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Cuddy: Winner of the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize…
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Cuddy: Winner of the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize (edição: 2024)

de Benjamin Myers (Autor)

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834325,412 (4.15)9
Cuddy is an experimental retelling of the story of the hermit St. Cuthbert, unofficial patron saint of the North of England. Incorporating poetry, prose, play, diary and real historical accounts to create a novel like no other, Cuddy straddles historical eras - from the first Christian-slaying Viking invaders of the holy island of Lindisfarne in the 8th century to a contemporary England defined by class and austerity. Along the way we meet brewers and masons, archers and academics, monks and labourers, their visionary voices and stories echoing through their ancestors and down the ages. And all the while at the centre sits Durham Cathedral and the lives of those who live and work around this place of pilgrimage a their dreams, desires, connections and communities.… (mais)
Membro:JosefKafka
Título:Cuddy: Winner of the 2023 Goldsmiths Prize
Autores:Benjamin Myers (Autor)
Informação:Bloomsbury Publishing (2024), Edition: 1, 464 pages
Coleções:Read - Keep, Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:*****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Cuddy de Benjamin Myers

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Exibindo 4 de 4
It's not often that I come to the closing pages of a book, vowing to read it again soon, knowing that I have not - could not - squeeze all that it has to offer out of a single reading. I know little about Saint Cuthbert beyond the fact that he was a simple man, much venerated in his own time. Which explains why a motley band of monks and devotees intermittently spent years moving his remains around to save him from the depredations of Viking raiders. And we meet some of them here, in the first section of the book set in 995CE, where orphaned Ediva, in her breathless disjointed but poetic prose recounts their journey, the landscape, and her vision for his final resting place. Book two was the one I found the trickiest voice . In 1346, masons are enhancing and repairing the mighty hilltop cathedral (Durham). The wife of one meets and succumbs to another .... Then we leap to the 19th century to meet the opinionated and cocksure Forbes Fawcett-Black who has been invited to join the team exhuming the saint to see if the legend that his flesh is incorruptible is true. And finally we are in 2019, where a young under-educated man who cares for his dying mother is employed as a gopher to the current restoration team. His eyes are opened to a world and a heritage he had not known about. How different and yet how connected the sections are to each other. The language of each couldn't be more different one from the other: free-flowing yet poetic; dense blocks of prose; a pastiche Victorian ghost story; a rich narrative in which sense of place and societal deprivation are juxtaposed The kinds of story told are utterly different. Yet links are there - there's always an owl-eyed lad in the narrative, for instance. A richly complex feast of prose and poetry, inviting thought and discussion long after the last page has been turned. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
The story of Saint Cuthbert is reimagined in this complex novel. Told from various perspectives and in a variety of prose and poetry styles this is a book which is ambitious. It is difficult to read but I do admire the concept. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Feb 17, 2024 |
Well that was quite something. I have to say I was impressed. Amongst the list of sources consulted by Mr Myers is 'St Cuthbert his Cult and his Community to AD 1200' . Mr Myers has made his own contribution to that cult with this book.

It is essentially a fictionalised, episodic history of Durham Cathedral. Five section each describing significant events in the founding and the life of the institution. Each section written in a style appropriate to the age. The wandering group of monks who took St Cuthbert from Lindisfarne are described in the form of an epic poem reminiscent of Beowulf. In the 14th century the tale involving a mason helping to build the cathedral is told in Chaucerian style. The interlude from the Cromwellian period when the cathedral housed Scottish prisoners of war is a short Shakespearian play. The exhumation of St Cuthbert in the early nineteenth century is Shelley style gothic horror. The final section in today's times is plain social realism. It is an impressive feat of disciplined writing.

Threading through all the episodes are recurring characters. Beginning with Ediva the young orphan girl adopted by the group of monks caring for St Cuthbert's body and who grows up to be their cook, washerwoman and visionary who identifies the future site of Durham Cathedral. They include an owl eyed boy who makes recurring ghostly appearances. Why the owl I wonder? When I make some cursory research it seems that the owl is associated with the resurrection. The final, modern day episode, includes a character actually named Cuthbert, his surname. It is left to the reader's imagination to make the connection with the Saint.

I could well imagine the book selling well in Durham Cathedral gift shop. ( )
1 vote Steve38 | Apr 11, 2023 |
Cuddy (Bloomsbury) is Benjamin Myers’ new book out in March. I have championed Ben’s work a few times in this column and his writing just gets better and better, even when you think it can’t possibly do so. I’d say this is his masterpiece but I’ve been caught out before. What it is indisputably is a truly ambitious project. It has at its centre the influence of St Cuthbert, nicknamed as Cuddy locally, and the extraordinary power of his final resting place, Durham Cathedral. It has at its heart the North East, and Durham in particular, along with its rich history and what it means to be from, and live, there. It is set over 1300 years from start to finish and, as if that was not enough, it covers a whole host of different ways of telling the story: quotes, historical references, poetry, personal notes, stage dialogue and modern storytelling are all wrapped up in six parts that are each separated by 200-300 years. We are in 687 AD when St Cuthbert dies, then with the haliwerfolk who meander through the North East protecting Cuddy’s remains from the marauding Vikings, while they search for a permanent home for his sacred bones. We are with the stonemasons who built the cathedral and the community living in its considerable shadow. We are imprisoned with defeated soldiers under the vaulted ceiling, and we’re wrapped up in the search for the truth and myth around the reason for St Cuthbert’s canonisation. Then we’re in 2019 and see what the building still means to the local folk today, and this last part incorporates the town-and-gown reality of Durham as both a city and a University. I was lucky enough to attend Hatfield College some forty years ago, and was also overawed by the cathedral that loomed over us a stone’s throw, well maybe slingshot, away. It’s always a pleasure to go back and revisit, and for anyone who has any connection to Durham, this is essential reading. It really is an astonishing book and deserves all the accolades that it will surely be showered with. ( )
1 vote davidroche | Feb 9, 2023 |
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Cuddy is an experimental retelling of the story of the hermit St. Cuthbert, unofficial patron saint of the North of England. Incorporating poetry, prose, play, diary and real historical accounts to create a novel like no other, Cuddy straddles historical eras - from the first Christian-slaying Viking invaders of the holy island of Lindisfarne in the 8th century to a contemporary England defined by class and austerity. Along the way we meet brewers and masons, archers and academics, monks and labourers, their visionary voices and stories echoing through their ancestors and down the ages. And all the while at the centre sits Durham Cathedral and the lives of those who live and work around this place of pilgrimage a their dreams, desires, connections and communities.

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