Paul Kincaid on prequels and sequels.
There is a congruence in the latest issue of the London Review of Books (4 January 2018) that I find interesting and instructive.
In the final paragraph of his review of Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage, Colin Burrow remarks:
A great work of fantasy involves testing and advancing the physical and moral laws of a new world; and a great part of the pleasure of reading a book set in an alternative world lies in seeing an author discovering a possibility that stretches the boundaries of the imagined world without wrecking its internal coherence. Writing a prequel to that kind of elastic imagining is exceptionally hard, because so many of the rules have already been invented and cannot be subjected to creative strain, let alone broken. (8)
On the facing page, almost exactly parallel to this passage, in a review of Mrs Osmond, John Banville’s sort-of sequel to
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