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(EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat

READ ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Å Iris Murdoch

SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat FREE DOWNLOAD Ö A Fairly Honourable Defeat And devoted siblings to betray their loyalties to one another Melodramatic incidents purloined letters apparently unmotivated actions abound as this dark comedy of errors unfol. It s been a very long time since I read any Iris Murdoch When you ve been much attached to an author in the past there is always the fear that a later reread will reveal you ve grown out of that author and that then you will lose your happy memories Not so here I think too that I am better able to articulate what I like about her I ve been carrying around memories not of my own impressions but rather my impressions of secondary criticism my memories of my impressions of others impressions of Iris Murdoch Specifically I remember if hazily a Martha Nussbaum lecture about her that described her books as little clockwork machines the characters wound up and placed into a moral dilemma to provide a sort of real world philosophical experiment and investigation into philosophical particulars rather than general principles In a way think this is true but it places too little emphasis on that particularity oh how different it is to talk about or think about specific people and specific situations than to provide general principles abstract arguments One of the things I had forgotten was just how calmly and precisely Murdoch describes the people in her books not only their physical attributes but what kinds of things go on in their heads There is a detachment in this description but I think that it is actually a mistake to therefore assume that disinterested euals uninterested The author is not Julius She is curious but she is not cruel I liked too what this book has to say about the value of truth in relationships In this respect Simon and Axel s story is the one that I found the most moving and the most familiar Simon s interior workings seem very real to me a shame about feeling ashamed or insecure to begin with a humiliation about having a problem that stops a person from doing exactly that thing that would fix the problem a spiral down into lies not to hurt the other person but out of a lack of genuine respect for one s self and inability to believe that he could truly genuinely be loved And Axel is not as secure as he seems either his rules about absolute truth are correct and effective but they are not coming from a place of philosophical conviction but rather from a deep seated fear that he has himself I was uite moved to see them end happily and I think the lesson about love relationships and intimacy is uite specifically true I felt like I recognized other characters as well though I had less empathy for them Though the villain in so far as there is one is meant to be Julius I found him far less frightening and horrible than Morgan Perhaps she is upset perhaps she is even ill but the damage that she inflicted seemed somehow so much worse a narcissistic flailing that destroyed everything in its path and had a frightening randomness that Julius s cruelty lacked I was sorry but not surprised to see her forgiven I m so pleased Iris that you ve held up for all these years The temptation to binge read everything now is huge Perhaps one over the summer is enough for now

SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat

A Fairly Honourable Defeat

SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat FREE DOWNLOAD Ö A Fairly Honourable Defeat Hilda Foster is alone in an isolated cottage when she receives an important telephone call She must get in touch with her husband but it is virtually impossible How can she aver. Relationships It s ComplicatedTallis loves Morgan but Morgan loves Julius Julius woos Simon but Simon loves Axel Hilda loves Rupert but Rupert covets Morgan Julius wants Hilda but Hilda loves Peter Peter loves Morgan but Morgan loves Rupert Leonard loves nobody because he s an old grinch and the exception to the rule of musical chairs deployed by Murdoch here in her study of love morality and fidelity If the tune sounds familiar it s because I ve spent half an hour on Google trying to identify a song that I kept humming back in the 80 s Turns up it s by a band named Chilly Joey wants Penny but Penny loves Bo Bo isn t ready cos he s havin fun Playin with many is better than none Johnny loves Jenny but Jenny loves Joe I used to love Iris Murdoch but after the rather ponderous and deprimant Dream of Bruno I took a break that turned to last two decades Now I m back and I m glad to report that her books can be not only deep philosophical and provocative but also a lot of fun Rambunctious is not a ualifier that I had occasion to use before but it describes accurately the madcap permutations in the affections of the close knit group of friends and relatives at the center of this story To borrow a title from my next review the book could aptly be named The Disorderly Lovers a commedy of manners that could only be set in England where appearances stiff upper lips and repressed sexuality trump sincerity and trust You are preserving your dignity by refusing to show your feelings But there are moments when love ought to be undignified extravagant even violent says Rupert at one time to Tallis about the latter s failure to convince runaway wife Morgan to come back to himI m getting ahead of the story I should get back and properly introduce the actors before commenting on their foibles Briefly the novel starts with Rupert a high ranking government official and his stay at home wife Hilda celebrating the 20th anniversary of their steady and slightly boring marriage It s one of those elusive hot summer days in London and the couple gossips extensively about their guests as they sample liberaly from the drinks cabinet We learn that Hilda s sister Morgan is expected to return soon from the United States where she had a torrid affair with Julius a former school colleague of Rupert Their son Peter is living out with Morgan s abandoned husband Tallis while Rupert s brother Simon is expected to join them in the company of his significant other Axel another mate from Rupert and Julius school days At this point I recommend a spreadsheet and some colored markers in order to keep track of who is involved with whomTo make it easier I would say the novel is a cross between two literary classics A Midsummer Night Dream by Shakespeare and Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos I am not ualified to comment in detail on the connections as I am only familiar with the movie versions of these stories but I see Rupert and Hilda as Oberon and Titania around whom the others gravitate Morgan as the Maruise de Merteuil and Julius as the disruptive malicious Puck Vicomte de Valmont This artificiality theatricality is in fact the one major complaint I could level at the novel In order to touch on as many aspects of the subject as possible Murdoch uses a sandbox approach with the characters acting sometimes as puppets whose strings are in their creator s hands and who move in predetermined patterns that puts them in exactly the situation that illustrates best the point Murdoch wants to make With the same goal in mind all the characters are upper class highly educated and introspective able to analyze their emotions and extremely articulate about expressing them What saves the characters as people is the level of detail of Murdoch analysis and the real pain they go through as they try to reach out and touch one another I had some issues with Peter and Simon who are a little too stereotypical in their roles one as a teenager refusing his parents love and the other as the effete promiscuous flashy dresser gay interior decorator Peter Peter do drink something not just water It would do you good What sort of good You people all drink in order to escape from reality I happen to like reality I m staying with it not taking off for the land of make believe Peter again I m afraid nowadays it s you young people who are cynical and we middle aged ones who are idealistic We aren t cynical And you aren t idealistic You re just a lot of self centred habit ridden hedonists Simon Simon was greedy for the surface texture of his life whose substance he luxuriously munched second after second as if it were a fruit with a thin soft furry exterior and a firm sweet fleshy inside Simon loved times of day eating drinking looking touching All his experiences were ceremonies He liked the slow savouring of moments of pleasure and he engineered his life to contain as many of these as possibleIt sometimes seemed to him that all his enjoyments were similar in kind though not in degree whether he was stroking a cat or a Chippendale chair or drinking a dry martini or looking at a picture by Titian or getting into bed with Alex Murdoch most reliable characters for presenting her position on the major themes of the novel are Rupert and Julius Rupert is actually writing a philosophical book about the power of love and positive thinking Julius thinks Rupert is conceited and misguided and sets up to demonstrate that his own cynical approach to love is closer to reality Rupert Love is the last and secret name of all the virtues Julius All human beings fly from consciousness Drink Love Art are methods of flight Philosophy is another one perhaps the subtlest of them all Even subtler than theology One can attempt to be truthful Julius The attempt has meaning About these things no The Venerable Bede observed that human life was like a sparrow that flies through a lighted hall in one door and out the other What can that poor sparrow know Nothing These attempted truths are tisues of illusion Theories Julius again Human beings are roughly constructed entities full of indeterminacies and vagueness and empty spaces Driven along by their own private needs they latch blindly onto each other then pull away then latch again Their little sadisms and their little masochisms are surface phenomena Anyone will do to play their roles They never really see each other at all There is no relationship dear Morgan which cannot uite easily be broken and there is none the breaking of which is a matter of any genuine seriousness Human beings are essentially finders of substitutes and so Julius proceeds to put his theories into practice by sabotaging the relationships he sees as conceited and insincere He uses Simon s insecurity Axel s reticence Morgan s self centeredness Rupert s idealism Peter s teenage rebelliousness Hilda s complacency The comedy that entertained me so much in the beginning of the novel gains tragic dimmensions as the victims of Julius seem unable to escape his devilish machinations Jealousy rears its ugly head and reason flies out the window Julius Mix up pity and vanity and novelty in an emotional person and you at once produce something very much like being in love Murdoch defines the ensuing chaos as a muddle the very opposite of order and clarity the very thing that Englishmen find abhorrent I believe I m uoting E M Forster on this Life is a mess and good intentions are not enough to see us through I ve been uoting most of the characters in the book it s time to shine the spotlight on Axel Eating reveals the characteristic grossness of the human race and also the in built failure of its satisfaction We arrive eager we stuff ourselves and we go away depressed and disappointed and probably feeling a bit ueasy into the bargain It s an image of the decu in human existence A greedy start and a stupefied finish Waiters who are constantly observing this cycle must be the most disillusioned of men Pretentious drivel or astute observation As a seriously overweight person I cannot refute this at least as far as expectations and fullfilment in the matter of food are concerned There is lot to discover in the book than just troubled relationships and self deceiving individuals I could go on at length about age and disillusionment as seen through the eyes of Leonard the one actor who isn t playing the game any and is just waiting for the exit But I don t want to end the review on such a bleak note I have seen several interpretations of the defeat from the title Rupert s awakening to the shallow nature of his philosophical musings when confronted with a real life crisis Julius exile from London when his dirty deeds are exposed Morgan s inability to see beyond her own needs Tallis slovenness and incapacity to put either his kitchen or his emotions in order But Murdoch chooses to close the novel with neither of these images she picks the only couple to emerge strengthened and closer to each other from the ordeal Of course our love is selfish Almost all human love is bloody selfish If one has anything to hang onto at all one clings to it relentlessly We ve tried to face it and to suffer it To take refuge in love is an instinct and not a disreputable one

READ ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Å Iris Murdoch

SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat FREE DOWNLOAD Ö A Fairly Honourable Defeat T the crisisHilda's troubles began when she trusts a slippery intellectual called Julius King who decides to demonstrate how he can persuade easily loving couples caring friends. This paragraph at the beginning of the novel after the first few lines of dialogue captures why I love Iris Murdoch so much Hilda and Rupert Foster celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary with a bottle of rather dry champagne were sitting in the evening sun in the garden of their house in Priory Grove London SW10 Hilda a plumper angel now reclined limply exhibiting shiny burnished knees below a short shrift dress of orangey yellow Her feet were bare Her undulating dark hair showed some needle thin lines of grey Her burly boyish faced husband whom she had at last persuaded to stop wearing shorts sat open shirted cooking in the sun He was red hoping later to be brown There is no one like her in all of literature


10 thoughts on “(EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat

  1. says: (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat

    (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat READ ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Å Iris Murdoch SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat Relationships It's ComplicatedTallis loves Morgan but Morgan loves Julius Julius woos Simon but Simon loves Axel Hilda loves Rupert but Rupert covets Morgan Julius wants Hilda but Hilda loves Peter Peter loves Morgan but Morgan loves Rupert Leonard loves nobody because he's an old grinch and the exception to the rule of mu

  2. says: SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat

    (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat Iris Murdoch Å 9 FREE DOWNLOAD READ ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Å Iris Murdoch I have enjoyed this book a lot I have found it humorous Never was I bored From the start to the finish my head was busy The story focuses on character portrayal rather than plot Events circle around nine characters Only nine there are no subsidiary figures We start with a husband and wife—Rupert and Hilda Fos

  3. says: SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat Iris Murdoch Å 9 FREE DOWNLOAD

    SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat READ ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Å Iris Murdoch Iris Murdoch Å 9 FREE DOWNLOAD OK it's not really the great novel it sets out to be but it's very entertaining Julius King is one of my all time favorite bad guys Go Julius Destroy that relationship Drive that man to madness and despair Cut up that dress Do the washing up Sort of a high brow Hannibal Lecter lite as it were Though I was rather shocked to discov

  4. says: Iris Murdoch Å 9 FREE DOWNLOAD (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat

    (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat I read Iris Murdoch and then I wonder why I ever read anything else Brilliant characters fabulous set pieces It should be an opera The

  5. says: (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat

    (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat Iris Murdoch Å 9 FREE DOWNLOAD I first read this book in graduate school in the 70's and I've re read it several times over the years It may or may not be one of the best books I've ever read but in some ways it is probably the most powerfulFor many years it was the only Murdoch book I'd read but over the past five years I've picked up others and that altered my reading experience this time I still felt the chilly dread of what the characters were going to enco

  6. says: (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat READ ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Å Iris Murdoch

    READ ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Å Iris Murdoch Iris Murdoch Å 9 FREE DOWNLOAD (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat This paragraph at the beginning of the novel after the first few lines of dialogue captures why I love Iris Murdoch so much Hilda and Rupert Foster celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary with a bottle of rat

  7. says: (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat

    Iris Murdoch Å 9 FREE DOWNLOAD READ ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Å Iris Murdoch SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat So my review disappeared That's been happening to a lot of friends lately but this is the first time I'm certain it's happened to one of mineDespite being populated only by a host of white London luvvies this is my favourite Murdoch by far It's clever beautifully written and Simon is to die forAll I'll repeat from my revie

  8. says: (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat

    (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat READ ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Å Iris Murdoch SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat This is a tangled web set in the late 60s concerning Rupert and Hilda; their 20 year old drop out son Peter; Rupert’s younger brother Simon and his boyfriend Axel; Hilda’s unstable younger sister Morgan and her estranged husband Tallis and her former lover and college friend of Rupert and Axel JuliusThings are intertwined from the start but later there are strong echoes of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night

  9. says: (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat

    SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat It's been a very long time since I read any Iris Murdoch When you've been much attached to an author in the past there is always the

  10. says: SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat

    (EBOOK/EPUB) A Fairly Honourable Defeat SUMMARY A Fairly Honourable Defeat 35 starsIris Murdoch’s thirteenth novel is a surprisingly uick read despite the fact it’s the longest out of the initial thirteen This is probably in part to the fact that a large part of it is dialogue and partly because there is a morbid desire to keep reading as events play out I say morbid as the plot is a spiral into which there seems nothing good can happen and leaves you eagerly waiting to see if secrets are r

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  • Paperback
  • 438
  • A Fairly Honourable Defeat
  • Iris Murdoch
  • English
  • 03 March 2020
  • 9780099285335