Página InicialGruposDiscussãoMaisZeitgeist
Pesquisar O Sítio Web
Este sítio web usa «cookies» para fornecer os seus serviços, para melhorar o desempenho, para analítica e (se não estiver autenticado) para publicidade. Ao usar o LibraryThing está a reconhecer que leu e compreende os nossos Termos de Serviço e Política de Privacidade. A sua utilização deste sítio e serviços está sujeita a essas políticas e termos.
Hide this

Resultados dos Livros Google

Carregue numa fotografia para ir para os Livros Google.

A Word Child por Iris Murdoch
A carregar...

A Word Child (original 1975; edição 1987)

por Iris Murdoch

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
560832,389 (3.85)1 / 39
Guilt, secrets, and lies haunt two men whose lives are bound by a long-ago tragedy in this "riveting" novel by the author of The Sea, The Sea (Los Angeles Times).   Twenty years ago, Hilary Burde's story was one of remarkable success and enviable courage. Having brought himself out of a troubled childhood with only his intellect and wit, he was one of the most promising scholars at Oxford, a student with a rare talent for linguistics and an unquenchable drive. Until the accident.   Now, forty-one and a decidedly ordinary failure, Hilary finds his quietly angry routine shattered when his old professor reappears in his life--a man whose own demons are tied to Hilary's and the tragedy from years ago. As the two men begin to circle each other once again, digging up old wrongs and seeking forgiveness for long-buried ills, they find themselves on a path that will either grant them both redemption or destroy them both forever.   Haunting and emotional, A Word Child is an intimate look at the madness of regret by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of Under the Net and A Severed Head.  … (mais)
Membro:DrSusan
Título:A Word Child
Autores:Iris Murdoch
Informação:Penguin (Non-Classics) (1987), Paperback, 400 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Pormenores da obra

A Word Child por Iris Murdoch (1975)

A carregar...

Adira ao LibraryThing para descobrir se irá gostar deste livro.

» Ver também 39 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Iris Murdoch was a true 20th century great.

From a 1975 review published in Kirkus:
"There is an inescapable air of casuistry about Murdoch's plots: it's not hard to imagine her as a 17th-century Jesuit or Jansenist, settling suppositious moral hashes with the most enviable certainty. Here, in one of her rare first person narratives, she gives us Hilary Burde, a fortyish civil servant whose rages and obsessions stem partly from the hideously deprived Calvinist childhood he escaped through a talent for languages, partly from the inexpiable horror of having caused the death of another man's wife--an event which ended his promising Oxford career and sent him into a decade of grotesque self-thwarting. Gunnar, the wronged widower, reappears remarried but as paralyzed as Hilary by the events of twenty years ago. Through the agency of an unfathomable half-Indian servant, Gunnar's second wife begins an equivocal intrigue with Hilary on the pretext of getting Gunnar to come to terms with his feelings about Hilary and Anne's death. The moral imperatives of the developing situation are perceived in contradictory terms by Hilary and his small circle of confederates: a persistent, half-wanted mistress; a placid co-worker and his effusively solicitous wife; a rancorous homosexual friend; the beautiful and mysterious servant; his unpresentable but adored sister and her humbly devoted fiance. Murdoch gives us all the machinery, and then some, for a casus conscientiae of the most perverse, contradictory, and surreal complexity--in a subjectively perceived, post-Christian universe where moral impasses obstinately continue to exist and to have consequences, but no canon law can help us predict them. The familiar Murdochian materials are all here, but the sum total is less than a resounding triumph. One can see themes and motifs being applied to events like traction to an elbow; the first person narrative often seems like a have-your-cake-and-eat-it compromise between limited fictional point of view and free rein for desired stylistic effects. (On the other hand, Hilary's compulsion for scheduling gives the book a neat, obvious, and effective structure.) Murdoch cannot be less than maddeningly challenging, but one puts this down feeling that only some of the goods have been delivered." ( )
  therebelprince | Jun 24, 2021 |
Only Iris Murdoch can take what is basically a melodramatic soap opera and mold it into a serious drama. The first person narrator is an unpleasant , lonely,, socially inept, single, middle aged man botches and mangles multiple love relationships both with and between other characters. He eventually learns some painful lessons. I like Murdoch's writing quite a bit. Very good read. ( )
  hemlokgang | Jun 12, 2021 |
Not all stories have happy endings, but I'm hard put to think of a novel whose beginning is so depressing in its particulars as "A Word Child." Hillary Burde is an unhappy, isolated man working at a low-level position in an anonymous government department. Although he's a survived an unhappy childhood and is an unlikely Oxford graduate, he's also not the kind of unhappy character you're likely to feel a lot of sympathy for. An admitted bully with a drinking problem, he's controlling, self-involved, an obsessed with a very terrible mistake he made in his past. In a day when lots of novels read like slightly fictionalized self-help books, Murdoch's decision to make Hillary as unlikable as he is seems almost an act of courage.

The easiest reading of "A Word Child" is that it has to do with Hillary's past and how he copes with it when characters that know of his mistakes suddenly reappear in his life. I tend to think of it, however, as sort of a literary lab experiment to see what the lack of love and affection might do to a human being over time. Hillary's life isn't just unhappy, it's downright bleak, and the novel's setting -- a grey, cold foggy London winter -- fits it perfectly. He's a sort of case study in alienation, his emotions so starved that he doesn't much resemble a too many other literary characters I've met. Suffice it to say that if you find yourself identifying too closely with him, you should probably seek out professional help.

Alienation tends to be thought of as a fairly modern condition, but there are ways in which "A Word Child" is rather old fashioned: it was published, after all, right before personal computers became commonplace. All the big themes of English literature: class, love, revenge and marriage, have a big role to play, and it's slightly disorienting to see how much of the action takes place via personally delivered letters. Hillary, an "examination success story" is allowed to forget that he's always something of a curiosity when he meets with the people he used to know at Oxford. It's also, as I mentioned above, something of a classic London novel: Hillary rides the Underground obsessively and knows the city's streets better than some of its taxi drivers probably do. Much of the novel takes place in Whitehall in the very shadow of Big Ben. Even if they're not particularly interested in its thematic content, "A World Child" might find fans among Anglophiles and Londoners in exile.

Lastly, I should stress that while the world is full of unhappy people, Hillary's better educated and more articulate than most: he's the result of a bright future gone terribly awry. Murdoch's not afraid to write him, either. Her prose is dense, searching, erudite and yet perfectly flowing and balanced. I suppose it's a style that might be out of fashion now, but the book makes plain how finely the author honed her craft. It could, I suppose, be shorter, but why should it? Hillary is, by his own admission, a product of words, and, as the novel goes on, Murdoch shows him becoming increasingly aware of how his own choices -- the constraints that he has placed on his own life -- have made him and the few people he knows very unhappy. This is easy to say, but these realizations take time, so it seems appropriate, sometimes, that Murdoch take four hundred leisurely pages to do it.

In short, "A Word Child," though it offers some crumbs of absurd humor, is not a happy book about happy people. Murdoch, truth be told, never aims to give it the sort of resolution that might offer happiness as a prize to be sought. But it's a impressively wrought study in painful self-containment, a clear-eyed description of, as the saying goes, some people build for themselves. It's less overtly philosophical than I expected, but still a wholly admirable novel. I'm off to read something a bit more cheery now, thanks. ( )
2 vote TheAmpersand | Feb 27, 2017 |
Hilary Burde is the word child of the title. In school, the only thing he did really well in was languages. He excelled at words, but not in using them creatively; his interest was in learning how they worked together; the grammar, not the poetry. An abused orphan, his plan was to get a position at Oxford- which he did- and bring his sister, Crystal, to come live with him and be educated by him. But an ill-advised love affair with a married woman results in a tragedy and he finds himself working at a dead end government job, his sister supporting herself as a seamstress. He has a girlfriend, Tommy, who he treats horribly, and a few friends who tolerate him. It seems he has found his niche- or, rather, his rut- and will go on this way. Until the wronged husband of his ill-advised love affair comes to work as a higher up at the office he works at. How will he deal with this? Will he do the right thing this time around?

Burde is a thoroughly unlikable character. He’s weak, he’s narcissistic, he expects the women in his life to just orbit quietly around him until he has use for them. He has no ambition and no longer any dreams. Basically, he contributes little or nothing to the world. Despite this, Murdoch as managed to make the novel one I could not stop reading. I have to admit it was rather like watching a slow motion car crash, one where you wonder how many others he will take down with him this time.

Thankfully, the supporting cast members are more likable than Burde- well, most of them are. His office mates are pretty strange. All the supporting characters show themselves, ultimately, to have a lot more to themselves than Burde assumes- they have life, love, and volition beyond their association with him. A very good book all round, if you can take a main character who is a d**s***. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | Nov 26, 2015 |
This is a bit like a cross between Dostoevsky and Diary of a nobody: Hilary is a tragic protagonist, damaged by his loveless childhood and doomed to deal with everything that happens in his life in precisely the way that will hurt him and those around him most, but he's also a Pooterish figure who has only the faintest inkling of how funny much of what happens around him really is. Murdoch delivers his story with consummate skill, so that we never quite get to the point of being led to laugh at him in a nasty way for the things he can't help, but we are always left uncomfortably aware of how close we are to the line. Very nicely done: top-of-the-range mid-period Murdoch. ( )
  thorold | Oct 19, 2012 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
sem críticas | adicionar uma crítica
Tem de autenticar-se para poder editar dados do Conhecimento Comum.
Para mais ajuda veja a página de ajuda do Conhecimento Comum.
Título canónico
Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
Título original
Títulos alternativos
Data da publicação original
Pessoas/Personagens
Locais importantes
Acontecimentos importantes
Filmes relacionados
Prémios e menções honrosas
Epígrafe
Dedicatória
Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
To

PETER ADY
Primeiras palavras
Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
THURSDAY

'I say, an absolutely stunning coloured girl was here looking for you.'
Citações
Últimas palavras
Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
(Carregue para mostrar. Atenção: Pode conter revelações sobre o enredo.)
Nota de desambiguação
Editores da Editora
Autores de citações elogiosas (normalmente na contracapa do livro)
Língua original
DDC/MDS canónico

Referências a esta obra em recursos externos.

Wikipédia em inglês

Nenhum(a)

Guilt, secrets, and lies haunt two men whose lives are bound by a long-ago tragedy in this "riveting" novel by the author of The Sea, The Sea (Los Angeles Times).   Twenty years ago, Hilary Burde's story was one of remarkable success and enviable courage. Having brought himself out of a troubled childhood with only his intellect and wit, he was one of the most promising scholars at Oxford, a student with a rare talent for linguistics and an unquenchable drive. Until the accident.   Now, forty-one and a decidedly ordinary failure, Hilary finds his quietly angry routine shattered when his old professor reappears in his life--a man whose own demons are tied to Hilary's and the tragedy from years ago. As the two men begin to circle each other once again, digging up old wrongs and seeking forgiveness for long-buried ills, they find themselves on a path that will either grant them both redemption or destroy them both forever.   Haunting and emotional, A Word Child is an intimate look at the madness of regret by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of Under the Net and A Severed Head.  

Não foram encontradas descrições de bibliotecas.

Descrição do livro
Resumo Haiku

Biblioteca Legada: Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch tem uma Biblioteca Legada. As bibliotecas legadas são bibliotecas privadas de leitores famosos introduzidas por membros do LibraryThing que integram o grupo Legacy Libraries.

Ver o perfil legado de Iris Murdoch.

Ver a página de autor de Iris Murdoch.

Ligações Rápidas

Capas populares

Avaliação

Média: (3.85)
0.5
1
1.5
2 7
2.5 1
3 19
3.5 5
4 34
4.5 5
5 21

GenreThing

No genres

 

Acerca | Contacto | LibraryThing.com | Privacidade/Termos | Ajuda/Perguntas Frequentes | Blogue | Loja | APIs | TinyCat | Bibliotecas Legadas | Primeiros Críticos | Conhecimento Comum | 160,342,865 livros! | Barra de topo: Sempre visível