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clarepayton
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Why did Vida choose Margaret?

We have an interesting thread going on about why Vida chose Margaret to write her biography. Read some of our responses below. Note that the author suggests that the answer is simpler than some of our members might suggest. Yet we both acknowledge the interplay between reader and writer and how the reader shapes an understanding of the story the writer gives him/her. What else might be a motivation for Vida to choose Margaret? What else do we notice?
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GrandmaJean
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Re: 3. Margaret Lea and Vida Winter



clarepayton wrote:
3. As the story unfolds, we learn that Margaret and Miss Winter are both twins. What else do they have in common?





I can't help but feel that Margaret was chosen for a specific reason by VW to write the biography. I feel she knows Margaret is a twin and that has something to do with the reason for her be the chosen one. VW didn't answer the question when Margaret asked and assumed it was because Margaret had written the biography of the Landier brothers. The book doesn't say if they were twins. "The Fraternal Muse"---fraternal twins?
Grandma Jean
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LizzieAnn
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Re: 3. Margaret Lea and Vida Winter

On page 48 Vida tells Margaret exactly why she chose her to write her story.

"Because of your work on the Landier brothers. Because you know about siblings."

On page 16, Margaret herself says: "I am not a proper biographer. In fact I am hardly a biographer at all." In the next paragraph (same page) she states: "One of my essays - "The Fraternal Muse," a piece on the Landier brothers, Jules and Edmond, and the diary that they wrote in tandem - caught the yes of a history editor and aas included in a hardback collection of essays....It must have been this essay that captured the attention of Vida Winter..."



GrandmaJean wrote:


clarepayton wrote:
3. As the story unfolds, we learn that Margaret and Miss Winter are both twins. What else do they have in common?





I can't help but feel that Margaret was chosen for a specific reason by VW to write the biography. I feel she knows Margaret is a twin and that has something to do with the reason for her be the chosen one. VW didn't answer the question when Margaret asked and assumed it was because Margaret had written the biography of the Landier brothers. The book doesn't say if they were twins. "The Fraternal Muse"---fraternal twins?


Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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GrandmaJean
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Re: 3. Margaret Lea and Vida Winter



LizzieAnn wrote:
On page 48 Vida tells Margaret exactly why she chose her to write her story.

"Because of your work on the Landier brothers. Because you know about siblings."

On page 16, Margaret herself says: "I am not a proper biographer. In fact I am hardly a biographer at all." In the next paragraph (same page) she states: "One of my essays - "The Fraternal Muse," a piece on the Landier brothers, Jules and Edmond, and the diary that they wrote in tandem - caught the yes of a history editor and aas included in a hardback collection of essays....It must have been this essay that captured the attention of Vida Winter..."



GrandmaJean wrote:


clarepayton wrote:
3. As the story unfolds, we learn that Margaret and Miss Winter are both twins. What else do they have in common?





I can't help but feel that Margaret was chosen for a specific reason by VW to write the biography. I feel she knows Margaret is a twin and that has something to do with the reason for her be the chosen one. VW didn't answer the question when Margaret asked and assumed it was because Margaret had written the biography of the Landier brothers. The book doesn't say if they were twins. "The Fraternal Muse"---fraternal twins?







Yes I do remember Vida saying because Margaret had worked on the Landier brothers but didn't believe her because Margaret had already planted that seed herself in asuming it was the reason before V. Winter gave her answer and the Landiers were siblings. So if your a biographer writing about siblings doesn't reveal you have siblings. I just don't believe it is the truth, I don't buy it. I think at this point there has to be another reason why Margaret was chosen.
Grandma Jean
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DianeSetterfield
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Re: 3. Margaret Lea and Vida Winter

When I used the invented name Landier I was in fact thinking about the real Goncourt brothers. Living in nienteenth-century Paris, they wrote together, both novels and their very famous diaries. They were not twins, but the fact of their writing as a pair (even rarer then than it is now) suggests they were unusually close.
In the French edition of the novel (not out till Feb 1st) we have replaced the name Landier with Goncourt.
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Choisya
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Re: 3. Margaret Lea and Vida Winter



DianeSetterfield wrote:
When I used the invented name Landier I was in fact thinking about the real Goncourt brothers. Living in nienteenth-century Paris, they wrote together, both novels and their very famous diaries. They were not twins, but the fact of their writing as a pair (even rarer then than it is now) suggests they were unusually close.
In the French edition of the novel (not out till Feb 1st) we have replaced the name Landier with Goncourt.





Thanks for this useful piece of information Diane. I guess they must have been almost as close as twins and this make sense of VW's desire to have Margaret write the stories of the Angelfield twins.
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MusicMom
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Re: 3. Margaret Lea and Vida Winter definite SPOILER!



Choisya wrote:


DianeSetterfield wrote:
When I used the invented name Landier I was in fact thinking about the real Goncourt brothers. Living in nienteenth-century Paris, they wrote together, both novels and their very famous diaries. They were not twins, but the fact of their writing as a pair (even rarer then than it is now) suggests they were unusually close.
In the French edition of the novel (not out till Feb 1st) we have replaced the name Landier with Goncourt.





Thanks for this useful piece of information Diane. I guess they must have been almost as close as twins and this make sense of VW's desire to have Margaret write the stories of the Angelfield twins.




Ahhh, but Vida wasn't a twin--she was only very close to one of the twins--so she would have been more interested in Margaret's ability to understand the "closeness" than the "twin-ness".
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Choisya
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Re: 3. Margaret Lea and Vida Winter



GrandmaJean wrote:


clarepayton wrote:
3. As the story unfolds, we learn that Margaret and Miss Winter are both twins. What else do they have in common?





I can't help but feel that Margaret was chosen for a specific reason by VW to write the biography. I feel she knows Margaret is a twin and that has something to do with the reason for her be the chosen one. VW didn't answer the question when Margaret asked and assumed it was because Margaret had written the biography of the Landier brothers. The book doesn't say if they were twins. "The Fraternal Muse"---fraternal twins?





There was no way of VW finding out that Margaret was a twin because her parents had been so very secretive about it. The Landier's were brothers who wrote a diary 'in tandem'. It was perhaps the closeness of these brothers (we do not know that they are twins either), who could write in tandem, that drew VW to Margaret as a biographer?
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DianeSetterfield
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Re: 3. Margaret Lea and Vida Winter

I've just thought of something to add to this thread that might be helpful. When people read, it brings about a curious intimacy between two strangers, the reader and the writer. And frequently it gives the reader a sense that they know the writer. And of course to a certain extent this is true. Miss Winter, in reading Margaret's essay on the Landier brothers is persuaded that the writer must be someone who has a special interest in siblings. And - I have seen this myself in the questions people ask me about my book - such an impression sometimes leads further: to the suspicion that the writer has personal experience of the things of which he or she writes. Of course this may not be the case at all - the interplay between experience and the creation of fiction is more complicated than that.
In any case, it doesn't seem necessary to me to imagine that Miss Winter is privy to any additional information about Margaret other than her reading of the book. The fact that Margaret has written the Landier essay is enough to make Miss Winter sure that she is the sibling expert she needs.
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KathyS
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Intimacy between stangers, reader and the writer



DianeSetterfield wrote:
I've just thought of something to add to this thread that might be helpful. When people read, it brings about a curious intimacy between two strangers, the reader and the writer. And frequently it gives the reader a sense that they know the writer. And of course to a certain extent this is true. Miss Winter, in reading Margaret's essay on the Landier brothers is persuaded that the writer must be someone who has a special interest in siblings. And - I have seen this myself in the questions people ask me about my book - such an impression sometimes leads further: to the suspicion that the writer has personal experience of the things of which he or she writes. Of course this may not be the case at all - the interplay between experience and the creation of fiction is more complicated than that.
In any case, it doesn't seem necessary to me to imagine that Miss Winter is privy to any additional information about Margaret other than her reading of the book. The fact that Margaret has written the Landier essay is enough to make Miss Winter sure that she is the sibling expert she needs.


Diane,
I find this an interesting topic of conversation. I saw this to be true between Vida Winter and Margaret. I did not read anything else into their situation, (Vida knowing more about Margaret's twin past, than Margaret did) once they started to collaborate, and the facts started to unfold.

As far as "real life" connections, between reader and writer, I have experienced them myself. I am sometimes able to "read" authors, (as others have "read" me)and have found similarities in their written word, and who they actually are. The creative process is extremely complicated. And when an author says that they try to hide who they are from their readers, are deluding themselves. The conscious becomes the unconscious, and then the subconscious takes on a integral part. Your heart and soul is never kept out of this process. It is just that some writers seem to think they are better at hiding themselves, than others.
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Sensorymoments
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Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: Intimacy between stangers, reader and the writer



KathyS wrote:


DianeSetterfield wrote:
I've just thought of something to add to this thread that might be helpful. When people read, it brings about a curious intimacy between two strangers, the reader and the writer. And frequently it gives the reader a sense that they know the writer. And of course to a certain extent this is true. Miss Winter, in reading Margaret's essay on the Landier brothers is persuaded that the writer must be someone who has a special interest in siblings. And - I have seen this myself in the questions people ask me about my book - such an impression sometimes leads further: to the suspicion that the writer has personal experience of the things of which he or she writes. Of course this may not be the case at all - the interplay between experience and the creation of fiction is more complicated than that.
In any case, it doesn't seem necessary to me to imagine that Miss Winter is privy to any additional information about Margaret other than her reading of the book. The fact that Margaret has written the Landier essay is enough to make Miss Winter sure that she is the sibling expert she needs.


Diane,
I find this an interesting topic of conversation. I saw this to be true between Vida Winter and Margaret. I did not read anything else into their situation, (Vida knowing more about Margaret's twin past, than Margaret did) once they started to collaborate, and the facts started to unfold.

As far as "real life" connections, between reader and writer, I have experienced them myself. I am sometimes able to "read" authors, (as others have "read" me)and have found similarities in their written word, and who they actually are. The creative process is extremely complicated. And when an author says that they try to hide who they are from their readers, are deluding themselves. The conscious becomes the unconscious, and then the subconscious takes on a integral part. Your heart and soul is never kept out of this process. It is just that some writers seem to think they are better at hiding themselves, than others.




I think you make a point in your book Diane, about how Vida would tell a story about her birth to match her current book at the time, because people would believe it, and feel like they know the author from reading the story, even deeper, even though the stories she created had nothing to do with her life. Is this why you included this belief in the story? Is it something you feel strongly about? :smileywink:

So what's the answer....Do you have some real life experiance into "twindom" ?:smileyhappy:

I also agree with Kathy ,than on some level, authors reveal more than they intend to reveal through thier stories.

I often feel that story making is a coping mechanism. A way to shape and mold the things we feel throughout the day, into something tangible, memorable, and....something more interesting that reality. My boyfriend writes these ornate, descript, fantastical stories, about worlds you wouldn't think he'd create by his personality....but you see the correlations to his real life in the stories...and ...yet, you become entranced by the story that doesn't exist.

I'm somewhat rambling on here, so forgive me if this doesn't make complete sense! I tend to freewrite!!! :smileyhappy:
Owy

*Taking everyday, one book at a time*
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KathyS
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Re: Intimacy between stangers, reader and the writer

OWY you wrote: I also agree with Kathy ,than on some level, authors reveal more than they intend to reveal through thier stories.

I often feel that story making is a coping mechanism. A way to shape and mold the things we feel throughout the day, into something tangible, memorable, and....something more interesting that reality. My boyfriend writes these ornate, descript, fantastical stories, about worlds you wouldn't think he'd create by his personality....but you see the correlations to his real life in the stories...and ...yet, you become entranced by the story that doesn't exist.

I'm somewhat rambling on here, so forgive me if this doesn't make complete sense! I tend to freewrite!!!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


OWY,

Speaking only from my own personal experience, writing can be a coping mechanism. I say, CAN, because it doesn't have to be. But any writer has to draw on their own experiences; and others; and research; and imagination, to write. Imagination has to be part of any fictional writer or artist's personality. Boiling down to the creative process. Every writer approaches their writing differently, depending on their background and desires - and yet with similarities.

It all comes out of the mind and down the arms, to the fingers....and onto a keyboard, or with a pen or pencil.....and eventually onto paper - that's the similarity! :-)
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GrandmaJean
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Re: 3. Margaret Lea and Vida Winter

Thank you so much for the explanation. So now I can trust Vida Winter was telling the truth when she picked Margaret for the biography. I guess I wasn't too far off in thinking the Landier bros. might have been twins. Writing in tandem seemed like a "twin" kind of trait. I was putting myself in Margaret's position and being suspicious of Vida's answer/motive given her history of not telling the truth.

So very helpful of you.
Grandma Jean
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DianeSetterfield
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Re: Intimacy between stangers, reader and the writer

Quite a lot of different things to respond to in this message, so here they are one at a time:

Yes, Miss Winter tells a lot of different stories about herself, though I don't recollect anything about their being thematically linked to the latest book.

Sorry! No experience of twinship other than the imaginary (and for the purposes of writing what better experience is there than that?)

On what one does and doesn't reveal in writing fiction: of course one reveals something of oneself when writing fiction. Who was it who said that all lies reveal the truth? (One may well consider the creation of fiction is a culturally sanctioned form of lying.) But the self that is revealed is a very specific aspect of the self, and not necessarily one that ones friends or family might recognise. There are a number of different ways that people view the self as it appears in fiction. I was for a long time fascinated by the view of one French writer in particular. Andre (please read a sharp accent over that last 'e') Gide spoke of the many potential buds that the self contains, only some of which will be provoked in life into full growth; his view was that in his fiction he could explore those aspects of himself that were dormant in life. Margaret would be inclined to put it differently: it is the potential selves we are haunted by that flourish in fiction, she might say.
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writer is not important



DianeSetterfield wrote:
I've just thought of something to add to this thread that might be helpful. When people read, it brings about a curious intimacy between two strangers, the reader and the writer. And frequently it gives the reader a sense that they know the writer.


Now I had to think about this one a little extra...but I do not think it is true for me personally. I do not imagine that I know anything about the writer if it isn't a memoir.
I do not know anything about Diane more than what the interviews convey.

For me the story is the story...if the story is good the narrator (writer) isnt needed. S/he doesn't havea life within the story. It's the magic that works and the magic has to take over for the story to live. The author is 'arbitrary'.

The discussion like we are having here is on anoter'social', intellectual level.

I am not sure if I explained this well, at least I tried, LOL.

ziki
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the brothers

I took it purely as a 'metier' thinking that Ms Winter chose Margaret because her writing skill (inspite of M. calling herself amateur). Living among books M could have too high demands/ expectations for herself and thus judged herself as an amateur biographer.

hmmm...
ziki
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Choisya
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Re: Exploring 'twinships'

I understand that Lisa Scottoline, the author who writes legal mysteries, explored the relationship of twins in her 'Mistaken Identity'. Has anyone read this?
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flowergardener
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Re: the brothers

u people think way to hard about this lol! i guess i just read to read. wow.
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Wrighty
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Re: the brothers


flowergardener wrote:
u people think way to hard about this lol! i guess i just read to read. wow.




I usually read just for enjoyment as well but when I participate in these book clubs it's nice to be able to pick other people's brains, as well as my own. :smileywink:
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Sensorymoments
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Re: Intimacy between stangers, reader and the writer



DianeSetterfield wrote:
Quite a lot of different things to respond to in this message, so here they are one at a time:

Yes, Miss Winter tells a lot of different stories about herself, though I don't recollect anything about their being thematically linked to the latest book.

Sorry! No experience of twinship other than the imaginary (and for the purposes of writing what better experience is there than that?)

On what one does and doesn't reveal in writing fiction: of course one reveals something of oneself when writing fiction. Who was it who said that all lies reveal the truth? (One may well consider the creation of fiction is a culturally sanctioned form of lying.) But the self that is revealed is a very specific aspect of the self, and not necessarily one that ones friends or family might recognise. There are a number of different ways that people view the self as it appears in fiction. I was for a long time fascinated by the view of one French writer in particular. Andre (please read a sharp accent over that last 'e') Gide spoke of the many potential buds that the self contains, only some of which will be provoked in life into full growth; his view was that in his fiction he could explore those aspects of himself that were dormant in life. Margaret would be inclined to put it differently: it is the potential selves we are haunted by that flourish in fiction, she might say.




Ah, Yes, I see. Thank you for responding:smileyhappy: True, sometimes I think we truly can write better tales of things we actually have no experiance in, because there is no limit to the imagination

As for Vida telling stories to match her stories she released- Forgive me for not having a direct reference, (my book is in a box. I just moved!) but I thought I read near the very beginning of the book, where margaret is still learning of Vida Winter, and perhaps just after she's recieved the letter.....There is a reference to the fact that Vida tells the press a different tale of her life everytime a new book of hers come out, the tale is intended to feed into the the readers perceptions of the writer due her "life story"... Maybe I picked up on this somehow, and it was never in the story, but I'm almost positive it was! ....Anyone help me out here with "documentation" :smileyhappy:
Owy

*Taking everyday, one book at a time*
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