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Tirra Lirra by the River
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Tirra Lirra by the River (1978)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
3511357,784 (3.81)52
Through a series of remembrances, 70-year-old Nora re-creates her life.
Membro:nicksimp2000
Título:Tirra Lirra by the River
Autores:
Informação:Picador Australia, 208 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Informação Sobre a Obra

Tirra Lirra by the River por Jessica Anderson (1978)

  1. 00
    Passada toda a paixão por Vita Sackville-West (Bjace)
    Bjace: Another book about a woman nearing the end of her life and looking back.
  2. 00
    I for Isobel por Amy Witting (Leonielanguishing)
    Leonielanguishing: Another australian classic in this genre...girl finds self!!
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Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
As a GR friend has said, the writing feels awkward at the start of the novel, but settles down reasonably quickly, and thereafter is a pleasure to read. It's also a fine technical feat: two parallel narratives, one of Nora in the let's call it present, and then the how did she get to be in this present narrative that she's remembering. Most impressive of all is present Nora's own interpretation of past Nora's activities, and even of present Nora's; few books are willing to explicitly show the workings of the character's mind about herself in such depth.

Otherwise, a raft of themes and issues that make this an obvious revival book: gender, art, poverty, modernization, you name it, all done in an unpretentious, non-judgemental way. Which makes sense, since the narrator is an aged, sickly woman who is slightly distant from her self and others around her. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
This is an absolute stunner. It gets Australia completely right without the cheapness of St John's shots. It nails the state of captivity of women without agency. Nora's need to escape, and taking marriage as the way out is heartbreaking. The role of education, and even more that of reading, which I might add is big in Women in Black and also in My Brilliant Friend comes comes into play here too. To be educated is to escape the poverty and meanness of life in city Australia and country Australia as much as it may extract you from neighbourhood Naples. To forsake education in favour of marriage as one's saviour is to court utter ruination. To read is to build one's dreams of escape. Oh, I did this as a child and many must have had it much, much worse than I.

Rest here:

https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/tirra-lirra-by-the-river-... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
This is an absolute stunner. It gets Australia completely right without the cheapness of St John's shots. It nails the state of captivity of women without agency. Nora's need to escape, and taking marriage as the way out is heartbreaking. The role of education, and even more that of reading, which I might add is big in Women in Black and also in My Brilliant Friend comes comes into play here too. To be educated is to escape the poverty and meanness of life in city Australia and country Australia as much as it may extract you from neighbourhood Naples. To forsake education in favour of marriage as one's saviour is to court utter ruination. To read is to build one's dreams of escape. Oh, I did this as a child and many must have had it much, much worse than I.

Rest here:

https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/tirra-lirra-by-the-river-... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
In Anderson's Miles-Franklin-award-winning novel, an elderly woman, Nora Roche Porteous, returns to her childhood home in Brisbane, after living many years abroad. Diagnosed with pneumonia upon her arrival, she spends many days in bed, tended to by kind neighbours. As she rests, she reflects on her life--on the stifling conventionality of her childhood home in which she finds herself once again, and particularly on her overbearing, now deceased, elder sister. Early on in life, Nora found it natural and necessary to create a realm of the imagination for herself--a place in which she could take intense and joyful refuge. At first this kingdom was based on what she saw from one of the windows of the house by the river, but eventually it could be entered through the poetry found in one of her father's books, and then spontaneously as needed.

Nora's father died when she was a child, and there is a sense throughout the book that this event has haunted her, trailed and affected her in a slippery way she can't quite grasp. Family members have commented that she was broken to bits by grief, yet she has almost no recollection of the event or her response to it . . . until the end of the novel when a dreamlike image emerges as her convalescence comes to an end.

Much of Tirra Lirra focuses on the small human tragedy of Nora's marriage to a petty tyrant and her attempts to flee this claustrophobic and stultifying relationship. She finds some freedom with a group of artists who live near her flat. A creative and skilled seamstress teaches Nora some fundamentals of dress-making and encourages the artistic spirit within her. However, Nora's husband resents and rails against her hanging about with this decadent, free-spirited lot, and is particularly threatened by the fact that she has a close male friend who is gay. Ultimately, the Porteouses move from their lovely rooms in a decaying Sydney mansion to live with Nora's overbearing mother-in-law, the ever critical and perpetually dissatisfied, Una. The fact that Nora can't seem to produce a child only makes matters worse for her. In the end, though, the lack of dependents makes it a great deal easier for her to escape to England, where she is able, finally, to come into herself.

A commentary at the end of the edition I read states that Jessica Anderson saw Nora as an artist who did not fully understand that she was one. Nora's struggles against convention, her quest to find a place to be herself, as well as her yearning to create and be surrounded by beauty represent the impulses and the archetypal journey of the artist. In naming her book Tirra Lirra by the River, Anderson nods to Tennyson's poem, The Lady of Shalott, and enriches the novel with a poetic subtext about the tensions between artistic creativity--which requires solitude and detachment--and the romantic, social, and physical yearnings of a woman.

Initially, I found the novel a little disorienting. Anderson quite deliberately discombobulates the reader, perhaps to encourage more complete identification and sympathy with the ailing and displaced Nora, the first-person narrator throughout. However, it didn't take long to be rewarded by the book. I enjoyed it very much and was surprised by the degree to which I could relate to Nora's experiences, though I'm of quite a different generation. ( )
1 vote fountainoverflows | May 5, 2017 |
This 1978 novel won the Miles Franklin Award for its author Jessica Anderson. It's not surprising as this is an impressive piece of writing, particularly in its structure. The story is told in the first person by Nora Porteous. It opens with Nora, as an old woman, arriving back in the Queensland town she fled many years before for Sydney and artistic adventure. Now she is back after years of a stultifying marriage in Sydney, divorce and life in London as a theatrical costume maker. The structure is the most impressive aspect of the novel as Nora moves moves seamlessly from her current life, as she lies in her sister's house in the small south Queensland town, and her memories. Encounters with locals set off memories of a moody teenager, of a gullible housewife in her mother-in-law's house in Sydney, and escaping to London and learning dressmaking. Nora describes how her husband and mother-in-law convinced her it must be her fault for being unable to produce a child. Her husband Colin denies it's his fault; implying that he has already proved his virility by getting another woman pregnant. Suddenly, Colin announces he wants a divorce as he's found a new wife likely to give him children. On the sea voyage to London Nora realises that Colin is unlikely to find children with his new wife. Nora steps off the ship in Southampton pregnant from a shipboard romance. Nora vividly describes her abortion in London with the doctor taking all her money, refusing to offer an anaesthetic and lecturing her throughout the procedure on how she wanted the pleasure at the time, now she's going to feel the pain. The novel is a graphic depiction of life for women in Australia between the two World Wars, and the liberation offered in bohemian Potts Point in Sydney where Nora lives for the early months of her marriage to Colin, before her husband insists they move to his mother's house in suburban Sydney to save money during the Depression. It's while back in the Queensland town of her youth that Nora discovers that a school friend, much admired for her poise and artistic temperament at school, and described by Nora's sister as an ideal wife and mother, took an axe to her husband and children, and gassed herself in the oven.
  GregMartin | Apr 30, 2014 |
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Through a series of remembrances, 70-year-old Nora re-creates her life.

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