Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1915
Genre Fiction
Origin UK
Publisher Everyman's Library
ISBN-10 1857150201
ISBN-13 978-1857150209
My Copy library hardback
First Read August 13, 2012

The Good Soldier

Reading Ford Madox Ford on the recommendation of a friend. This was my first introduction, and it's a little lukewarm for my tastes, but then again I might be not devoting the proper reading attention to this.

It's a very stream-of-consciousness style, which I generally detest - but the unreliable narrator sets up some payoffs in the story later on. I hate doing this, but it just evoked a solid 'meh' from me the entire way. I'll still check out Parade's End, however.

Noted on August 14, 2012

I HAVE, I am aware, told this story in a very rambling way so that it may be difficult for anyone to find their path through what may be a sort of maze. I cannot help it. I have stuck to my idea of being in a country cottage with a silent listener, hearing between the gusts of the wind and amidst the noises of the distant sea, the story as it comes. And, when one discusses an affair--a long, sad affair--one goes back, one goes forward. One remembers points that one has forgotten and one explains them all the more minutely since one recognizes that one has forgotten to mention them in their proper places and that one may have given, by omitting them, a false impression. I console myself with thinking that this is a real story and that, after all, real stories are probably told best in the way a person telling a story would tell them. They will then seem most real.

Quoted on August 14, 2012

[the unreliable narrator's tease: ]

But I guess I have made it hard for you, O silent listener, to get that impression. Anyhow, I hope I have not given you the idea that Edward Ashburnham was a pathological case. He wasn't.

Quoted on August 14, 2012

You have no idea how engrossing such a profession may become. Just as the blacksmith says: 'By hammer and hand all Art doth stand,' just as the baker thinks that the solar system revolves around his morning delivery of rolls, as the postmaster-general believes that he alone is the preserver of society-and surely, surely these delusions are necessary to keep us going- so did I and, as I believed, Leonora, imagine that the whole world ought to be arranged so as to ensure the keeping alive of heart patients.

Quoted on August 14, 2012

You may well ask why I write. And yet my reasons are quite many. For it is not unusual in human beings who have witnessed the sack of a city or the falling to pieces of a people to set down what they have witnessed for the benefit of unknown heirs or of generations infinitely remote; or, if you please, just to get the sight out of their heads.

Some one has said that the death of a mouse from cancer is the whole sack of Rome by the Goths, and I swear to you that the breaking up of our little four-square coterie was such another unthinkable event.

Quoted on August 14, 2012

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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