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The Red and the Green (1965)

de Iris Murdoch

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462640,011 (3.27)46
A novel about a troubled Irish family on the eve of the Easter Rising by a Man Booker Prize-winning author.   In 1916, with the First World War raging across Europe, Andrew Chase-White, lieutenant in the British army, travels to Ireland to see his family. Though he was raised in England by Protestant parents, many of his relations still live on the Emerald Isle, and are Catholic and nationalist through and through. Andrew's arrival in Dublin is the only spark needed to ignite old resentments, new passions, political tensions, and religious crises, sending the family into a torrent of fights and alliances, affairs and betrayals.   And as the historic gunfire begins at the General Post Office on the day of the Easter Rebellion, the lives of Andrew and his relations will be indelibly changed.   At once an exploration of the tumultuous political landscape of World War I Dublin and an examination of family, love, and loyalty, The Red and the Green is a compelling novel of Englishness and Irishness that continues to stand the test of time and history.  … (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porAumell, jordanr2, alo1224, southernbooklady, Carmen99, comptron, bobbedh, tmcarew, Grimjack69
Bibliotecas HistóricasIris Murdoch
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    A Long, Long Way de Sebastian Barry (cf66)
    cf66: Molto diversi narrativamente, si rifanno allo stesso momento storico
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An intricate plot that enmeshes close family in the week before the Irish Uprising at Easter 1916. The usual mix of types and driven individuals you find in Murdoch's novels. It could almost be described as a historical novel. Irish and Dublin weather, houses, landscapes etc. are all described with an accuracy that is the hallmark of her novel writing. I enjoyed the gathering pace of the novel as the fuse towards the Noon uprising burnt on relentlessly, and the fates of the characters became inevitable.
  ivanfranko | Mar 5, 2021 |
This large collection of characters, many connected by marriage, live in and around Dublin, Ireland as the 1916 Easter Uprising at the City post office is approaching.

Andrew Chase-White is Irish but is an officer in the British Army who has lived most of life in England. Once he recovers from an injury, he is facing going to France and the trenches. His fiance, Francis, is Irish but prefers to live in England as well. There are the Dumay brothers, Pat and Cathal who are Irish patriots and are ready to fight in the uprising. Aunt Millie is a bit of a upper class tart who in one memorable moment in the narrative had four different men show up one evening to all enjoy her charms even though most if not all were related to her in some manner.

There are many humourous moments in the story but it is the descriptions of Irish life especially the dull, drab, life in Dublin that resonates. Even the reasonably well off seem to live in damp drab homes. And it rains a great deal in Dublin

While slow to get moving, the pace definitely picked up about a third of the way into the novel and it then became difficult to put down. ( )
  lamour | May 11, 2019 |
As far as I know this is Murdoch's only foray into historical fiction. You could argue, for her just barely as this would have been her parents' and grandparents' generation experiencing the Easter Uprising of April 1916 (a mad bid for immediate independence). The story covers the week before the uprising and is focussed on an Anglo-irish family with roots deep enough to be (mostly) fully identified with the struggle, albeit with ragged edges. Some of the family has become Catholic, the more Anglo have remained Protestant. The focal point is Pat Dumay, one of the older cousins in this group of interrelated families, there is also Frances, another cousin Andrew and Pat's younger brother Cathal all of them in their teens or early twenties. Frances and Andrew (who is in the British army on leave) are assumed to be affianced in all but name, even though they are distantly related. In the older generation there is a still beautiful aunt and a religious aunt, a ne'er do well uncle (Barney, perhaps the character I liked the most, he was quite humorous) and a well-to-do and sensible uncle, a full cast in other words but they are one and all caught up in the swirl of events of that week, helpless to save themselves from the inevitable --not unlike the way the great yellow boulders Murdoch describes along the Dublin shore will destroy anything that gets caught among them. It is a "harder" book than many of Murdoch's in that it really is "about" something definite, and yet it also contains many of the classic Murdochian hallmarks, an enchantress, a charismatic, ruthless, and sexually ambiguous man (Pat Dumay) with whom everyone is secretly obsessed. The story builds also in classic Murdoch fashion to a crisis both comical and sad. And there are many memorable houses each with their own personalities, a Murdoch feature I treasure. Are there some Joycean echoes here and there in loving descriptions of Dublin? I think so, and the cadence at the end recalled to me, "The Dead." To be sure, it is a book for the habituated Murdochian and/or those interested in that moment in Irish history. **** ( )
2 vote sibylline | Apr 24, 2016 |
Iris Murdoch has written twenty-six novels. She also has written five plays and five volumes of philosophy and a book of poetry. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the 1978 novel, The Sea, The Sea. I came to read Murdoch after hearing an interview on NPR in 1988 about her newest novel, The Book and the Brotherhood. This novel may be my earliest invocation of the “Rule of 50.”

I started it, but became confused by the mass of characters and background detail. I put it aside for another day. Shortly after, I found myself laid up for a week, and tried it again. This time I stuck to it, and became enthralled with the power of Murdoch’s prose, her attention to the minutest detail, and the deep, psychological insights of her characters. I immediately set out to gather the rest of her work. I have all of her novels, and since 1988, I have been slowly working my way through them. The Red and the Green, published in 1965, is the thirteenth I have read.

The Red and the Green tells the story of an extended family in the week before the Easter Rising in 1916 Ireland. Andrew Chase-White is a protestant and an officer in the British Army. His cousin Pat Dumay, is a Catholic and a member of the Volunteers, a group planning the uprising. These families are tightly woven, and the political situation in Ireland bubbles beneath the surface when the family members meet. The “troubles” appear in the form of petty squabbles.

As in all her novels, she has a large number of characters, and, as is my custom, a family tree helps keep all the cousins, aunts, and uncles in order. Christopher is the widowed father of Frances, who is very close to Andrew Chase-White. They discuss which theater to attend one afternoon. Murdoch writes:

“It was about a half hour later and tea was nearly over. They were sitting round the low wickerwork table in the conservatory, while outside the garden was being caressed or playfully beaten by the light rain which drifted a little in the breeze from the sea. Rain in Ireland always seemed a different substance from English rain, its drops smaller and more numerous. It seemed now to materialize in the air rather than to fall through it, and, transformed into quick-silver, ran shimmering upon the surface of the trees and plants, to fall with a heavier plop from the dejected palms and the chestnut. This rain, this scene, the pattering on the glass, the smell of the porous concrete floor, never entirely dry, the restless sensation of slightly damp cushions, these things set up for Andrew a long arcade of memories. He shifted uneasily in his basket chair, wondering how long it took to develop rheumatism.” (29)

Few novelists can grip me by the heart and soul and transport me to a distant time and place. Murdoch does it to me every time. I think my first encounter caught me unawares of the power of this great 20th century novelist. She died in February 1999 after suffering from Alzheimer’s. A film, starring Judy Dench told the story of her final years. An extremely interesting and detailed biography came out in 2001 by Peter J. Conradi, a friend of Iris’s, who gave him complete access to her journal, letters, and papers.

Iris Murdoch is one of the finest novelists of the 20th century. It has taken me many years to get to The Red and the Green, the halfway point of her novels, but I mean to get through the entire list. I guess then I will have to start over from the beginning. 5 stars

--Jim, 7/19/12 ( )
  rmckeown | Aug 3, 2012 |
Gobsmacked. A broiling bunch of characters--it isn't easy being in any of their minds--yet in the end I cared very much about their fates. The Easter Rising is more than a backdrop; their relationship to Ireland and to each other as Irishmen and Irishwomen is at the very crux of the book. Painful, yet one I would be sorry to have missed. A favourite Murdoch. ( )
1 vote thesmellofbooks | Sep 25, 2010 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Murdoch, Irisautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kiberd, DeclanIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Peccinotti, HarriDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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A novel about a troubled Irish family on the eve of the Easter Rising by a Man Booker Prize-winning author.   In 1916, with the First World War raging across Europe, Andrew Chase-White, lieutenant in the British army, travels to Ireland to see his family. Though he was raised in England by Protestant parents, many of his relations still live on the Emerald Isle, and are Catholic and nationalist through and through. Andrew's arrival in Dublin is the only spark needed to ignite old resentments, new passions, political tensions, and religious crises, sending the family into a torrent of fights and alliances, affairs and betrayals.   And as the historic gunfire begins at the General Post Office on the day of the Easter Rebellion, the lives of Andrew and his relations will be indelibly changed.   At once an exploration of the tumultuous political landscape of World War I Dublin and an examination of family, love, and loyalty, The Red and the Green is a compelling novel of Englishness and Irishness that continues to stand the test of time and history.  

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