On being a writer...

A celebration of the writing process, of being a writer, of all the weird things that pass through a writing brain...

Friday, 24 January 2014

The Professor

I've been hearing Lucy Hughes-Hallet talking about Villette, and how under-rated it is.  For my part, The Professor, which is strangely resonant of Stoner - or rather, I suppose, Stoner is strangely resonant of The Professor.
I've been following up my reading of books related to teachers with a reading of

What makes the two books somewhat echo each other is the love affair - the way two members of the same institution fall in love within the stifling context of the college in which they work.  But there is also something else rather bizarre that unites them - and that is the somewhat abusive relationships between various members of staff.

The fascination of educational establishments for novelists is partly to do with status.  So much can happen within an institution where power is a central theme.  Notes on a Scandal, Educating Rita, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie all come to mind.  And the narrator of The Professor is also guilty.  He toys with poor Frances Henri's sensibilities at first, just as his own are toyed with by the school's directrice.

If you've read Stoner and have never The Professor they make a fascinating juxtaposition.  The problem is getting past the first few chapters of the Bronte novel....


  1. Just to let you know I've pre-ordered The Woman in the Picture .... so looking forward to this, Katharine!
    Margaret Powling

  2. Hooray.l Thanks Margaret - just working on the page proofs now....