Paradoxes of Peace

Overview

Paradoxes of Peace continues the meditation of Mosley's Time at War, at the end of which he wrote that humans find themselves at home in war because they feel they know what they have to do, whereas in peace they have to discover this. But what should inform them -- custom? need? duty? ambition? desire? Forces pull in different directions -- fidelity versus adventurousness, probity versus fun. During the war, Mosley found himself having to combine fondness for his father, Oswald Mosley, with the need to speak out...

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Overview

Paradoxes of Peace continues the meditation of Mosley's Time at War, at the end of which he wrote that humans find themselves at home in war because they feel they know what they have to do, whereas in peace they have to discover this. But what should inform them -- custom? need? duty? ambition? desire? Forces pull in different directions -- fidelity versus adventurousness, probity versus fun. During the war, Mosley found himself having to combine fondness for his father, Oswald Mosley, with the need to speak out against his post-war politics. In times of peace, his love for his wife and children, too, seemed riddled with paradoxes. He sought answers in Christianity, but came to see organized religion as primarily a social institution. How does caring not become a trap?

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This slim yet largely torturous memoir covers Whitbread winner Mosley's two marriages totaling almost 60 years, several love affairs, a religious crisis and much else. Now wheelchair-bound and in his 80s, the novelist and screenwriter delves into his dysfunctional family background, which includes his father, Oswald Mosley, who gave his life to the Fascist cause, plus a mother, Oswald Mosley's first wife, who gave her short life to this man. Mosley had a stammer, which he several times attributes to a mechanism of self-defense, and ultimately found himself in analysis.The childhood pattern of self-service as a means of survival continues into maturity: when one wife dies, the next organizes her funeral.The title refers to Mosley's lifelong acceptance of paradox within a Christian setting. His meeting with a charismatic Anglican minister proves essential in setting Mosley on a path to editing a monthly called Prism and to come to grips with his extramarital loves: "the proper working-out of difficult fate or chance does not seem to favour persons who keep to rules so much as those who trust and are ready to take off and fly." (Mar. 26)

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New York Times
When unmistakably brilliant writing is combined with natural insight, the result is likely to be most impressive. Nicholas Mosley writes realistically, with an admirable craft and surging talent.
Tom LeClair
Dalkey Archive has in the English author Nicholas Mosley a throwback, a modernist mastodon whose project for fiction surpasses in grandiosity that of any American writer I know.
Washington Post
Robert Nye
Mosley is that rare bird: an English writer whose imagination is genuinely inspired by intellectual conundrums.
Guardian
Robert Scholes
Nicholas Mosley is a brilliant novelist who has received nothing like the recognition he deserves—either at home in England or in this country.
Saturday Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564785398
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2009
  • Series: British Literature Series
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Mosley was born in London on June 25, 1923 and was educated at Eton and Oxford. He served in Italy during World War II, and published his first novel, Spaces of the Dark, in 1951. His book Hopeful Monsters won the 1990 Whitbread Award.

Mosley is also the author of several works of nonfiction, most notably the autobiography Efforts at Truth and a biography of his father, Sir Oswald Mosley, entitled Rules of the Game/Beyond the Pale. He resides in London.

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