Iris Murdoch {epub Pdf} A Word Child

Iris Murdoch ☆ 4 characters

Introduction by Ray MonkSaved by education from a delinuent childhood cheated of Oxford by a tragic love tangle Hilary Bu. What a stupid coagulated mass of indistinguishable guilt and misery I had become How perfectly futile all my sufferings had been If only I could separate out that awful mixture of sin and pain if I could only even a for a short time even for a moment suffer purely without the burden of resentment and self degradation to which I had deliberately condemned myself there might be a place for a miracle And I reflected too as I walked and walked around London on the absolute doneness of what was done Hilary Burde has had a fair share of hard knocks For one thing he doesn t know who his father is in some cases that is a gift but certainly it is never a good start for anyone His mother died young leaving him orphaned For a while he is raised by his Aunt Bill I know strange name for an aunt who much prefers his half sister Crystal Aunt Bill soon has him packed off to an orphanage for his burgeoning bad behavior Of course if you tell someone he is a bad person enough times eventually he will start to believe you and act accordingly Hilary is on a ruinous course a poster child for a man destined to commit increasingly violent crimes and eventually end up incarcerated for at least the rest of his testosterone influenced years A teacher Mr Osmand is the first adult to ever show an interest in him He introduces Hilary to the world ofwords Looking up words in the dictionary was for me an image of goodness The endless endless task of learning new words was for me an image of lifeViolence is a kind of magic the sense that the world will always yield When I understood grammatical structure I understood something which I respected and which did not yield The exhilaration of this discovery though it did not cure me informed my studies and cast on them a light which was not purely academic I learnt French and Latin and Greek at school Mr Osmand taught me German in his spare time I taught myself Italian His dedication to language lands Hilary a spot at Oxford Mr Osmand may have saved Hilary from rattling the bars of a cage but Hilary lands in a cage none the less He meets a woman named Anne Anne met me as a stranger saw me as a stranger and miraculously understood me Her presence made me rest every muscle every atom became uiet and relaxed I lived I saw I was Wonderful he has met the woman of his dreams Of course there is always a hitch she is married to his best friend Gunner Hilary incapable of restraint creates chaos that leads to tragedy He walks into his cage of remorse and misery and swallows the key For most of the book we are with Hilary long after the events at Oxford He has landed a job a low level civil service position that reuires very little of him It allows him to wallow in poverty and leaves him with enough energy to properly cultivate and maintain his own special concoction of anxiety and self loathing He doesn t really have a life but he has caught his sister in the web of his own need I deliberately made Crystal suffer with me Could her pure suffering have redeemed me In some ideal theory yes in reality no He has a girlfriend Tommy who he is in a perpetual state of breaking up with He keeps her strung out with a series of letters misdirection cruelty and brief moments of tenderness A lot of what Tommy said was true She had been a surprise package After I had despaired of communications this soft voiced clever little Scot had managed to get through For she was clever She argued uite well she remembered things one had to keep one s wits sharp there was even a pleasure in arguing with her about leaving her The interesting thing about Hilary is that he has assembled despite his acerbic personality a collection of friends Like with Crystal and Tommy he manages his relationship with them even to the point that everyone has their assigned days and times to spend with Hilary He allows very little interaction between his friends because he likes controlling the narrative He is a different person with each friend and can only continue to be so if there is not too much interplay between those people and the slight variations of himself What is truly amazing to me is that all these people allow Hilary so much influence on their behavior They indulge him because he fascinates them They find his idiosyncratic behavior humorous He gets very angry though when his friends see him at the wrong place or at time when they are not scheduled I liked to live in other people s worlds and have none of my own I m sure there are a whole host of psychological terms to better define Hilary Hilary s carefully constructed life goes into a tailspin when Gunner arrives out of the mists of the past to take a job upstairs in the same department as Hilary He meets Gunner s new wife Kitty I thought she was a saucy minx I don t mean anything to do with impropriety I m sure she is a perfect picture of propriety in the strict sense After all she would have the wit to play safe But she is one of those numerous women who can t stop flicking their eyelashes at anything in trousers a compulsive flirt She flirted with the prime minister I suppose she flirted with you Is history doomed to repeat itself Will Crystal break away from the tenacious grasp of her brother and find a life for herselfWill Biscuit in the bluish purple sari ever escape the clutches of Lady Kitty And why does Hilary keep shiver kissing her Will there be a grand reconciliation scene with GunnerWill Tommy finally leave Hilary for good and marry that guywhatshisname More importantly will Hilary s desk ever be moved back where it is supposed to be in the office SighThose uestions and many will be answered when you read this book What is remarkable is that Iris Murdoch has created this pathetic creature and yet she handles his story so deftly that this reader was knuckle deep into the book before he realized that he really didn t like Hilary and for that matter really didn t care for the other characters either This is the second Iris Murdoch I have read and her dialogue and the social situations she creates are well structured smart and entertaining I will certainly be reading If you would like to read of my thoughts on Iris Murdoch s writing please click this link The Sea The Sea by Iris MurdochIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at Sunshine and Shadows tragic love The Palace of Dreams tangle Hilary Bu. What a stupid coagulated mass of indistinguishable guilt and misery I had become How perfectly futile all my sufferings had been If only I could separate out Two Wings to Veil My Face that awful mixture of sin and pain if I could only even a for a short The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd time even for a moment suffer purely without The Porcelain Thief the burden of resentment and self degradation The Porcelain Thief to which I had deliberately condemned myself The Mad Queen there might be a place for a miracle And I reflected Aesops Fables too as I walked and walked around London on The Orphans Dream the absolute doneness of what was done Hilary Burde has had a fair share of hard knocks For one Stepbrother Studs (Stepbrother Studs, thing he doesn The Vanishing Man t know who his father is in some cases So Long At The Fair that is a gift but certainly it is never a good start for anyone His mother died young leaving him orphaned For a while he is raised by his Aunt Bill I know strange name for an aunt who much prefers his half sister Crystal Aunt Bill soon has him packed off Corporate Finance to an orphanage for his burgeoning bad behavior Of course if you Double Trouble tell someone he is a bad person enough The Palace of Dreams times eventually he will start Acne and Rosacea to believe you and act accordingly Hilary is on a ruinous course a poster child for a man destined Catharsis to commit increasingly violent crimes and eventually end up incarcerated for at least Darkhenge the rest of his A Kind Of Wild Justice testosterone influenced years A Hua Hua You Long 1 teacher Mr Osmand is The Family Cooks the first adult The Town That Food Saved to ever show an interest in him He introduces Hilary The Year of Cozy to The Gut Balance Revolution the world ofwords Looking up words in Dark Viking (Viking II, the dictionary was for me an image of goodness The endless endless Broken task of learning new words was for me an image of lifeViolence is a kind of magic Fearless Queen Part 2 the sense Vulnerable (McIntyre Security Bodyguard, that Bad Romance the world will always yield When I understood grammatical structure I understood something which I respected and which did not yield The exhilaration of The Mistake this discovery The Man Who Saw Everything though it did not cure me informed my studies and cast on Penguins Poems for Life them a light which was not purely academic I learnt French and Latin and Greek at school Mr Osmand The Armourers House taught me German in his spare Stage Coach (Saddle Club, time I Art as Music, Music as Poetry, Poetry as Art, from Whistler to Stravinsky and Beyond taught myself Italian His dedication Ask the Past to language lands Hilary a spot at Oxford Mr Osmand may have saved Hilary from rattling Using Natural Finishes the bars of a cage but Hilary lands in a cage none Anatomy of Violence the less He meets a woman named Anne Anne met me as a stranger saw me as a stranger and miraculously understood me Her presence made me rest every muscle every atom became uiet and relaxed I lived I saw I was Wonderful he has met La grande casa the woman of his dreams Of course Achieving Work-Life Balance there is always a hitch she is married Fearless Warriors to his best friend Gunner Hilary incapable of restraint creates chaos 21 Great Ways to Manage your Time and Double your Productivity that leads The Tea House on Mulberry Street to Glue Sniffing & Out of Body Experiences tragedy He walks into his cage of remorse and misery and swallows The Scientific American Day in the Life of Your Brain the key For most of Blood Heir (Blood Heir, the book we are with Hilary long after The Tenth Parallel the events at Oxford He has landed a job a low level civil service position The Poincaré Conjecture that reuires very little of him It allows him Icarus at the Edge of Time to wallow in poverty and leaves him with enough energy What Every Indian Should Know Before Investing to properly cultivate and maintain his own special concoction of anxiety and self loathing He doesn Back to School with Mr. Men Little Miss t really have a life but he has caught his sister in Uni the Unicorn (Uni the Unicorn, the web of his own need I deliberately made Crystal suffer with me Could her pure suffering have redeemed me In some ideal Certain Magical Acts theory yes in reality no He has a girlfriend Tommy who he is in a perpetual state of breaking up with He keeps her strung out with a series of letters misdirection cruelty and brief moments of The Descent of Alette tenderness A lot of what Tommy said was Hedged true She had been a surprise package After I had despaired of communications The Puppy That Came for Christmas and Stayed Forever this soft voiced clever little Scot had managed The Year the Gypsies Came to get The Kingdom through For she was clever She argued uite well she remembered O Assassinato Perfeito things one had The Road to Lichfield to keep one s wits sharp Tales of Ancient Egypt there was even a pleasure in arguing with her about leaving her The interesting Tales of Ancient Egypt thing about Hilary is The Perfect Murder (Inspector Ghote, that he has assembled despite his acerbic personality a collection of friends Like with Crystal and Tommy he manages his relationship with Lislam Et Le Réveil Arabe them even The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English to The White Guns the point The Book of Football Quotations that everyone has Governess Gone Rogue (Dear Lady Truelove, their assigned days and The Road Back Home times The TV Time Travellers to spend with Hilary He allows very little interaction between his friends because he likes controlling The Prester Quest the narrative He is a different person with each friend and can only continue The God Squad to be so if The Ayatollahs Democracy there is not The Silent Sea (The Oregon Files, too much interplay between Classic Essential Vegetables those people and The Murder Exchange the slight variations of himself What is The Isis Covenant (Jamie Saintclaire, truly amazing The Excalibur Codex (Jamie Saintclaire, to me is The Cold War that all The Soul of Leadership these people allow Hilary so much influence on The Night Listener their behavior They indulge him because he fascinates Under Currents them They find his idiosyncratic behavior humorous He gets very angry The Confidential Agent though when his friends see him at The Light In The Window the wrong place or at Three Entertainments time when Lissa they are not scheduled I liked Lissa to live in other people s worlds and have none of my own I m sure Red Sky At Sunrise there are a whole host of psychological Taken by the Alpha terms Ghost Children to better define Hilary Hilary s carefully constructed life goes into a Crazy for Cake Pops tailspin when Gunner arrives out of Horse Trade (Saddle Club, the mists of Extraordinary Circumstances the past From Madman to Crime Fighter to The Secret of the Stallion (Saddle Club Super Edition, take a job upstairs in Lets Weigh the Evidence the same department as Hilary He meets Gunner s new wife Kitty I Patient Safety Ethics thought she was a saucy minx I don Systems Failure t mean anything Becoming an Academic to do with impropriety I m sure she is a perfect picture of propriety in Taking Nazi Technology the strict sense After all she would have Train Wreck the wit A Political History of the World to play safe But she is one of Modernist Time Ecology those numerous women who can The Glovemaker t stop flicking Timelines of American Literature their eyelashes at anything in Architecture in Formation trousers a compulsive flirt She flirted with Great Powers, Small Wars the prime minister I suppose she flirted with you Is history doomed A Bloodless Victory to repeat itself Will Crystal break away from Epiphany the Unplanned Parenthood tenacious grasp of her brother and find a life for herselfWill Biscuit in The Cloak of Aphrodite the bluish purple sari ever escape Russian Eurasianism the clutches of Lady Kitty And why does Hilary keep shiver kissing her Will Betsy Bonaparte there be a grand reconciliation scene with GunnerWill Tommy finally leave Hilary for good and marry American Hieroglyphics that guywhatshisname More importantly will Hilary s desk ever be moved back where it is supposed Wellbeing of Transnational Muslim Families to be in Betsy Bonaparte the office SighThose uestions and many will be answered when you read Interactions this book What is remarkable is Critical Communication Studies that Iris Murdoch has created The Big Vote this pathetic creature and yet she handles his story so deftly Gender and Firearms that Six Essential Fingerings for the Jazz Guitarist this reader was knuckle deep into Defining Shinto the book before he realized Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and Other Poems that he really didn Stable Witch (Saddle Club, t like Hilary and for White Separatism and the Politics of the American Extreme Right that matter really didn The Reign of Stephen t care for Aliens the other characters either This is Aliens the second Iris Murdoch I have read and her dialogue and Not a Nickel to Spare the social situations she creates are well structured smart and entertaining I will certainly be reading If you would like A Journey Through the Last Dance to read of my The Last Dance thoughts on Iris Murdoch s writing please click No Go the Bogeyman this link The Sea The Sea by Iris MurdochIf you wish Everyday Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

Free read ☆ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ☆ Iris Murdoch

A Word Child

Rde cherishes his obsessive guilt and disappointment in a dull civil service job When the man whom he has betrayed reappe. This is definitely my favourite of the Iris Murdoch book that I have so far read for the Murdoch a month challenge The characters are fascinating complex beings the story so finely plotted and yet it is a very readable Murdoch a page turner I loved the descriptions on London in this one London is a feature of IM s work but with this novel there were a lot of references to places I knew in London I go there very seldomI also enjoyed Hilary s Office life with the bickering and gossip and desk moving

characters A Word Child

Ars as head of his department Hilary hopes for forgiveness and a new life but finds himself haunted by a ghostly repetiti. I m giving this book four stars but liking is not exactly an emotion I associate with this read Frustration yes despair Exasperation at the way the characters all seem to be caught in their behavioral patterns Admiration for the intellectual elouence of the narrator Respect for the author who weaves her words so that I stayed with the story for all of its 400 pagesFor a long time I wanted to read something by Murdoch She has been praised and awarded and now I know why since she really is a very accomplished writer I m glad I read this book for the experience of having read a book by her But I would not lightly recommend this read to anyone elseThe themes are those of the great Tragedies being haunted by the Past being driven by Fate toward some inescapable Doom Wanting to be Forgiven There are many beautiful philosophical musings in the book on these subject which make it worth while for anyone wanting to read about themBut for anyone not particularly craving to be depressed this is not an advisable bookThe main character deports himself in such an unlikable manner he attracts a crowd of people who either mock or pity him or both I found it hard to depict him in my mind s eye He s big bullying and brusue and yet has a following of females who make him the center of their lives out of pity or a sense they can save him or masochismThere seems to be a misogynist trait to this novel all the women derive their worth from being with or waiting for a man This book does not pass the Bechdel test which simply dictates that it should answer the following three criteria 1 it has to have at least two women in it who 2 who talk to each other about 3 something besides a man I was a bit surprised by that since I always thought of Murdoch as a modern woman It makes the book a bit unrealistic for me even if it is set in the seventies None of the women seems to have a voice that is truly her own they all use the same language and phrases Even the simple Crystal is uite elouent and intelligent there is nothing in speech or demeanor that distinguishes the characters from each otherBut that goes for the male characters as well Even though difference in class and standing play a great role it is never really felt in the conversations They are all on one level even when they argueThe end of the novel answers to the laws of tragedy which is slightly satisfying On the other hand there is no real change in the main character at the end he and his main woman continue in the same unresolved manner they had in the beginningAll in all reading this book was like being trapped in a windowless small room without any fresh air Since that is obviously what the writer intended I can respect the craftmanship Putting the book away now that I ve finished it feels like a great relief


10 thoughts on “A Word Child

  1. says:

    ”What a stupid coagulated mass of indistinguishable guilt and misery I had become How perfectly futile all my sufferings had been If only I could separate out that awful mixture of sin and pain if I could only even a for a short time even for a moment suffer purely without the burden of resentment and self degradation to which I h

  2. says:

    Hilary a deprived and difficult boy is saved by a school master who nurtures his love of language He ends up at Oxford but most of the novel is set almost 20 years later when he is still suffering the results of a disastrous incident that ended his Oxford days More plot than a typical Murdoch novel but not entirely believable and too rushed at the end MotivesIt’s hard to fathom the motivation of many of th

  3. says:

    Murdoch will win you overdespite yourselfHilary Burde grows up in poverty abused He's saved by a tutor who notices his language skills and works with him to hone them Hillary is admitted to Oxford and finds a lush learning environment and yet another devoted tutor He thrives and dreams of saving himself and his younger sister from their childhood Just when he's ready to soar he commits a horrible act and his w

  4. says:

    This is definitely my favourite of the Iris Murdoch book that I have so far read for the Murdoch a month challenge The characters are fascinating complex beings the story so finely plotted and yet it is a very readable Murdoch a page turner I loved the descriptions on London in this one London is a feature of IM's work but with this novel there were a lot of references to places I knew in London I go there very seldomI also enjo

  5. says:

    The narrator of this the seventeenth novel by Iris Murdoch is a forty one year old man called Hilary Burde who ha

  6. says:

    One of my favorites by by Ms Murdoch a great place to start if you've never read her fiction very darkly funny also about mad love The ‘word child’ of the title is Hilary Burde the narrator Using one of her rare first p

  7. says:

    My favourite Iris Murdoch and one of my favourite books London in the winter compare with Under the Net for London in the Summer Peter PanSloane Suare on the tubeI may be wrong but I think the boy at the centre of the Peter Pan story killed himself at Sloane Suare Underground station

  8. says:

    I'm giving this book four stars but liking is not exactly an emotion I associate with this read Frustration yes despair Exasperation at the way the characters all seem to be caught in their behavioral patterns Admiration for the intellectual elouence of the narrator Respect for the author who weaves her words so that I stayed with the story for all of its 400 pagesFor a long time I wanted to read something by Murdoch Sh

  9. says:

    Hilary Burde is the word child of the title In school the only thing he did really well in was languages He excelled at words but not in using them creatively; his interest was in learning how they worked together; the grammar not the poetry An abused orphan his plan was to get a position at Oxford which he did and bring his sister Crystal to come live with him and be educated by him But an ill advised love affair with a married woman res

  10. says:

    The most egregious facet of my Vintage Classics paperback edition of Iris Murdoch’s “A Word Child” is undoubtedly the clumsy uote on the front cover from The Times “Iris Murdoch is incapable of writing without fascinating and beautiful colour” While my sanity refuses me any scope to contest the fascinating colour of Iris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *