AS Byatt on religion, realism and social media

The Guardian has a wonderful interview with AS Byatt, in which she takes a decent shot at a combined critique of social realism in novels, the narcissism of facebook and big brother, and the death of God. There doesn’t seem yet to be any transcript or article published, alas. Some (possibly inaccurate) quotes:

  • on realism: “My life as it really is consists of reading Shakespeare in bed at one in the morning” (i.e. this and other shared, commonplace activities are at least as real as the grittier horrors)

  • “I don’t believe in God. I believe in Wallace Stevens”

    — partly for the thoughtful way she comes out with it, partly because (when she explains what she means) it’s not just a throwaway line

  • /”interest in life as it is has supplanted religion”

And all this with a roll of sellotape balanced on her knee. I can’t figure out if this is a carefully-placed detail, in either the style of Old Masters portraiture or ARGs, or just One Of Those Things that happens when you’re focussed on sharing ideas.

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