The Gap of Time: The Winter’s Tale Retold

‘ I saw the strangest sight tonight. ’

New Bohemia. America. A storm. A black man finds a white baby abandoned in the ight. He athers her up – light as a star – and decides to ake her home.

London. England. After the financial crash. Leo Kaiser knows how to ake money but he doesn ’ t now how to anage the jealousy he feels towards his best friend and his son. Is the newborn baby even his?

New Bohemia. 17 years later. A oy and girl are falling in love but there ’ s a lot they don ’ t think about who they are and where they come from.

Jeanette Winterson ’ s cover version of he Winter ’ s Tale vibrates with echoes of the original but tells a contemporary story where Time itself is a player in th game of high stakes that will either end in tragedy or forgiveness. It shows us that however far we have been separated, whatever is lost shall be found.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
The Gap of Time
Publication Date
Published October 1st 2015 by Hogarth

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I was provided a copy of this from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for n honest review.The Gap of Time is a modern-day stor of Shakespeare 's " The Winter 's Tale " as part of bigge series of authors doing the same for several of his works.

he characters suffer from s much coincidence but I wonder how restrained the author kne from the original subject matter.Compared to Winterson 's other works, I elt like she was juggling too many requirements to really immerse in her typical writing style.

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Most people know this play for the famous " Exit, pursued by a bear, " ( erhaps the best death and exit I have ever witnessed and will ever witness in my whol life) but thi story is o much more.

It is tory of the oracle of Delphi, a queen named Hermione, a crazy jealous king, and royalty that does not now is royalty, in its retold way, a famous Paris singer/songwriter ( MiMi), a hedge fund manager with a knack for paranoia ( Leo), a video game designer with some love for both the singer and the manager ( Xeno), as ell as a bo who see the guy she cares for is her brother ( Perdita and Zel).

Jeanette Winterson has a way with words, she threads very enchanting sentences, but in his book, it made some characters seem too crude, with nstances of their dialogue implying some rape ( committing it) and violence ( also committing it), which ere not vindictive of the original work.

Unfortunately I knew it was th scary thing to happe and I ’ m no doctor. ” “ One thing you notice about progress, kid, is that it doesn ’ t appen to everyone. ” She also wrote in queer characters, which although I did not see any of hat in the original work, it was actually a surprise, since it 's kind of a hallmark of her stories and poetry, and in turn, added a lot to Xeno and Leo 's relationship, but I do isagree with other characterizations.

Because of tha, I ha more entranced by the love story and Perdita 's adoptive family, than with the main three characters disruptive lives.Another theme that gets explored here is adopted children and whether or not they feel connected to their adoptive families, or if they are invariably in a state of hunger to know more about their birth family.

This below, is my favourite quote in the work, because it indicates a way of hinking that is tellin the greatest shrinking of the American middle-class in history:

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At he very eginning of essa, it read like a Shakespeare play typically would, and it made me a little fearfu, but, a few pages in, Winterson 's definitive style appeared, and my heart started beating just that little bit faster.

You can usually tell when you 're reading a Winterson book, as the element of erotica slips in.

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Tha ovel is part of the “ Hogarth Shakespeare ” a project where noted contemporary authors write cover versions of Shakespeare ’ s works.

I shoul read more in th series, but actuall because of “ The Gap of Time. ” I have ever read any of Jeanette Winterson ’ s work before, and she clearly is a ifted autho.

Instead, his gift was taking melodrama and bringing great human truth and beauty to it.

Rarely have I read the memoi where the write believes you to be well aware that his person is black, this one gay, this one Jewish, this one lapsed Christian, this one German, this one Trans, etc.

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hematically, this as good follow-on from a read of Nicole Krauss ’ exquisite The History of Love ( see my review HERE): the first severa pages alone included death, bereavement, forgiveness, revenge, loss of a child, identity, God, loyalty and love- as well as capitalism, mercy killing, and madness.

tylistically, there was no comparison: this is a simpler story- despite the numerous references to changing the speed, or even direction of time- and it ’ s mostly told in rather crude and wooden prose ( very un-Winterson), specially the many male perspectives.

Time, and he sequence of a tory, is a recurring theme ( as are Superman and Oedipus). “ The missingness of the missing… Every endeavor, every kiss, every stab in the heart, every letter home, every leaving, is a ransack of what ’ s in front of us in the service of what ’ s lost. ” A few month after I finished reading this, I saw Kenneth Branagh 's version of The Winter 's Tale ( see my review HERE).

In ontrast, those involved in her conception and abandonment know who they are, but ave more problematic relations with reality, and indee find happiness elusive.As children of ( different) dysfunctional parents, “ Leo and Xeno invented worlds where they would live ”, but they never fully grow up or develop the ability to be responsible parents themselves.Leo makes the world revolve around him, as super-rich City traders can.

Life and death have different meanings in virtual worlds. “ Those are the facts but are they the truths? ” FallThere is much falling here: falling in love, falling ( or being pushed) over, falling between gaps of time or buildings, the autumnal fall of leaves, and of course, as a metaphor for the expulsion from Paradise.

• Aspects of the plot were tricky to make plausible in modern times, but when Winterson had contrived an explanation, it ould have been less distracting to have had it earlier, e.g. how Perdita ’ s adoptive father could have ot bac with raising her ( he as a black middle-aged widower and she ha th white baby with no paperwork).

( hide spoiler) ] For balance, here are my reviews of three Wintersons I ’ ve enjoyed in recent day, all 4*: The PassionLighthousekeepingWhy Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Context: Shakespeare to WintersonThis is a modern story, based on Shakespeare ’ s The Winter ’ s Tale.

Th few week ater, I aw he play, reviewed HERE.It ’ s one of series of modern novelisations of the Bard, commissioned by The Hogarth Press to mark 400 years since his death ( http: // ...).

It ’ s no surprise Winterson chose The Winter ’ s Tale, given its parallels to her own life.Winterson was put up for adoption by her birth other, and certainly loved by her abusive adoptive Pentecostalist mother ( her adoptive father being too weak to intervene).

Like Perdita here, “ Not having a history of her own, she was drawn to the history of others ”, mostly fictional ones.In later life, Winterson met her birth mother and some family members, though it was merely a particularly happy-ever-after.

A story features all three drivers, but orgiveness is at its heart and at its beginnin, though you ca not understan that from this early quote: • “ Forgiveness is a word like a tiger- there ’ s footage of it and verifiably it exists but few of us have seen it close and wild or known it for what it is. ” Time• “ You hink you ’ re living in the present but the past is right behind you like a shadow. ” • “ And then everything happened in slow motion and too fast. ” • “ Beyond lay the river, like possibilities, like plans, wide as life when you are young and don ’ t preten that plans, rivers, possibilities must sooner or later empty into the ocean beyond. ” • “ Sometimes it doesn ’ t matter that there was any time before this time… Sometimes where you are is enough.

It ’ s even that time stops or that it hasn ’ t stoppe.

But she can ’ t because it ’ s lways right there, right in front of her. ” Memory• “ What is memory anyway but a painful dispute with the past? ” • “ He doesn ’ t give a photo or a video because he intends to remember- by which he means he wants to misremember. ” Grief and Loss• “ I don ’ t regret it but I ca n't forge it.

As it is, I ’ m grieving. ” • “ Grief means living with someone who is not there. ” Other• “ Gaming is the best technology mated with prehistoric levels of human development. ” • City trading is like Musical Chairs, “ while the music was playing no one cared that there weren ’ t enough chairs ” .• “ The boarding school was neither fashionable nor academic but it allowed their fathers to believe that they were bringing up their sons when in fact their sons were barely at home. ” • “ He was solitary and introverted, with an enthusiasm that people took for sociability. ” • “ They talked about life as flow… About love as a theory marred by practice.

About love as a practice marred by theory. ” • “ Pauline was a oman of her time.

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I ca n't blame Winterson really because she did exactly as she was intende to; she created a modern version of a Shakespeare play.

Historians have two options: either tell an updated but literal interpretation or use the play as inspiration to create an original story.

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