Masters of Deceit: Introducing #SparkQuoteoftheWeek

Before she became a novelist, Muriel Spark worked for the secret wartime agency, the Political Warfare Executive. In a new #SparkQuoteoftheWeek series, doctoral researcher Beatriz Lopez selects quotes that show how forgery, blackmail, technological surveillance and postal censorship permeate her subsequent fiction.

The first #SparkQuoteoftheWeek, from her 1959 novel Memento Mori, aptly summarises that Spark’s fictions might echo the storytelling techniques deployed by the PWE, which was a psychological warfare arm involved in subversion and disinformation. The art of sowing falsehoods seems to cut across both.

Quote from Muriel Spark, 'The art of fiction is very like the practice of deception'

As Beatriz points out in her blog, ‘Spark is particularly concerned with the threshold between truth and lies’ while her characters are ‘masters of deceit’. Spark is also interested in the ways different communication media and the supernatural might propagate ‘misleading representations of reality’.

Visit the Political Warfare Executive blog for the full story, or follow @PWEpropagandist for #SparkQuoteoftheWeek, where the project team will be posting some of the best deceptive writing from Spark’s literary oeuvre.

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