Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Toile, T.S.

A break arrived when she won a Christmas fiction contest sponsored by The Observer newspaper. But still she struggled. In 1954, after some months of popping over-the-counter Dexedrine to stay slim, she was poisoned by it and went mildly insane for a spell. Mr. Stannard writes:

T. S. Eliot, she insisted, was sending her threatening messages. His play” — “The Confidential Clerk” — “was full of them. Some were in the theater program. Obsessively she began to seek them out, covering sheet after sheet of paper with anagrams and cryptographic experiments.”

—Dwight Garner, NYT review of Michael Stannard's Muriel Spark bio

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