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Titel: The Quickening Maze
Verlag: Jonathan Cape, London, U.K.
Zustand: Very Good
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Good
Art des Buches: Used
Hardcover. Back jacket is a little scuffed, with a few surface scratches. Small crease to back jacket leading edge and light crease across lower rear leading corner. Spine ends and leading corners a little worn. Hardcover spine ends a little bumped and leading corners slightly bent. Former owner's name and date on title page. Pages clean and fresh. Text sound and tight. AF. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 261265
Based on real events in Epping Forest on the edge of London around 1840, The Quickening Maze centres on the first incarceration of the great nature poet John Clare. After years struggling with alcohol, critical neglect and depression, Clare finds himself in High Beach Private Asylum - an institution run on reformist principles which would later become known as occupational therapy. At the same time another poet, the young Alfred Tennyson, moves nearby and becomes entangled in the life and catastrophic schemes of the asylum's owner, the peculiar, charismatic Dr Matthew Allen.
For John Clare, a man who had grown up steeped in the freedoms and exhilarations of nature, who thought 'the edge of the world was a day's walk away', a locked door is a kind of death. This intensely lyrical novel describes his vertiginous fall, through hallucinatory episodes of insanity and dissolving identity, towards his final madness.
Historically accurate, but brilliantly imagined, the closed world of High Beach and its various inmates - the doctor, his lonely daughter in love with Tennyson, the brutish staff and John Clare himself - are brought vividly to life. Outside the walls is Nature, and Clare's paradise: the birds and animals, the gypsies living in the forest; his dream of home, of redemption, of escape. Rapturous yet precise, exquisitely written, rich in character and detail, this is a remarkable and deeply affecting book: a visionary novel which contains a world.
"Impressive ... The key to this success is the concentration of Fould's writing, which manages to seem both simultaneously poised and flowing in its urgency" (Andrew Motion The Guardian)
"In The Quickening Maze, Foulds displays in abundance the same kind of precision of observation and empathy of imagination that he gives here to Clare...The world he evokes...is conjured up with remarkable intensity and economy of means. It is impossible to guess where Foulds will travel next in his fiction, but it is safe to assume that the journey with him will be well worth taking" (Nick Rennison The Sunday Times)
"The language is simple, sometimes adorned with fleeting and apt images: the sky is 'cloud-breeding', summer clouds are 'curds'" (Phillip Womack Literary Review)
"The chief pleasure of the book is its prose: exquisite yet measured, precise, attentive to the world" (Neel Murkerjee Sunday Telegraph)
"Fould's exceptional novel is like a lucid dream: earthy and true, but shifting, metamorphic - the word-perfect fruit of a poet's sharp eye and noevlist's limber reach" (Tom Gatti The Times)
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