A Word Child by Iris Murdoch

By Iris Murdoch

A great yet deeply mistaken guy struggles to earn absolution

Hilary Burde was once a emerging superstar in academia until eventually a sad twist of fate plunged him and his mentor and rival, Gunnar Jopling, into 20 years of melancholy and guilt. Hilary, not able to beat his soreness, deserted his promising profession for an unfulfilling activity as a civil servant. yet at age 41, Hilary crosses paths back with Gunnar—initiating a sequence of occasions that may switch their lives forever. 

Set opposed to a richly drawn backdrop of post-war London, A notice Child is a gripping tale of ardour and the redemptive strength of affection.

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Nes, / quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum,” ll. 106–107). Donne’s claim that exceeding “bounds” changes the “nature and name” closely resembles the assertion in one of his paradoxes that “exces . . ” Donne does not spell out the objective change in the nature of “power” when rulers exceed their “bounds” (the transformation of legitimate authority into tyranny) but instead focuses on the subjective consequences for the ruled (the change in the “nature and name” of a subject’s obedience).

And as a stranger to my heart and me / Hold thee . . ” In “A Lecture upon the Shadow,” Donne recalls to his mistress their anxious “infant loves,” when “Disguises did, and shadowes, flow / From us, and our care” (ll. 10–11). ” In a poem ascribed to Virgil by Renaissance critics, the speaker reveals the Epicurean’s emotional sacrifice when he bids farewell to his beloved, his “care of cares” [o mearum cura . . curarum], so that he can pursue Epicurean ataraxia, a life “free of care” [ab omni .

He notes that the voyager in both the “furnace” of the equatorial region and “th’adverse icy Poles” knows that there are “two temperate Regions” (ll. 11–13) to which he can return. By contrast, he finds no analogous escape from the court or country: “But Oh, what refuge canst thou winne / Parch’d in the Court, and in the country frozen? / Shall cities, built of both extremes, be chosen? / . . / Cities are worst of all three” (ll. 14–16, 19). 64 Donne implies an analogy to this cosmic process when he claims that the city is “built of” the extremes of court heat and country chill.

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