Download A Word Child (Vintage Classics) by Iris Murdoch PDF

By Iris Murdoch

Kept from a antisocial formative years by means of schooling, cheated out of Oxford via a sad love tangle, Hilary Burde cherishes his obsessive guilt and ekes out a residing in a lifeless civil carrier task.

When the fellow whom he has harmed and betrayed reappears as head of his division, Hilary hopes for forgiveness, even for redemption and a brand new existence, yet unearths himself haunted by way of a ghostly repetition.

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Extra resources for A Word Child (Vintage Classics)

Sample text

Few of us are in a position to say which style is the more life-like: the cartoonish invulnerability of the old violence or the cartoonish besplatterings of the new. We imagine that reality lies somewhere in between — that it is less dramatic, less balletic, and, above all, quicker. In life, the average fistfight, for instance, lasts about a second and consists of one blow. The loser gets a broken nose, the winner gets a broken hand, and they both trudge off to Emergency. ÌThus the great Stallone joins the queue at the trauma unit, while Chuck Norris fumbles with his first-aid kit.

The pieces themselves I considered earnest, overweening, and contentedly dull. More decisively, though, Lit & Soc, and indeed literary criticism, felt dead and gone. That time now seems unrecognizably remote. I had a day job at the Times Literary Supplement. Even then I sensed discrepancy, as I joined an editorial conference (to help prepare, perhaps, a special number on Literature and Society), wearing shoulder-length hair, a flower shirt, and knee-high tricoloured boots (well-concealed, it is true, by the twin tepees of my flared trousers).

Her first victory was secured despite a nineteen-point deficit in her personal-approval ratings (inconceivable in America). Two years later she was as unpopular as any PM since polling began. Even now public opinion spurns her, and shows a confused and wistful sympathy for all those 'wet' notions — consensus, compassion, collectivism — that she so stoutly opposed. Who is this 'dry' mother, whom people can't love, and what kind of children is she rearing? They all feel guilty — this mother can make anyone feel guilty.

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