Elegy for Iris

Elegy for Iris

by John Bayley
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Elegy for Iris by John Bayley

"I was living in a fairy story--the kind with sinister overtones and not always a happy ending--in which a young man loves a beautiful maiden who returns his love but is always disappearing into some unknown and mysterious world, about which she will reveal nothing."

So John Bayley describes his life with his wife, Iris Murdoch, one of the greatest contemporary writers in the English-speaking world, revered for her works of philosophy and beloved for her incandescent novels.

In Elegy for Iris, Bayley attempts to uncover the real Iris, whose mysterious world took on darker shades as she descended into Alzheimer's disease. Elegy for Iris is a luminous memoir about the beauty of youth and aging, and a celebration of a brilliant life and an undying love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466854246
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 303,675
File size: 268 KB

About the Author

John Bayley is an eminent literary critic who taught at Oxford for more than thirty years. Iris Murdoch died in February of 1999.

John Bayley is an eminent literary critic who taught at Oxford for more than 30 years, and was chairman of the Booker Prize Committee. He is the author of The Red Hat and several other works of fiction and nonfiction. He was married to the author Dame Iris Murdoch until her death.

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Elegy for Iris: A Memoir 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First off you will need ALOT of patience to read this book.Be prepared to use your dictionary over and over and over again.Like you would want your doctor to explain things in laymen terms it would have been nice if this author would do as such.It was like he was overly using adjetives and adverbs or whatever you call them to lenghten the story.As it was,the story was only like 188 pgs.With all the"LOOK UPS",it was like another 100pgs.had been added.The story was not what l hoped it would be.My Mother has Alzhiemers also and I was hoping maybe for to be enlightend or some comparable stories.Actually nothing about alz.until close to the end.For those who can follow"have to be on your toes"books,then this is for you.I prefer more easy reads.Alot of bizarre things also about gender.Like the person's review about the diffulcute way to review this book-I get you now.
sarafenix More than 1 year ago
A touching and heartfelt tribute to Iris Murdoch that everyone should read...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely book about the wonder of life and a horrible disease yet, for the life of me, I cannot write a definitive description. It is one of those books that you finish reading and realize that you have read about love, youth, adventure, old age, and disease. I loved it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The memoir John Bayley wrote of his late wife Iris Murdoch is amongst the most beautiful books I have read the past year. At times, his deeply rooted love for her is nearly tangible and the words he uses to try and capture the past and the present are everyday words which illustrate perfectly the point he wants to make. Their life together seems to have been about feeling good in one another's company and trying to be who you are and respect each other's essence. Fancy words would have been somewhat inappropriate. Very often, John Bayley is blatantly honest about his thoughts and intentions, thus forcing the reader to see his human face and refrain from any judgement. The personae and phrases from English literature with which the book is larded reflect his past career and his present attachments. It is a treat to lovers of English literature to read his reflections on great writers from the past and to tune into his daydreams about how certain characters would perceive the occurences in his daily life. Iris Murdoch: A Memoir is not a sad book or a romantic tearjerker. Rather, it exudes hope and love. Love for Iris, but also love of life, of English literature and of mankind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this memoir just before seeing the film, 'Iris.' It prepared me for what I would see and helped me to understand both Iris and her husband and the situation they found themselves in. While reading this book and watching the film, I couldn't help but think that Iris Murdoch had done everything right: she was educated, well read and a prolific writer and yet none of that helped her to avoid the deteriating effect of Alzheimer's. Iris also had the benefit of being her own person (at a time when few women could accomplish this) while enjoying a close and satisfying relationship with her husband. Perhaps all the above held off Iris' deteriation for a time. We'll never know.