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Nice to know who my hero is! Now to read the post.


Thanks for a great post! I love the Blue Flower. I know its sad but I found the book very funny

The first one I read was The Bookshop. Read itcat Heathrow last summer. It perfectly captures the gray atmosphere of a Norfolk seaside town, with its feel of ancient creepinf damp.

Well, a good many of these 52 Authors posts have made me want to go out and read books, but none more than this one. Unfortunately at the moment I am buried under things that I must read--and write.

But, I'm recommending her to my book club, so soon one of her books may be one of the books that I must read.


Her biography of the four brothers is good


I know what you mean about finding the Blue Flower very funny. I did too in parts, especially during the totally-at-cross-purposes conversations between the poet and his very young beloved.


One thing about Fitzgerald's books is that they're all pretty short, usually not over 200 pages.

I'd heard of her but had no idea she was one of the Knoxes. I'm very intrigued now. The general description makes me think of the Anita Brookner novel I've mentioned here fairly recently, Hotel du Lac. Only it sounds like Fitzgerald's work has more or more interesting substance.

I have no recollection of ever even hearing of Penelope Fitzgerald. I had no idea there was a novel about Novalis in English. I'm going to have to read that. I know him as the author of Die Christenheit oder Europa (written 1799, during the 6-month papal vacancy after Pius VI had died a French prisoner):

There once were beautiful, splendid times when Europe was a Christian land ... [The] history of modern unbelief is extremely strange, and is the key to all the monstrous phenomena of recent times. ... [Catholicism's] incidental form is as good as destroyed, the old papacy lies in its grave and Rome has become a ruin for the second time. ... Just be patient, it will, it must come, the holy time of eternal peace, when the new Jerusalem will be the capital of the world; and until then, fellow believers, be cheerful and courageous amid the dangers of the time, preach the divine Gospel in word and deed, and cleave to the true, eternal faith until death.

Very good piece!

I've only read The Bookshop, which I liked, but for some reason never read any more of her. Someone (either Modern Library or Everyman's) has done a nice hardcover omnibus edition of three of her novels. I had a chance to buy this in a used bookshop a few months back, but I didn't have any money on me at the time, and when I went back a few days later it was gone.

I can't remember where I first heard about Fitzgerald, but I became familiar with Novalis through my interest in George MacDonald, who was a great devotee, and who actually published some of his own translations of Novalis' poetry.

You can read one of her books overnight at the airport

Thats a plus

I was about to say that I seemed to remember that George MacDonald was very interested in Novalis, but Rob seems to have beat me to it. I think that may have been where he got onto ground that made people question his orthodoxy.


I think it would be very nice, Maclin, if you could put a link on the sidebar to all the Authors posts--because you have nothing else to do. :-)


Or maybe update the schedules page with the link as each piece is published? Seems like it might be a little unwieldy on the sidebar. Or did you mean just one link for all? You can get that by clicking on the 52 Authors tag on the posts. It's decidedly unwieldy, though.

The only thing I know about Novalis (besides that he was a 19th c German poet and what Paul just said) is C.S. Lewis saying something along the lines of Macdonald's writing sometimes having "an oversweetness borrowed from Novalis."

Oh, I meant all together, but if you can just click on the tag, that would be fine, although the links on the schedules page would be helpful if you can find time.

You need a minion.


Have you read her book about Burne-Jones?


Everyman has two omnibus editions, each one containing three of her novels.


Although it's been many years since I read Anita Brookner's Hotel du Lac and a couple more of her novels, just on the question of style alone I don't remember a whole lot of resemblance there to Fitzgerald's work. Brookner's books feature mostly interior monologue, don't they? And they're usually about quiet, solitary lives? In Fitzgerald, there's lots of talk between people, and lots of characters bustling about, at least in the four of her novels I’ve read.

Gosh, so many of you know all about Novalis, and here I'd never heard of him. And, shame on me, even after reading The Blue Flower -- two times! -- I've not been curious enough to read up on him.

So, it's the blue flower as in sehnsucht, right? That just this minute occurred to me.



I read the knox bio but I didnt read the novels for years and years partly because I thought they would be dismal north London novels like Brookner. They are not

Marianne, it was the description of PF's books as "little jewels, beautifully written in a spare, incisive way" that made me think of Brookner, or rather of Hotel du Lac. It's not a monologue but it is definitely told from the point of view of one character, and she's on a solitary vacation and doesn't have all that much to do with other people.

This post makes me feel ignorant! I've read Fitzgerald's Knox brothers book, but didn't realize she'd written novels, and I'd never heard of Novalis. I know the word only as the name of a Catholic publishing house. But this ignorance just feels like a happy opportunity.

I know very little about Novalis. I just read a bit about him in MacDonald's biography.


I can't find where you mentioned Hotel du Lac, Maclin, which makes me kind of glad because that means I didn't just forget it. It must have been elsewhere.


Um...at the risk of making you feel bad: 5/18, 10:33pm. :-)

Or maybe you were referring to my saying I had mentioned it here recently? Yeah, that could have been somewhere else.

You did talk about Brookner earlier, Mac, in the post Janet did on Dean Koontz -- here's the link.

Oh yeah, that's it. I knew I remembered saying something like that somewhere to somebody...:-)

This search engine stinks.


Yes, it does. If I use it to look for something and don't find it, but really think it's there somewhere, I use Google. ("site:www.lightondarkwater.com")

Where do you put the thing you are looking for?


Before the "site:" bit. E.g.

"hotel du lac" site:www.lightondarkwater.com

HOWEVER: I just discovered that you get different results with www.lightondarkwater.com and lightondarkwater.typepad.com. With the first you get the most recent mention, but no others. With the second, you get two other mentions, but not the most recent. This is vexing.

Just remember, the whole point of computers is to save us time and effort.


No. The whole point of computers is to store data about us so either a) someone can make money off of us, or b) someone can control us, or c) some combination of a) and b).

That's the point of the internet.


I would save a whole lot of time by staying away from computers.

They were doing it before the internet.

The point of the internet is to make us generate more data about ourselves so computers can store it and carry on with Robert's a) b) c).

I'm sure you're right Robert, but you'll have to explain to me how a computer that isn't connected to other computers can be used that way.




I use to actually punch those.



I can't type a six word sentence correctly.


Yeah. You messed that one up, too. It should be "six-word." :)

I can't type an eight-word sentence correctly either.

I actually thought about the hyphen, but was too lazy to go back and put it in.


I used to, too. I started programming at the very end of the keypunch days. Horrible experience.

I never liked it. Before I did that, I had worked at an Amex reservations center which transitioned from using typewriters connected to the computer to CRTs while I was there, and then I did data entry with a regular keyboard for a couple of years, but Holiday Inn where I worked at the time had a small room with about 4 keypunch machines where they did some odds and ends and they moved me there when there was a big job to do. It didn't last long, which was good.


I have now read The Bookshop which was very good, but not entirely happy, and am about to finish listening to Gate of Angels, which I am really enjoying. There is a pretty good ghost story in GoA, almost worthy of Russell Kirk.


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