Iris and the Friends : A Year of Memories

Bayley, John

Verlag: Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., 1999
ISBN 10: 0715629328 / ISBN 13: 9780715629321
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Hardcover with gilt lettering on spine and contents in very good clean condition. T. Buchnummer des Verkäufers

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Inhaltsangabe: The last month or so of the life of Iris Bayley, the wife of the author, provides the framework for this biography. But within this structure the author enters into extensive memories of the past. The book could almost be called "The Use of Memory" - in a Proustian sense. It continually harks back to the author's own childhood and to Iris's early years to explain how they came together and how they were 'right' for each other. So in this book the author explains much more about himself and describes in much more details how he managed to cope with the ordeal of seeing his wife become terminally ill and lose her faculties. In this he quotes a considerable amount from literature, which is his own field of study.

Rezension: Novelist and thinker Iris Murdoch died on 8 February 1999 after living for three years with Alzheimer's disease. Her husband, novelist and academic John Bayley, had previously written movingly of the impact of her illness in Iris: A Memoir.

Iris and the Friends tells of the final year of Murdoch's life, when she was visited more by her own imaginary "friends" than by the exigencies of real life. It brings the story through Bayley's increasingly precarious hold on present reality, to his own breakdown, Murdoch's final happy weeks in a home for the terminally ill and finally her quiet death. Although ostensibly a sequel, it is more an exploration of Bayley's new friends: the memories that were sparked off precisely as Murdoch lost her own--of his childhood, army years, first loves and, of course, their marriage.

But there are other "friends". At one point Bayley writes: "The old Eng. Lit. again. I taught it for nearly fifty years and feel detached from it now." Yet literature emerges here as the one remaining constant in his life. Scarcely two pages go by without a reference, almost involuntary, to Hardy, Coleridge, Austen, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Thurber, James, Lawrence, Woolf or Murdoch. Sometimes Iris appears to respond to the shared literary in-jokes, but more often the pair become "two animals pushing together, nudging and grooming each other, grunting together as they bask in a mutual doze."

It's an incredibly intimate glimpse into what should be a personal life, but as Bayley observes tellingly: "There is a surreal sense in which Alzheimer's has turned Iris herself into art. She is my Iris no longer, but a person in the public domain." --Alan Stewart

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Iris and the Friends : A Year of Memories
Verlag: Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd.
Erscheinungsdatum: 1999
Einband: hardcover
Zustand: Very Good
Auflage: First Edition.

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Bayley, John
Verlag: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, London (1999)
ISBN 10: 0715629328 ISBN 13: 9780715629321
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Buchbeschreibung Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, London, 1999. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Very Good. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good. Good to very good in dust jacket-clean copy -no markings; B&W Illustrations; 9.21 X 6.22 X 0.94 inches; 208 pages. Artikel-Nr. 45404

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