drafts they have produced Their meetings take place in uentin's London flat which belongs to his eccentric mother a wonderful creation who sows mischief but is ultimately much sympathetic than the scheming Sir uentinFleur is working on her first novel Warrender Chase and the events at the Autobiographical Association start to resemble her plot giving the plot a rather clever metafictional element I won't say too much about the way it develops it is only a short book and I would rather encourage you to read it yourself


  5. says:

    Muriel Spark is best enjoyed with a pot of tea and perhaps a biscuit or two Her books are witty civilized and sharp Not life changing exactly but a pleasant enough way to spend a few hours Novelist Fleur Talbot looks back on her early years particularly when she was working on her first novel Warrender Chase During that earlier time she takes a job working for the Autobiographical Association which got people to write their memoirs for safe keeping Fleur ever the writer uses artistic license to make the people’s lives interesting – ie filled with salacious detailsBut soon strange things start occurring Snatches of prose from her own novel start popping up in the memoirs Then events that happen to her book’s characters start happening to these real people What’s going on? Is she going mad? Is this a conspiracy? Is the mysterious head of the Autobiographical Association a Sir uentin Oliver at the root of it all?Spark offers up a bit of mystery the hint of criminality and even some rather tepid sex Comic caricatures are her forte the eccentric memoirists are lightly but effectively etched The most memorable character is Sir uentin's delightfully outspoken mother EdwinaI’m just not sure I got the point of the book Literary farce? Meditation on truth and art? There are many passages about the writings of Cardinal Newman and Benevuto Cellini all of which seem to have significance but I didn’t grasp themFurther Warrender Chase Fleur’s novel never came together in my mind so when truth began mirroring her fiction I just didn’t care Still I have fond memories of Spark’s The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie and I’ve heard some good things about a few of her other books Plus her books tend to be uite short 200 pages or so I’ll try another one soon


  6. says:

    I NEVER thought I could pick one favorite author Is Muriel Spark this for me? MaybeI have not come far in the book but I am totally loving it It is Spark's lines that I absolutely love They are witty They are intelligent They make you laugh and they make you think At this point wherever the plot may lead it just does not matter Spark humorously and wisely speaks about the art of writing I am regretting only that this piece is so short I see now that I have already done halfTo top it all off the audiobook is narrated by the talented Nadia May that is to say Wanda McCaddon The narration is utterly superb I had to immediately share my enjoyment even if I am not yet doneWell now it is over I just wish it had been longer No actually I would not change it a bit I loved it from start to finish It is funny it is witty it is wise It is not only about the art of writing; it’s about getting your book published too The plot is perfectly constructed This is a mystery and there are deaths Fleur Talbot the author in the story tells of what happens to her between the autumn of 1949 and the summer of 1950 The setting is London; each historical detail is perfect I love the characters particularly Fleur and Edwina The story is so darn clever The lines the lines they are simply fantastic The message the plot and the characters tooThis is my absolute favorite by Muriel Spark These in order of preference are the ones I have readLoitering with Intent 5 starsA Far Cry from Kensington 5 starsThe Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 3 starsThe Girls of Slender Means 3 starsMemento Mori 3 starsThe Bachelors 3 starsRemember a three star book is a book I like It is impossible to judge from the book descriptions which one YOU will like best I will read everything I can by this author


  7. says:

    I read this book due to its inclusion in the 2019 Mookes Madness tournament A book that was shortlisted for the 1981 Booker Prize a prize of course won by the Booker of Bookers Midnights Children An entertaining and cleverly written book – which I would best categorise as a very deliberate mash up of 1950s farce and early 1980s meta fictional conceitThe book serves as an interesting examination of two related creative processes Autobiography and memior – with Spark simultaneously among many other ideas having characters who whose whole connection is their interest in writing their own memoirs; examining in detail two autobiographies – Benvenuto Cellini’s “The Life of Benvenuto Cellini” and Henry Newman’s “Apologia” as well as alluding to Proust; looking at the idea of ghostwritten autobiographies; examining the importance of the mass autobiographical Who’s Who in determining so much of English culture and class hierarchy for much of the 20th CenturyAuto fiction – of course something which is topical now than when this was written given a year in which CuskKnausgaard finished their series; Spark examines the flow of a novel – what it means for a novel to draw from real life how that very act of writing what one observes can impact on the attitudes of those around the writer what we mean by the concept of art imitating life and to the point when we say that life seems to be imitating art or for art to turn out to be foreshadowing the future again something which can seem topical than ever in an age of TrumpBrexitA final comment – the version I read has a really excellent introduction from Mark Lawson and a very bizarre orange cartoon cover


  8. says:

    45What a delight this book was Full of wit and musings on writing and writers with a shrewd no nonsense heroine a colorful cast of secondary characters Edwina is simply marvellous and an unexpected and entertaining plot It is meta on so many levels I wouldn't even know where to begin And that title I am absolutely in love with it both in and of itself and how it relates to the novel


  9. says:

    I think how one feels about this novel is going to depend on how one feels about its narrator Fleur Talbot Fleur an aspiring novelist is plunked down among a group of odd characters and is clearly meant to be the voice of reason but she also displays a fair amount of obliviousness to the feelings of others I found this obliviousness to be one of the main sources of hilarity in the book but I can certainly see how others might feel differently Fleur also spends uite a bit of time describing her writing process to the reader which again I thought was uite interesting but which others might find dull or irrelevant The plot of this book is exceedingly silly but amusing in a low stakes kind of way Honestly this book was different from anything I've ever read before I'm definitely interested in reading other Muriel Spark books but it's hard to imagine they'll live up to the madcap antics of this one


  10. says:

    I find Muriel Spark novellas the perfect reading choice when I’m exhausted burned out unhappy or otherwise in a bad mood They are always brilliantly written and centre upon women who respond to difficult situations and annoying people with incredible verve The behaviour of Spark’s leading women isn’t necessarily something to aspire to in every case but it’s always interesting unconventional and instructive Thus they cheer me up ‘Loitering with Intent’ is narrated by Fleur Talbot an aspiring novelist with a peculiar secretarial job She has a voice of magnificent asperity at once artistic and deeply pragmatic I loved her throughout this twisty tense tale of her friends and lovers employers and enemies and the overlap between them It’s set in 1949 50 for the most part in bleak postwar London After taking the secretarial job Fleur meets a collection of eccentrics and finds their behaviour oddly similar to her unpublished novel ‘Warrender Chase’ She makes friends with an elderly lady and writes on throughout strange happenings showing admirable focus and good cheer in the face of great provocation Spark’s writing displays its usual excellent sharpness and deadpan witThere was a phone in my room connected to a switchboard in the basement I got no reply which was not unusual and I rattled to gain attention The red faced house boy underpaid and bad tempered who lived in with his wife and children in those regions burst into the room shouting at me to stop rattling the phone Apparently the switchboard was in process of repair and a man was working overtime on it “The board’s asunder” bellowed the boy I liked the phrase and picked it out for myself from the wreckage of the moment as was my wont“Father Egbert Delaney” said this handsome girl “believes that Satan is a woman He told me as much and I think he ought to be made to resign It’s an insult to women”“It does seem so” I said “Why don’t you tell him?”“I think you as secretary Fleur should take it up with him and report the matter to Sir uentin”“But if I tell him Satan is a man he’ll think it an insult to men”She said “Personally I don’t believe in Satan”“Well that’s all right then” I said“What’s all right then?”“If Satan doesn’t exist why bother if it’s a man or woman we’re talking about?”I would gladly uote all of the many conversations between Fleur and Dottie every line a gem The novella is pure joy from beginning to end Reading Spark is a helpful reminder that art can spring from life’s most mundane idiocies


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