Elegy for Iris

Elegy for Iris A melodious affecting tribute to one of the greatest writers of her time now stricken with Alzheimer s disease by her devoted husband of over forty years I was living in a fairy story the kind with s

  • Title: Elegy for Iris
  • Author: John Bayley
  • ISBN: 9780312198640
  • Page: 125
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A melodious, affecting tribute to one of the greatest writers of her time now stricken with Alzheimer s disease by her devoted husband of over forty years 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 always disappearing into some unknown and mysteriouA melodious, affecting tribute to one of the greatest writers of her time now stricken with Alzheimer s disease by her devoted husband of over forty years 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 always disappearing into some unknown and mysterious world, about which she will reveal nothing So writes John Bayley about his wife, Iris Murdoch, considered by many to be one of the greatest living writers in the English speaking world In dreamlike passages, he recalls both his youthful love for an entrancing philosopher who stole his heart at Oxford s St Anthony s Dance in 1954, as well as their marriage, a union of two great minds, which resulted two years later.In examining this extraordinary relationship, which he describes in a language that resurrects the classical mythology of love, Bayley attempts to discover the real Iris, always so mysterious, who became beloved of readers with her incandescent novels like Under the Net, The Green Knight, and The Bell But the harder he tries to know Iris, the ineffable and protean she becomes, even so after being diagnosed with Alzheimer s disease in 1994.Elegy for Iris is a remarkable memoir of our time, an ironically joyous story about the ephemeral beauty of youth and the sobering reality of what it means to grow old Tolstoyan in its compassionate grasp of life s frailty, and mesmerizing in its portrayal of one of the great literary romances of this century, Elegy for Iris is a consummate work of art.

    • ↠ Elegy for Iris || Ä PDF Read by À John Bayley
      125 John Bayley
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      Posted by:John Bayley
      Published :2021-01-06T10:36:54+00:00

    About " John Bayley "

  • John Bayley

    Professor John Bayley CBE, FBA, FRSL is a British literary critic and writer.Bayley was born in Lahore, British India, and educated at Eton, where he studied under G W Lyttelton, who also taught Aldous Huxley, J B S Haldane, George Orwell and Cyril Connolly After leaving Eton, he went on to take a degree at New College, Oxford From 1974 to 1992, Bayley was Warton Professor of English at Oxford He is also a novelist and writes literary criticism for several newspapers He edited Henry James The Wings of the Dove and a two volume selection of James short stories.From 1956 until her death in 1999, he was married to the writer Dame Iris Murdoch When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer s disease, he wrote the book Iris A Memoir of Iris Murdoch, which was made into the 2001 film Iris by Richard Eyre In this film, Bayley was portrayed in his early years by Hugh Bonneville, and in his later years by Jim Broadbent, who won an Oscar for the performance After Murdoch s death he married Audi Villers, a family friend He was awarded the CBE in 1999.


  • This book was already known to me as the memoir of Iris Murdoch's descent into Alzheimer's, written by her husband while she was still alive. (Never saw the movie.) I was less disturbed by the tragedy of Alzheimer's than by the unsettling dynamic between Iris and John and what it reveals about each of them—most of it revealed unwittingly by the author. It was already known that she continued to have a richly populated bisexual sex life after marrying John, but this is not what bothered me: aft [...]

  • John Bayley was told by a woman in similar circumstances to himself that “being married to someone with Alzheimer’s disease is like being chained to a corpse”. Unfortunately in this self-indulgent memoir of 40 years of marriage to Iris Murdoch it seems that Bayley himself has been the perpetual corpse, meekly and dutifully trailing along after his formidable wife and responding to her every demand. Even when she fully succumbs to dementia he fails to respond to the frustrations of the situ [...]

  • I had to switch my four stars to three, and I'm sure it's worth four or even five stars to most readers. It's just that I had difficulty getting through the random memories and ruminations John Bayley brings to this book. Again, I lay the blame on myself rather than the author who is obviously learned, highly intelligent and intellectual (although he spends much time downplaying or protesting this). It sometimes reads like a literary circles name-dropping fest, other times is so introspective in [...]

  • In this poignant memoir, looking back to their meeting, "courtship" and marriage, Bayley eloquently describes his marriage to Iris Murdock as separateness, yet togetherness, each pursuing their illustrious academic careers.  Never overly romantic  but never estranged, it is a comfortable companionship, made up of common interests - a swim in the river ( they take their honeymoon on the continent searching for rivers to swim in, with delightful and comical experiences), radio broadcasts at lunc [...]

  • John Bayley’s memoir about his wife, award-winning author Iris Murdoch, who was still alive at the time he wrote this - but her mind was almost entirely lost to Alzheimer’s Disease.I picked this up because I liked the movie; I watched the movie not because I’d ever heard of Iris Murdoch but because it stars Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent as the older Iris and John, and Kate Winslet and Hugh Bonneville as the younger versions. That’s a great team of actors, and the movie is good.I found the [...]

  • From :True story of the lifelong romance between novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley, from their student days through her battle with Alzheimer's disease.>Cast:Kate Winslet Young Iris MurdochHugh Bonneville Young John BayleyJudi Dench Iris MurdochJim Broadbent John BayleyPenelope Wilton Janet StoneIt's curious to see 2 characters from Dowton Abbey, Hugh Bonneviile and Penelope Wilton playing together in this movie. And Kate Winslet and Judi Dench are splendid playing t [...]

  • This 'elegy' (a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead) certainly is a reflection of a life gone as it tells the story of Iris Murdoch by her husband John Bayley. It rambles around the years circling back to her Alzheimer's disease. For a relatively short book it felt like it would never end.

  • We have seen this movie in school and had to use it to explain the content of our classes. I read the book in the hopes to get a bit more from it and perhaps to understand the character a bit better. However, I found the characters in the movie so different than the ones I read about in this book, that - to me - I cannot compare both.I find the literary critics of this book somewhat confusing. They all talk of this great love, but that's not what I see in this. I felt a bit uneasy when reading a [...]

  • Elegy for Iris is, like the movie, like two stories wrapped into one.The first is about the early days of romance and marriage for the book’s namesake, author Iris Murdoch and her husband and the book’s author John Bayley. The story starts in the 1950’s with them meeting and the nature of their relationship. Murdoch and Bailey’s open relationship and marriage was, what we would now call, polyamorous. That worked for them. At least according to what the author wrote, it did and there is n [...]

  • I read Iris Murdoch in college with my professor Dr. Roberta White. I loved Murdoch's brilliantly smart fiction. When Dr. White told us the author had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, my thoughts immediately jumped to the loss we would all have as her brain collapsed in on itself. I was dating the man who would become my husband, and I knew his grandfather had early-onset of the same disease. I had watched him try to talk to his grandfather, to reach the man he loved so much, and I had w [...]

  • John Bayley's memoir of his life with Iris Murdoch, the renowned writer and philosopher is a beautiful but sad story. His love for her leads him to a luminous memoir of her brilliant life and their love for each other. He poignantly describes the dimming of her brilliance due to Alzheimer's disease. Elegy for Iris is a story about the ephemeral beauty of youth and the sobering reality of what it means to grow old; filled with touching moments that seem almost too personal but are beautiful anywa [...]

  • 3 STARS "A melodious, affecting tribute to one of the greatest writers of her time--now stricken with Alzheimer's disease--by her devoted husband of over forty years "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 writes John Bayley about his wife, Iris Murdoch, considered by [...]

  • Elegy for Iris is charming, heart-wrenching, and ultimately inspiring. John Bayley writes with great love about the quirky courtship and subsequent marriage he shared with his wife, the novelist Iris Murdoch. I was struck by what seemed to be Mr Bayley's own unreliable voice as narrator. I found myself aching to hear Iris's version of events. Of course that is the tragedy at the heart of the book; Iris Murdoch succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease. Bayley's great contribution are wry descriptions of [...]

  • What an unpleasant and actually repellent read this is. I love Iris Murdoch's fiction and hoped to get some insights into her personality and writing process. Instead the book is a hodge-podge of unrelated anecdotes, mostly about Baylay's needs and interests. Do I really need to know that housekeeping, gardening, and personal hygiene were not a priority for them? Or that he had to wrestle her to get her clothing off so he could put clean clothes on her dirty body? Ugh. I know that living with an [...]

  • This was for me an introduction to Iris Murdoch. It was sad in a number of ways, firstly to witness such a brilliant woman becoming a shell of the person she was due to her Alzheimer's. I found the one-sided adoration of John for Iris sad, the fact that he could gloss over her apparent affairs, the squalid state of their house etc. Once I started reading, I looked up references to people mentioned in the book, photos of their house and I've reserved a few of Ms Murdoch's books from the library. [...]

  • I only made it halfway through, but the first half's description of John and Iris' early relationship and early marriage felt intimate and very real. As a complete romantic, I found these pages simply lovely. I have not read any Iris Murdoch novels, but I want to now--and I plan on revisiting this book in the future someday (after I've read these novels). I'm just not ready to read about Iris' debilitating Alzheimer's and the strain it put on their marriage. Promising memoir!

  • Rather than a discussion of the descent into Alzheimer's, this is a memoir of a much-loved companion, consort, and wife. Because of the location and the era, much of it was beyond my level of affinity, and I like to get inside a book and feel comfortable. This one didn't do it. The last couple of chapters were insightful, about the methods he used to try to keep the relationship real to him when she no longer was truly in the moment.

  • Touching memoir written by Iris Murdoch's spouse, John Bayley, is a splendid window into her writing. It makes one want to read more of her books and wish there could been more. The author handles her darkening days fraught with Alzheimer's disease with grace, honesty and love.

  • So sad to read of the slow loss of a brilliant mind. Does it engage the "use it or lose it" (crosswords, foreign languages) line?

  • Wat een prachtig en ontroerend boek. John Bayley is op en top een Engelsman, een zeer beminnelijke intellectueel die met souplesse, verstand en humor en bijzonder veel liefde over zijn relatie en huwelijk met Iris Murdoch vertelt. Hij neemt je met zoveel eenvoud mee naar zijn herinneringen en naar deze bijzondere vrouw. Zelf heb ik nooit een boek van Iris Murdoch gelezen - dat moet er nu maar eens van komen. Voor de fans van Murdoch moet dit boek ongetwijfeld vijf sterren waard zijn - nu speelt [...]

  • This is a very sweet, and very smart, memoir. John Bayley describes how he met his wife Iris Murdoch, and their life together, and finally, her struggles with Alzheimer's disease. There are many wonderful and happy moments, a good dose of discussion of literary topics, and a poignant exploration about what it means to grow old and be married in the long haul. At times heartbreaking but mostly - very lovely.

  • "המוות אינו חוויה אנושית" ציטוט של ויטגנשטיין, בעמ´ 219 כנראה שגם אלצהיימר לא. קשה לי לכתוב על הספר. קשה כי מצד אחד יש בו כל כך הרבה ומצד שני כל כך מעט. מצד אחד הוא מרגש עד כאב מצד שני הוא מקומם ומעצבן. זהו סיפור אהבתם של מבקר הספרות ג´ון ביילי והסופרת אייריס מורדוק שנכתב מעיניו של [...]

  • John Bayley schreef deze ode aan zijn vrouw, de beroemde schrijfster Iris Murdoch, tijdens de laatste jaren van haar leven, terwijl haar geheugen langzaam wordt weggevreten door Alzheimer. Hij vertelt over hun jonge jaren, toen ze elkaar ontmoetten op de universiteit waar ze allebei werkten. Zij was in alle opzichten zijn meerdere, zeker op intellectueel vlak, en hij gedraagt zich dan ook opmerkelijk onderdanig tegenover haar, wat ook tot uiting komt in zijn schrijven. In deze tijd zouden ze zeg [...]

  • The title of John Bayley's ''Elegy for Iris'' is a little misleading since the Iris of the title -- Iris Murdoch, the novelist and philosopher, to whom Mr. Bayley is married -- is still quite alive, both in the pages of this memoir and in reality.But Ms. Murdoch suffers from Alzheimer's disease, as Mr. Bayley, himself a literary critic and novelist (''The Red Hat''), reveals in the second chapter of his touching book. He writes: ''The power of concentration has gone, along with the ability to fo [...]

  • As I seem to do, I read this 2nd of 3 books as my first introduction to both Iris Murdoch and John Bayley. I want to read more, but my understanding of the two, and thus the book, may be limited by my starting in the middle. The book has a restrained, dreamy style of narration that would occur if one were sitting in a garden in a summer evening with a friend. As would be expected, the book is peppered with literary and artistic references serving to illustrate and make arguments. Some are well k [...]

  • I always love a good story of unconditional love. John Bayley gave us just that in Elegy for Iris. Like any love story, he started at the beginning of falling in love with Iris Murdock to the later years of their marriage when he loved her even though she was absent. I regret not being familiar with Murdock' s work prior to reading this memoir. I am sure I would have enjoyed it more had I read her novels. John Bayley gives us the backgrounds, life experiences and thought processes behind some of [...]

  • A husband's memories are stirred in this reflective piece about his wife, the author Iris Murdoch. He remembers how he fell in love with her, courted her. From falling in love, to little springing jealousies of her influential literary friends he presents his life and marriage with a woman whom he loves. When Iris, known worldwide for her novels and literary contributions loses her recall and memory at a presentation, John becomes aware that something his amiss. Their routine of comfortable cozi [...]

  • After having seen the movie, Iris, I was enchanted by this enduring love story between John Bayley and Iris Murdoch. This book is a lovely memoir written as a tribute to his wife, a creative genius and writer, who had the misfortune to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The book chronicles their sweet love story that endures the ages – in sickness and in health – till death do they part. Bayley writes of their early marriage,“So married life began. And the joys of solitude. No contradictio [...]

  • This is a memoir of Iris Murdoch written by her husband after she's been overtaken by Alzheimer's disease. Judging by the fact that I have Judi Dench on the cover of my copy rather than Iris herself I'm guessing it's been made into a film.Murdoch was a favourite writer of mine for a long time. That makes it sound like I don't like her any more, I'm sure I do. I just haven't read anything of hers for a long time. Probably because she wrote her last book in 1996ish just before the Alzheimer's diag [...]

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