Stand Before Your God: A Boarding-School Memoir
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: Stand Before Your God: A Boarding-School ...
Verlag: Random House
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
Über diesen Titel
At the age of seven, Paul Watkins was roughly transplanted from his home in Rhode Island to England's Dragon School. He was greeted by a delegation of bullies who, in time, would become his friends and whose rules would become his own. For at Dragon, and later at Eton, "there was no middle ground. You could not go here and come out not caring one way or the other. You had to stand before your God and commit."
In this enthralling and sometimes harrowing memoir, the acclaimed author of The Promise of Light gives us a masterly companion to such classics as Brideshead Revisited and A Separate Peace. Here are the masters who paddle boys for small infractions and then offer them sweets; the seniors who pamper pretty favorites and subject all others to humiliating servitude; the deep friendships and sudden, devastating betrayals. Above all, here is the exhilaration of a boy discovering own capacities for learning and creativity, in a book that conveys with astonishing insight the pangs of growing up.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
An unsentimental memoir of being an American in English boarding schools--the first nonfiction from the author of The Promise of Light (1993), etc. Watkins registers his shock as a small boy upon being left by his father at the Dragon School near Oxford. A dreamy child, he learns to endure a sadistic teacher's beatings and the special ways the English have of dealing with such intruders as ``Our New Friend from the Colonies.'' Watkins shows how quickly children can accept extreme conditions and get on with the concerns of childhood, from pillow fights to G.I. Joes, and once, blissfully, an outing in a small airplane with his visiting father. But home in Rhode Island on vacations, he doesn't fit in anymore: ``From now on I would be intruding in both places,'' he remarks, and writing stories begins to make him feel less lonely, ``free to travel across the centuries, in and out of people's hearts and minds.'' Soon after Watkins moves up to Eton, his father dies of cancer. His father, a Welshman, had also gone to the Dragon School but had always felt inferior to Etonians, and Watkins here depicts an Eton in love with itself and its history; forced to be a good little soldier in school, he identifies with the Eton fallen of WW I and II, and the historical novels begin to take shape. His more personal experience of school, however, is explored less deeply than one could wish-- his regret at not having made more friends at Eton, his motives for reporting two boys he found in bed together, his reaction to a classmate's suicide. A graceful and ultimately sad account that tends to keep to the surface but, even so, makes us question assumptions about education, tradition, and the elite. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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