Imagined Corners

Imagined Corners 

Willa Muir

A book of many woven narratives whose style and ideas are so broadly informed that it seems incredible that the novel was first published in 1935. There is an air of modernity to the writing – it has precision, it has deliberate ambiguity and it leans towards post-modernist dissolution – that I have rarely encountered and at the same time experienced a satisfying read. Imagined Corners is both a synthesis and a reply to other great Scottish texts. There are references to the great wilderness, to the small town mentality, to the grandiose and hopeless schemes, to the insidious influence of class on relationships.

The two central female protagonists are different sides of the same coin. Both called Elizabeth and both condensing and developing their own identity. Arguments explore the intellectual, emotional and historic truth, the consequences of cruelty, and injustice. Events spin around the two women to create an intriguing narrative that is also virtuoso example of  brilliant editing.

I am only parting with my copy in the knowledge that it will keep my mother entertained, and is likely to come back to me eventually.

 

Imagined Corners, Willa Muir, book review, Gabrielle Barnby.