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Iris and Her Friends: A Memoir of Memory and Desire

de John Bayley

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: John Bayley's Memoirs (2)

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229588,729 (3.63)2
John Bayley Began writing Iris and Her Friends, a companion to the New York Times bestseller Elegy for Iris, late at night while his wife, the beloved novelist Iris Murdoch, succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease. As Iris was losing her memory, Bayley was flooded with vivid recollections of his own. In lyrical reverie, Bayley recreates the unforgettable scenes of his youth, from his birth to a civil servant in colonial India to his long romance with Iris and its heartbreaking end. This is the transcendent work of a brilliant man, whose examination of the tragedies and joys of his own life will give readers great healing insight. John Bayley's Iris and Her Friends is nothing less than a classic of true love and sorrow.… (més)
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biografisch verslag Iris Murdoch, geschreven door haar echtgenoot John ( )
  huizenga | Aug 25, 2020 |
“Iris and Her Friends” is the second book John Bayley wrote about his wife, novelist and Oxford don Iris Murdoch, and her decline from Alzheimer’s disease. The term ‘her friends’ does not refer to people in her life, but to the compensations that her disease brings with it- the fact that she nearly instantly forgets bad things that happen, the warmth of simply holding someone you love, and that she no longer has to obey rules of decorum. Bayley, who had a lot of time to examine all facets of their life while caring for Iris (he took care of her at home up until a couple of weeks before her death), seems to have been determined to see all sides of the situation.

Most of the book is about Bayley’s life before meeting Iris. He reminisces about his childhood and young adulthood while lying in bed, unable to sleep because Iris is not settled into sleep herself. He was a bookish, introverted lad who stood apart from his older brothers (and his parents) in having no love for golf- they lived on a golf course. He spent most of his childhood playing by himself. While boarding school was hell for him, he took to the military quite well- he knew what was expected of him there. These memories are interspersed with the daily life of caring for Iris- walks, meals (spoon feedings), and the odd habits she developed as her disease progressed. Through it all, despite occasional episodes of rage on his part due to sheer frustration, is the love that held them together for so many decades.

While not as incredible a book as ‘Elegy for Iris’, it’s a thoughtful and moving treatise on love and loss- when the person you lose is still right in front of you. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | Nov 8, 2015 |
Ik heb Elegie voor Iris (nog) niet gelezen, maar wel destijds de speelfilm gezien die naar dit boek is gemaakt met een sprankelende Kate Winslett (jonge Iris) en Judy Dench (oude Iris) in de titelrol.
Dit boek is me niet meegevallen: het onderwerp is niet Iris maar vooral John en zijn herinneringen. Die herinneringen worden wel in gang gezet, volgens de schrijver, door de omgang met zijn ernstig demente vrouw. Maar Iris komt in het gros herinneringen niet voor, want Bayley schrijft vooral over zijn kinder- en jongelingsjaren.

Het is heel mooi, dat hij de zware taak van de verzorging van Iris, goed aankan, juist omdat de omgang met Iris allerlei geheugenstromingen op gang brengt. Dit verzacht als het ware de situatie.
Bayley schrijft heel weloverwogen, tast zijn gevoelens af, is heel behoedzaam en toch erg eerlijk. Niettemin kon het mij niet boeien en, ik schaam me om het te zeggen, ik vind het vaak nogal saai en traag.

Het boek is erg mooi uitgegeven, mooie letter, fijn formaat. eenvoudige maar fijnzinnige ornamentjes in de marge. Daar kan een e-book echt niet aan tippen. ( )
  PGCM | Jan 31, 2013 |
This completes a trilogy of biographies about Iris Murdoch. The first I read back in 1999 right around the time of her death. John Bayley also wrote that one, Iris: An Elegy. The second is the outstanding Conradi biography reviewed below.

The third has some photos not in the Conradi, whose work really trails off during the last few months of her life. These “memories” by John Bayley of the last year of Murdoch’s life have the feel of a journal. Sometimes the chapters will overlap with the first 2/3s of a story ending a chapter, and the second 2/3s beginning the next. The detail is extremely frank about Iris’ last days at home with John. I almost wished I had not read this and left only with the images of Iris at the end of Conradi.

But there is still a lot of good stuff here. Only John Bayley could provide insights into his wife’s process. For example, I learned that she never used a typewriter. She conceived her books entirely in her head, and when finished, she announced it was “ready to write.” This makes the loss of her memory even more tragic, if that is possible.

One fun thing is the number of literary quotes and allusions Bayley uses. I get about half of them, but looking up the other half is a hoot. Praise Minerva for Gooogle!

The description of their house sounds frighteningly like our home. It might seem messing and ill-kempt to some, but there is a pleasing, comfortable order to it all. For fans of Murdoch, 5 stars; for fans of literary biographies, 4 stars; for all others, 3 stars.

--Jim, 5/26/08 ( )
1 vota rmckeown | May 26, 2008 |
uit vrije wil door de liefde verenigd zijn.' - Washington Post

IRIS EN HAAR WERELD:
Het hartverscheurende verhaal van het laatste levensjaar en de dood van Iris Murdoch; een schitterend vervolg op het succesvolle Elegie voor Iris.
  rieja | May 26, 2006 |
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John Bayleyautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Mossel, BabetTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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John Bayley Began writing Iris and Her Friends, a companion to the New York Times bestseller Elegy for Iris, late at night while his wife, the beloved novelist Iris Murdoch, succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease. As Iris was losing her memory, Bayley was flooded with vivid recollections of his own. In lyrical reverie, Bayley recreates the unforgettable scenes of his youth, from his birth to a civil servant in colonial India to his long romance with Iris and its heartbreaking end. This is the transcendent work of a brilliant man, whose examination of the tragedies and joys of his own life will give readers great healing insight. John Bayley's Iris and Her Friends is nothing less than a classic of true love and sorrow.

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