Muriel Spark

Her Slate diaries.

British author Muriel Spark died last week at the age of 88. Nearly 10 years ago, she wrote two Slate “Diaries.” In the first, she explained what War and Peace ought to have been calledand described the notes she wrote to herself when working on a novel. In the second, she commented on the Italian olive harvest and the trouble with praising people who are “incapable of a mean thought”: “Who are these freaks of the human race, and where?” Spark wrote. “I have never met them and hope I never will, arch-hypocrites as they most certainly are.”