By Iris Murdoch
A terrific yet deeply mistaken guy struggles to earn absolution
Hilary Burde used to be a emerging megastar in academia till a sad coincidence plunged him and his mentor and rival, Gunnar Jopling, into 20 years of melancholy and guilt. Hilary, not able to beat his ache, deserted his promising profession for an unfulfilling task as a civil servant. yet at age 41, Hilary crosses paths back with Gunnar—initiating a chain of occasions that may swap their lives forever.
Set opposed to a richly drawn backdrop of post-war London, A observe Child is a gripping tale of ardour and the redemptive energy of affection.
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Extra info for A Word Child
If we release voice from its role in this ongoing saga of martyrdom and redemption, we might accomplish several things. 29 Contemporary attention to vocal culture, despite ground-breaking recent work, still lags far behind attention to print culture – and a failure to attend to the complexities and nuances of vocal culture must inevitably mean an impoverished understanding of print culture as well, given the inextricability of the two. The Victorian novel begins to look quite different when it is understood to have been produced and consumed within a public sphere in which newspaper and periodical journalism, for example, was no more important or influential than political oratory or fireside readings.
They represented these healing voices as emanations of a private, expressive self speaking to a private listener enclosed in a domestic space. If Chartist practices had transformed rational speech and oratory into dissident and threatening utterance, then novels could redeem this degraded orality. In response to the challenge posed by working-class literacy and oratory, middle-class authors like Disraeli and Gaskell developed formal techniques by which means dissident speech might be translated into the silent authorial ‘‘voice’’ of lyric or novelistic discourse.
An emerging national movement for universal workers’ suffrage developed new modes of political language. Print culture found itself besieged by voices that could no longer be successfully contained by those modes of expression permitted by written English; in response, the imagined figure of an authentic speaker, whose wise words serve as a balm for the wounds of modernity, emerged as a sublation of these discordant, uncontrollable voices. The function of voice and speech in English political and literary culture has been persistently undertheorized in part because critics so routinely reduce voice to a metaphor for writing.
A Word Child by Iris Murdoch