Mend the gap: Winterson’s take on the Winter’s Tale

Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap in Time (Hogarth Shakespeare) is her “cover version” of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. It is a notorious play that challenges the reader but has been a touchstone of Winterson’s work.

Given the nature of the play, Winterson pulls of the retelling with aplomb and highlights the role of the twins. There is a potentially a whole segue into Clute’s printed theory of twins (which might not be accurate any more as he shifts like an iguana across the literary landscape) but not for this post.

I fell in love her novel, The Passion, in my final year of my English degree. For me, the novel drew from Sf and the Gothic, a Venetian Tombs of Atuan which probably had other meanings. For me, it was a sign of an author who respected writing and drew from all kinds of sources. She does that here with the story about growing up mixed with gaming, Sf and fantasy and music.

I am unsure that she really gets into the argument of forgiveness: the characters do not forgive themselves and cannot forgive others fully.

This is, however, a book that respects itself and its source, developing its tale for the new author.

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