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Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars. POSSESSION by BYATT, ANTONIA SUSAN [Antonia ] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Possession. Film Tie-in. [Antonia S. Byatt] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

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Return to Book Page. Preview — Possession by A. Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story.

It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets.

Man Booker Prize Winner Paperbackpages. Published October 1st by Vintage first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Possessionplease sign up.

I’m considering assigning this as an option for an independent reading assignment for a class of high school sophomores all girls. Does anyone have thoughts on whether this novel would be appropriate and accessible for that age group?

A. S. Byatt

Marti I think we always underestimate and have such low expectations for teens. These said teens would be the people watching some pretty torrid movies, and …more I think we always underestimate and have such low expectations for teens.

These said teens would be the people watching some pretty torrid movies, and who live in the world where gender is now subdivided into so many categories I have to keep looking them up. What’s wrong with reading something which expects I learned a lot about appropriate and inappropriate emotional responses from reading fiction as a preteen and teen.

Don’t be afraid of what these young gals will come up with. I say, go for it. I tried to read this book years ago, after loving the movie and I couldn’t get into it because I thought the prose was a little over the top, but I keep coming back to the story, It has all of the elements of a story I think I would love if I could get through the writing style. Does this book get easier with age or is it really that pretentious? It’s pretentious to a fault, so save yourself the hassle, honestly.

See all 6 questions about Possession…. Lists with This Book. I have to admit, I did not approach this book this time around with what I would consider pure motives. No, I needed something from this boo That was.

No, I needed something from this book.

I was self-medicating with this book. I came back to this book because of the transformative experience I had the last two times. I needed to be transformed. I come home at the end of the day and spend my time trying to reconnect with the other person I know I am and want to continue being. Some days I can even stay awake long enough to get some of her back.

It also involves things that I would personally prefer not to be part of my life. I chose this job because I had become so disillusioned with the ivory tower academic path I was on that I chose the most opposite thing that I could think of to do that still fell within the realm of my skills and education.

After years of being shut up inside a library going crazy inside my head, I got sick of the whole exercise as a merry-go-round of narcissistic and masochistic head games.

I think that I am useful, sometimes. There are possessiob about her that I like and I think would benefit me if I could adopt them outside a situation of necessity. But there are things that I desperately want to save about the person that I can only be after work hours, which I have less and less time for.


What I would gain is not worth what I would lose-I am lucky enough to have enough time with my other self banked right now to be able to say that with certainty. I reached for Possession after two weeks of working twelve hour days and only one Saturday to restore my Self. I wanted it to bring me back to myself as fast as possible, though I’m sure I didn’t think that consciously.

I thought, I remember thisonly, when I was lucky enough to see it on the shelf. There are parts of this book that I have such a strong, bodily anchored memory of, that Anonia have connected to so strongly that my body possessio a sense memory of what it should do at the time when I read those words. I poszession at the point with this book where I am not only remembering the scenes and words, I am doubling that over with my memories of myself reading them and feeding off of them, trying to make them a part of my immediate self again.

It was a cycle of antknia and experience, one feeding off the other to bring me back, make me disappear and make me whole again, here in the present.

Possession – Antonia S. Byatt – Google Books

I needed some beauty in my life so badly, and this is how you know the disease of bibliophilia has really set in- books are what I turn to when I need that. Posseszion go to books to remind myself that beauty exists and it is worth something and it is a part of me, no matter how much I forget that sometimes.

There are some books that we readers can no longer do this with. Before I realized what I was doing this, it was happening for years with my constant re-reads of parts of Guy Gavriel Kay novels. He was my go-to until I anttonia his latest novel and the spell was broken- I stayed in the present and analytical- that it wouldn’t work again. Some of this, sure, is perhaps about developing better taste and letting go of adolescent attachments.

Possessionthough, it brought me back. It has not disappointed me yet. Parts of this byatr made me laugh and smile and exercise my brain in the way that I want it to be exercised, and alternately, it devoured me whole.

There were parts where I came up gasping for air, and parts that I danced over lightly, barely reading, except for letting the pieces of a well-known structure fall reassuringly into place. There were parts where the rhythm of it was enough, and parts where I read and re-read a page again and again until I felt I had understood it on many levels. But mostly, it was all so much words, words, wordsparagraphs and pages put together in just that way.

Now tell me, do you suppose what I just wrote is the truth or a lie? What shall I say of it? How shall I characterize it?

So if I construct a fictive eyewitness account- a credible plausible account- am I lending life to truth with my fiction- or verisimilitude to a colossal Lie with my feverish imagination? Do I do as they did, the evangelists, reconstructing the events of the Story in after-time? Or do I do as false prophets do and puff air into simulacra?. I have called you my Muse and so you are, or might be, a messenger from some urgent place.

But we are human- and to be human is to desire to know what may be known by any means… I would not for the whole world diminish you. Did we not- did you not flame and I catch fire? Shall we survive and rise from our ashes? That self-begotten bird In the Pkssession woods embossed That no second knows nor third And lay erewhile a holocaust From out her ashy womb now teemed Revives, reflourishes, then byaatt most When most unactive deemed And though her body die, her fame survives A secular bird, ages of lives.


I would rather have lived alone, so, if you would have the truth. Fuck, I remember now. That is the shit that started me down this path in the first place, that lead me to make choice after choice that I thought was going there, even if it went somewhere different.

Possession by A.S. Byatt

That restored me again. I felt purged, like I had gone antoia a cleansing diet for a month. This is the sort of read that cleans out all the nonsense from my brain and leaves me with what is essentially important again. It is a species of addiction- it works much the same as any other. But for now, books like Possession, books that devour me and spit me out again remade… this is what keeps me in equilibrium, and keeps the self that I very much want to keep around from disappearing.

They are my guide back. I am keeping this one, along with others of its kind, on my bedside table. I have a feeling I will need them again soon. If anyone has any books to recommend that they turn to for beauty and rest, please let me know. I would love to add them to what I can only call my arsenal. I do so hate to be predictable, the girl who has victorian and victorian-wannabe shelves, and shelves for regency and romance and the-aftermath, and pretty much every other category that this would plausibly be generally shelved in except, perhaps, pretentiousness-that’s-worth-it I’m going to have to go even further down the disgustingly adoring path and say that this is going to be a personal classic, for me.

I don’t argue that it needs to be taught in classrooms or become part of a modern canon or anything like that though I’m certainly not against the ideabut it definitely meets the most important thing for me: The first time I read it was in I was 16 years old, and the movie was coming out. There was no e I appreciated this book beyond a few very shallow things. Ooh look, letters with smart people references in it that I understand, this is so cool that I get even a little of this, yay!

Yeah, that was about the extent of my thoughts at the time, I antonnia.

I did cry at the end, but for the most simple of reasons, something that you could cry at a freaking Hallmark special on the Lifetime channel about. I am only 23, but I’m old enough to be mostly embarrassed for myself at 16 though I still think parts of this book are smokin’ sexyand I do feel like I’m getting worlds and worlds more out of this book than I ever got back then, and I can see myself getting more and more as I grow older, as the characters do.

There’s so much in here that leaped off the page and spoke to me and both my every day little problems and the bigger opinions and feelings that I have about the larger things in life.

And I know there are still vast things in here that I missed, things that I don’t think I quite understand yet, or call bullshit at at the moment that I just know will be of comfort to me when I pick this book up again in ten years or so, in twenty years, in thirty years. And the fact that I know that I’m going to do that, that I expect my copy to wear out and that I’ll have to get a new one before I die, well, that speaks volumes, doesn’t it?