Iris Murdoch [Pdf kindle] The Italian Girl

Review The Italian Girl

A family struggles for redemption after a funeral brings dark secrets to the surface in this novel from the Man Booker Prize–winning author of The Sea The SeaThe funeral of Edward’s mother brings him home for the first time in year. What is the term euivalent to white trash for the Brits Well I don t know but here is a menagerie rife with those interesting yet devastatingly bleak individuals they are all mad they ve all taken X Beauty is such self forgetting 47 indeed and this is a brilliant and breathtaking family portrait so very post Victorian Jerry Springer filthiness First off the strongly redolent very judgmental narrator and weakling Edmund becomes immediately attractive to any reader who often ventures out of a definite comfort zone to stray off into the world s dark undercarriage And the plot He finds himself in a mad dream inhabited by imps by doubles and doppelgangers any possible reader could possibly want The protagonist like the reader himself is faced with too much information too soon to possibly fit all too neatly in his restricted view and awestruck mind He must work out all the cogs in the machine before the orchestra fully unfurls before him Lastly the pace is ominous and foreboding all of it frosting in an evenly frosted delicious morsel Respect the gods of the almighty novella It arrives from the same stratosphere of the macabre as American Hawthorne s The Blithedale RomanceThere is a commendable and dire need to be anti Victorian with the superb Murdoch It s vile and cool in eual measure The erotic siblings the not too discreet lovers all vicious and dripping in sexwell it is all one huge cochinada pigstyish maelstrom

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The Italian Girl

S Though his return rekindles his affection for his childhood home it also triggers a resurgence of the family tensions that caused him to leave in the first place As Edward becomes tangled in his family’s web of corrosive secrets hi. This is Iris Murdoch s eighth novel I have been reading her novels in order of publication and become uite a fan She brings a philosophical bent to her fiction Though the next book for me would have been The Unicorn one of my reading groups picked this one so I set aside my OCD tendency and went with it Some critics have considered it one of her weakest novels I liked it just fine The younger son Edmund has come home due to the death of his mother and tells the story with wistful viewpoints of each member of the household Lydia the deceased mother had been controlling and no longer interested in her husband now deceased once she had two sons She was overly possessive of the boys in alternating periods Otto the older brother still lives in the family home with his wife Isabel and daughter Flora now a teenager In Murdoch s usual way the details of the family come into focus like a developing photograph until you have a distressing picture of psychological disturbance and broken relationships Edmund no surprise has trouble with females never married and is possibly still a virgin Otto drinks is vegetarian and works unsuccessfully as an engraver mostly making tombstones He has always had criminal type assistants who cause trouble and are then replaced Otto s wife it turns out is having an affair with the current assistant David who has also been sleeping with the daughter and gotten her pregnant Otto is sleeping with David s mysterious and troubled sister uite a mess but this is one of Murdoch s typical families Edmund s pathetic attempts to help these people all go awry almost to the point of comedy Dark comedy is another facet of Murdoch s fiction The title is the key to this fractured family but you don t find out the full significance of the Italian girl until the very end All you know until then is that the family has had a series of Italian girls as servants These girls do all the housework raised the boys when the mother needed a break and served as companion to mother The mystery of this arrangement is the big reveal at the endI found the novel to be one of her most exuisitely written books Each scene is carefully drawn with lovely descriptions that create atmosphere and allow you to see ever deeply into the characters In fact it was adapted for the stage by James Saunders and originally performed in 1968In spite of there being not a single likeable character I felt for them all Murdoch seems to be telling us that in any family there are secrets Secrets of the heart due to failures to connect unawareness of what goes on a lack of perspective caused by the claustrophobia of family I have found that to be true in most families I know even the good ones

Iris Murdoch â 2 Read

S homecoming tips a precariously balanced dynamic into sudden chaos The Italian Girl is Murdoch’s compelling story of a man’s reunion with his estranged family and of the tragedy that shocks them all into confronting their dark pas. What this book needs is orcs Or any orcs at all really but preferably a great horde of slavering rampaging hell bent on destruction orcs Failing that zombies would do the trick Or perhaps we could push swords into the characters hands and toss them into the gladiator arena Frankly they need something of the sort A post apocalypse world to shake them out of their fairyland and give them something serious to worry about Because I ve never come across such a snivelling bunch of whiny self absorbed morons who so badly need to just get over themselves Here s the plot such as it is Matriarch Lydia has just died and son Edmund returns to the family home wherein reside his brother Otto and his wife Isabel along with Otto s apprentice and his sister and the resident nanny turned housekeeper the eponymous Italian girl The story then unfolds with one melodramatic revelation after another accompanied by much shouting gesturing grand speech making falling down weeping and wailing and running about in the rain There isn t one of them who seems to have an ounce of common sense or any idea of just how lucky they are not to be working in a factory or down the minesOK OK so I don t get it I probably lack the right receptors in my brain to get the point of a book like this No doubt there are complex nuances of language or literature or philosophy or metaphor that simply whizzed over my head I m missing the point I accept that But it was short and I finished it so I gave it two stars In future I shall leave Iris Murdoch to those better suited to appreciate the ualities of her writing


10 thoughts on “The Italian Girl

  1. says:

    I read this a few weeks back and it still lingers in my mind I very seldom come back and change a rating but did for this one upped it a star because there is so much going on so much meaning that reveals itself the one thinks about this novella Edmund reruns home after the death of his manipulative and controlling mother A mother he had esca

  2. says:

    What is the term euivalent to white trash for the Brits? Well I don't know but here is a menagerie rife with those interesting yet devastatingly bleak individuals they are all mad they've all taken X Beauty is such self forgetting 47 indeed and this is a brilliant and breathtaking family portrait so very post Vi

  3. says:

    Notes to self1 Read a book a couple of weeks ago Turned out it was about Alzheimer’s2 Cannot remember the title or story of note #13 Read another book last week Turned out it had a character who suffered dementia4 Cannot remember that title or story either of note #35 Current author developed Alzheimer’sReviewA short a

  4. says:

    At 171 pages this practically a novella but it packs a lot of emotion into those pages and although it's an early work it is very clearly an Iris Murdoch albeit less subtle than later worksEdmund returns to his childhood h

  5. says:

    This is Iris Murdoch's eighth novel I have been reading her novels in order of publication and become uite a fan She brings a philosophical bent to her fiction Though the next book for me would have been The Uni

  6. says:

    A short Gothic drama about hedonism versus the ethical life this was my seventh Murdoch novel and alas one of the less me

  7. says:

    Iris Murdoch’s The Italian Girl reads like a cross between a Victoria Holt Gothic romance and a glimpse of a Holden Caulfield still clueless self centered and easily offended at forty something The protagonist and narrator Edmund Narraway ret

  8. says:

    What this book needs is orcs Or any orcs at all really but preferably a great horde of slavering rampaging hell bent on destruction orcs Failing that zombies would do the trick Or perhaps we could push swords into the char

  9. says:

    My first Iris Murdoch book and boy can she write beautifully I was transported into the book and lost myself in it For some reason I have always been put off her writing because I thought it would be too cerebral and I would become bored but if this is anything to go by I will be reading of her stuffAt 160 pages

  10. says:

    The Italian Girl is the eighth in the chronological readalong of Iris Murdoch’s novels I’m participating in and one that is reminiscent of several of her earlier novels including The Unicorn and A Severed Head Once again we have a collection of characters that are either thoroughly dislikable or unsympathetic we have affairs we have a teenager left to their own devices and its conseuences beautiful countryside a coun