The writing of A.S. Byatt gives me nightmares. In case you were wondering, that’s a complement. Byatt’s writing worms its way deep into my psyche. Her novels speak of primal fears and timeless horrors. They make you uncomfortable. She’s brave and bold and terrifically smart. She doesn’t spare herself, or her readers.
Babel Tower is a book about books (about books about books). About language. About how we use words — in law, in education, with tradition, during change. It’s about the 1960s and other “utopias” — about Blake (and Heaven, and Hell, and Marriage) and Nietzsche and de Sade. About Lawrence and Forster. About the world we inherited and the world we live in.
It’s an incredible and overwhelming masterpiece. I’m changed after reading it.