A Month in the Country (Penguin Modern Classics)
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Two demons with delicately furred legs clutched him, one snapping his right wrist whilst his mate split him with shears.”
At the end of the War he married Sally (Hilda Gladys Sexton) and returned to teaching. He was appointed headmaster of Highfields Primary School in Kettering, Northamptonshire, a post he filled from 1952 to 1967 in a typically idiosyncratic way which earned the devotion of staff and pupils alike. He returned to Huron, South Dakota, in 1957 to teach again on an exchange visit, when he wrote and published himself a social history of The Old Timers of Beadle County. The first breath of autumn was in the air, a prodigal feeling, a feeling of wanting, taking, and keeping before it’s too late.”
A haunting novel about art and its power to heal, J. L. Carr's A Month in the Country published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.
And horror is dark all along. Birkin survived Passchendaele, but was left with a stammer (not reflected in dialogue), intermittent facial palsy on one side, and no wife. I would recommend "A Month in the Country" to anyone who has experienced depression, disillusion, loss, pain, uncertainty. It doesn't really matter if you believed in the same god as Mr. Carr (the son of a famous preacher), or in Mr. Freud or in any other modern '-ism' . We are all human, and we have the same needs to give our lives a sense of purpose, a reason to keep trying day after day, no matter how many times we fail. What we are experiencing now, stress in all its fanciful disguises and new medical definitions, is something every generation has gone through since time immemorial. Mr. Carr argues that the past, if you look at its art carefully, can give us precious tools to deal with pain and loneliness and despair.In memory, it stays as I left it, a sealed room furnished by the past, airless, still, ink long dry on a put-down pen.”