Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat (1970) is a staple of the Scottish literary curriculum. I have taught it virtually every year of my career, in courses on both ethics and space, and as an example of both Scottish and postmodern fiction. The novel, which seems to tell the story of a woman seeking her own murder, has frequently been approached as a literary puzzle and an opportunity to reflect on questions of fate and free will. Readers have long been divided about the novel’s merits, either approaching the novel in terms of its events, in which case it is “a book of singular cruelty and shocking misanthropy” (Jordison), or treating it as a philosophical exercise, where it can be seen, in the words of one recent critic, as an account of the “relationship of the self to the Other and to death within the universe as defined by existentialism” (Craig 118).
|Number of pages
|FRAME, Journal of Literary Studies
|Published - 30 Nov 2019