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A Severed Head de Iris Murdoch
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A Severed Head (original: 1961; edição: 1963)

de Iris Murdoch (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
1,3534410,401 (3.63)1 / 195
Martin Lynch-Gibbon believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional re-education. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendour at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. As his Medusa informs him, 'this is nothing to do with happiness'.… (mais)
Membro:HilaryCallahan
Título:A Severed Head
Autores:Iris Murdoch (Autor)
Informação:Viking Compass (1963), Edition: First Edition, 248 pages
Coleções:Novels, fiction and the like, Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:fiction in parlor

Detalhes da Obra

A Severed Head de Iris Murdoch (1961)

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» Veja também 195 menções

Inglês (41)  Holandês (1)  Francês (1)  Hebraico (1)  Todos os idiomas (44)
Mostrando 1-5 de 44 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Another enjoyable day or so of reading another Murdoch novel They're so absorbing. This book has the usual formula of outwardly self-sufficient individuals precipitated into moral crises that is typical of her. The characters pass through a maelstrom of revelations, secrets and self discovery; they emerged chastened, more self-aware and sometimes happier.
This formula is never boring; it's part of Murdoch's genius to write into her novels believable characters who are in some way, often slight, damaged or lacking in a vital element that would round them into someone wholly human. So, we are all represented in her novels as the less than perfect persons we often wish we were.
  ivanfranko | Jul 12, 2021 |
Martin Lynch-Gibbon is perfectly satisfied with his wife, Antonia, and his young mistress, Georgie...until his wife suddenly announces that she is leaving him for Palmer Anderson, her psychoanalyst. Reeling from the wtf moment, the pain of betrayal, and infuriation by Antonia and Palmer's insistence at his inclusion in their relationship, and constant treatment of him as an overgrown child, he finds himself repelled but drawn to the most unlikely source of desire - Anderson's sallow-cheeked, greasy-haired laconic sister Honor Klein, whose existence seems to mock and expose his painfully male mistakes. As Martin stumbles through the fog of anxiety, anger and tears, he soon realizes the true depths of his self-deception, and who he really loves.

Thought the Main Character Trying To Lead His Own Life Without Interference trope was all she had? Wrong!! Iris makes another long running Murdochian trope the centre of attention: The Complicated Love Triangle (where friends suddenly become lovers, lovers turn into strangers and acquaintances suddenly become lovers). Iris's depiction of love is intense and consuming, but diffused and confused. Everything is shrouded in possibility, waiting for the chance of a mere encounter. Seemingly logical decisions and rational behaviour, once stripped away, are often exposed for elements of emotional involvement - and each character has different instruments to cheat themselves. Martin tries to rationally justify his decision for a mistress. Antonia beseeches Martin to be reasonable and kind, after she elopes with Palmer. The only character that seems to withstand the self-bullshit is Honor, who lurks in the novel as some cloaked sceptre of truth - apparently nobody can lie to her because they're compelled into honesty by forces beyond.
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The dryer Iris is, the more dramatic she turns, and this was so much fun to read!! I'm just glad that she left behind such a prolific amount of work. ( )
  georgeybataille | Jun 1, 2021 |
I read this book as it was a recommended text for a Master Class in Fiction text that I am slogging through. Severed Head was used for the chapter on dialogue. It does have some great, conversations. It was a fun read - a comedy of ever changing relationships - all revealed to the reader by a very self-absorbed, clueless and unreliable narrator.

( )
  LenJoy | Mar 14, 2021 |
Bizarre book. Dated, but interesting. ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
Les romans d’Iris Murdoch sont très séduisants par leur capacité à offrir au lecteur des réflexions philosophiques à travers des personnages jetés en pâture aux tourments de leur existence. Dans ce cinquième roman publié en 1961, l’auteure parvient brillamment à accomplir ce qu’elle sait faire de mieux : donner vie à des personnages qui évoluent dans des milieux bourgeois, les plonger dans des eaux tour à tour glacées et brûlantes pour les faire agir, réagir et interagir. On sent que l’auteur prend un malin plaisir à disséquer ses personnages qu’elle capte comme autant d’insectes sous un microscope. Elle se délecte visiblement à décrire par le menu la douleur ressentie en arrachant une patte à l’un, une antenne à l’autre. Elle peut le faire avec d’autant plus d’exaltation qu’elle sait que son sadisme sera pleinement partagé par le lecteur.
Martin, quadragénaire, négociant en vin, mène une existence heureuse entre son épouse Antonia –femme élégante, plus âgée que lui, qui lui apporte la sécurité matérielle et affective – et sa jeune maîtresse Georgie, étudiante, qui lui apporte le frisson érotique dans un univers résolument parallèle (et étanche) à sa vie matrimoniale. Martin, pas le moins du monde tourmenté par son infidélité, n’envisage pas de quitter le confort domestique et bourgeois que lui procure Antonia ; il se montre par ailleurs reconnaissant vis-à-vis de la jeune Georgie qui, bien que visiblement attachée à lui, a la délicatesse de ne rien exiger.
Ce ronronnement confortable et familier est pourtant stoppé net un soir, alors que Martin rentre chez lui après avoir rendu visite à sa maîtresse. Son existence insouciante vole en éclats à l’arrivée de sa femme qui lui annonce tout de go qu’elle est tombée follement amoureuse de Palmer, son psychanalyste (mais aussi ami du couple).
Ce coup de théâtre sera le premier d’une savoureuse série de revirements amoureux qui émaillent l’intégralité du roman. Le livre est une fête permanente et même un heureux feu d’artifices (au sens propre et figuré) à laquelle l’auteur aurait convié tout à la fois Shakespeare, Freud et Marivaux. On y retrouve en effet de la magie malicieuse de Midsummer Night’s Dream, les errances de La double inconstance (démultipliée) transposées, sur fond de psychanalyse, quelque part à Londres au tournant des années 1950-60.
A severed head est une comédie satirique étincelante qui mêle ironie mordante, inconvenance moqueuse et désinvolture échevelée.La virtuosité littéraire d’Iris Murdoch est pleinement mise à profit dans la description et l’enchaînement des scènes, le caractère savoureux des dialogues, les multiples ressorts tragi-comiques.
Le thème central est le mensonge dans sa globalité, à travers ce que l’on dissimule à autrui mais aussi ce que l’on cache avant tout à soi-même. Comme toujours, l’adultère règne en maître (car c’est efficace) pour peindre l’univers du mensonge. Très drôle, le livre n’en comprend pas moins aussi des thèmes plus sombres tels que l’avortement et le suicide.
La dissection des émotions et perceptions des personnages, dans leur vérité crue (bien souvent égoïste, donc, et pas très reluisante) fait montre d’une finesse psychologique bluffante en matière de sentiment amoureux et de relations interpersonnelles.
Voilà une sorte de cours magistral : profond, grinçant, sagace et sans pitié.
Au carnaval de l’amour, des feintes et des incertitudes, que la fête commence !
Un grand roman d’Iris Murdoch, injustement sous-évalué par rapport à ses autres livres (il ne serait tout de même pas très sérieux de donner sa préférence à une comédie !).

Extraits :
Sur l’art de se mentir (pour se donner le beau rôle) :
« with that degree of self-perception which is essential to a prolonged and successful masquerade, I even felt virtuous”.

Sur la réification dans la perte de l’autre :
“the things in [our lovely house] no longer cohered together. It was odd that the pain worked first and most immediately through things, as if they had at once become the sad symbols of a loss which in its entirety I could not yet face. They knew and mourned”.

Sur les rapports de force amoureux :
“I had been cheated of some moment of violence, of some special though perhaps fruitless movement of will and power: and for this at least I would never forgive them”.

Sur l’ambivalence du sentiment amoureux (et la part d’égoïsme pur qui l’accompagne régulièrement) :
“I was by now in a state which could only be described as being in love. Yet it was a strange love, whose only possible expression was my acquiescence in her will to keep that thread unbroken between us. At the same time, to consent to this was torture and I felt the tender bond like a strangler’s rope. I was confounded by the utter impossibility of violence. Yet violence, veiled with misery, moved within”.
“You understand. It may seem unreasonable to ask you to love me all the same and to love me especially: but nothing here is reasonable, and in love nothing is ever reasonable. So, selfish, inconsiderate, and sorry for myself, I ask just that”.

Sur le tiraillement amoureux (un sommet de justesse qui saisira / douchera tout lecteur l’ayant vécu… ou subi) :
“I began to think about Georgie and about our meeting tomorrow. I could find somewhere in my heart a warm germ of gladness at the thought of Georgie. Yet I was terrified of seeing her too. I could not at present face anything in the way of a showdown or argument about fundamentals with Georgie. I had been as it were too completely reabsorbed into Antonia. I could think of nothing but Antonia. The pressure upon me of Georgia’s needs, any requirement that I should now imagine her situation, would be intolerable, and I felt sick at the thought. Yet I did want to see her. I wanted consolation, I wanted love, I wanted, to save me, some colossal and powerful love such as I had never known before”.
“there were times when I wondered whether my love for Georgie was strong enough to support the sheer weight of mess and muddle under which I felt it now laboured. All the same, when I had found her with Alexander my sense of possessiveness had been immediate and violent: a possessiveness which lingered on now as a sort of aching resentment. It was odd that I felt no urgency about seeing her. What I really wanted most just then was to put Georgie in cold storage. It is unfortunate that other human beings cannot be conveniently immobilized”.

Sur le lien amoureux :
“The familiar ritual steadied us both. I drew here limp being against mine. She laid her head on my shoulder. Our bodies, at least, were old friends”.

Sur le caractère inextricable du conflit amoureux :
“The fact is we were both exhausted, and yet with nerves sufficiently on edge, both required each other and found rest impossible together”.

L'intelligence d'une philosophe particulièrement portée sur la psychologie, au service d'un récit flamboyant ! ( )
  biche1968 | Aug 31, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Murdoch, Irisautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Jacobi, DerekNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Raymond, CharlesArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schaap, H.W.J.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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'You're sure she doesn't know?' said Georgie.
'Antonia? About us? Certain.'
Georgie was silent for a moment and then said, 'Good.' That court 'Good' was characteristic of her, typical of a toughness which had, to my mind, more to do with honesty than with ruthlessness. I liked the dry way in which she accepted our relationship. Only with a person so eminently sensible could I have deceived my wife.
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Iris Murdoch's novel 'A Severed Head' (1961) was adapted for the stage with the same title. The published play (1964) is co-credited to Murdoch and the playwright J.B. Priestly. Please distinguish between this novel and the play adaptation. Thank you.
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Martin Lynch-Gibbon believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional re-education. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendour at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. As his Medusa informs him, 'this is nothing to do with happiness'.

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