Elizabeth Bowen Death of the Heart

ISBN 13: 9780099276456

Death of the Heart

3,7 valoración promedio
( 5.094 valoraciones por Goodreads )
 
9780099276456: Death of the Heart

'One of the last century's greatest woman writers' Guardian When sixteen-year-old Portia is orphaned she is plunged into the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother's home. There she encounters the attractive cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and he fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal - and sets in motion one of the most moving and desperate flights of the heart in modern literature.

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Review:

Five words of advice on reading Elizabeth Bowen: Resist the urge to skim. In The Death of the Heart, Bowen's writing rolls ever onward, accruing the sensations and ironies of conscious living till the final effect is massive. This is not prose for people who like their fiction with a cool, Calvin Klein-like minimalism. Bowen's people are keenly aware, and she seems to catalogue every sweaty moment, every betraying glance. The reader must stay right there with her, because hidden among lengthy descriptions of sea air and drawing-room politics are pithy asides worthy of great humorists: "Absence blots people out. We really have no absent friends." Skimmers miss out.

The Death of the Heart is Bowen's most perfectly made book. Portia, an orphan, comes to live in London with her half-brother, Thomas, and his wife, Anna. A child of sin raised in a series of shabby French hotels, Portia is possessed of a kind of terrible innocence. Like Chance the Gardener in pigtails, she literally can't comprehend evil or unkind motives. Unfortunately for her, she falls in with Anna's friend Eddie, who seems to be made entirely of bad motives. Though the plot follows Portia's relationship with Eddie, the novel's real tension lies between Portia and Anna, as the girl comes to grief against the shoals of Anna's glittering, urbane cynicism. But the book transcends the theme of innocence corrupted. As in Graham Greene's The Quiet American, Bowen inverts the formula to show the destructive power of innocence itself:

Innocence so constantly finds itself in a false position that inwardly innocent people learn to be disingenuous.... Incurable strangers to the world, they never cease to exact a heroic happiness. Their singleness, their ruthlessness, their one continuous wish makes them bound to be cruel, and to suffer cruelty. The innocent are so few that two of them seldom meet--and when they do, their victims lie strewn all around.
Bowen has a fine eye for such shadings of morality, but finer still is her understanding of the way humans bump up against the material world. Her writing on weather, both emotional and meteorological, compares with the best of Henry James: "One's first day by the sea, one's being feels salt, strong, resilient, and hollow--like a seaweed pod not giving under the heel."

Always a sensitive observer of the way we live, in her lesser books Bowen deals in mind games and then delivers trumped-up, bloody endings. In The Death of the Heart, she keeps all the action between her characters' ears, and comes up with one of the great midcentury psychological novels. --Claire Dederer

From the Back Cover:

Elizabeth Bowen is widely considered to be one of the greatest novelists of this century. While her novels masquerade as witty comedies of manners, set in the lavish country houses of the Anglo-Irish or in elegant London homes, they mine the depths of private tragedy with a subtle ferocity and psychological complexity reminiscent of Henry James.

The Death of the Heart, a story of adolescent love and the betrayal of innocence, is perhaps Bowen's best-known book. When sixteen-year-old Portia, recently orphaned, arrives in London and falls for an attractive cad -- a seemingly carefree young man who is as much an outsider in the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of 1930s drawing rooms as she is -- their collision threatens to shatter the carefully built illusions of everyone around them. As she deftly and delicately exposes the cruelty that lurks behind the polished surfaces of conventional society, Bowen reveals herself as a masterful novelist who combines a sharp sense of humor with a devastating gift for divining human motivations.

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Elizabeth Bowen
Editorial: Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (1998)
ISBN 10: 0099276453 ISBN 13: 9780099276456
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Descripción Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of the last century s greatest woman writers Guardian When sixteen-year-old Portia is orphaned she is plunged into the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother s home. There she encounters the attractive cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and he fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal - and sets in motion one of the most moving and desperate flights of the heart in modern literature. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780099276456

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Descripción Vintage Classics 2012-06-07, 2012. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-BER-00015184

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Elizabeth Bowen
Editorial: Vintage Classics 2012-06-07 (2012)
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Descripción Vintage Classics 2012-06-07, 2012. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-GRD-00565140

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Elizabeth Bowen
Editorial: Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (1998)
ISBN 10: 0099276453 ISBN 13: 9780099276456
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Descripción Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of the last century s greatest woman writers Guardian When sixteen-year-old Portia is orphaned she is plunged into the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother s home. There she encounters the attractive cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and he fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal - and sets in motion one of the most moving and desperate flights of the heart in modern literature. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780099276456

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Elizabeth Bowen
Editorial: Vintage Classics (1998)
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Descripción Vintage Classics, 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000190120

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Descripción Vintage/Ebury (a Division of Random, 1998. Estado de conservación: New. 1998. Paperback. When sixteen-year-old Portia is orphaned she is plunged into the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother's home. There she encounters the attractive cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and he fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reason to be alive. Num Pages: 368 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 22. Weight in Grams: 262. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780099276456

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Elizabeth Bowen
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Descripción Vintage Classics, 1998. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería EH9780099276456

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Bowen, Elizabeth
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Descripción Vintage/Ebury (a Division of Random. Estado de conservación: New. 1998. Paperback. When sixteen-year-old Portia is orphaned she is plunged into the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother's home. There she encounters the attractive cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and he fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reason to be alive. Num Pages: 368 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 22. Weight in Grams: 262. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780099276456

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Elizabeth Bowen
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Descripción Vintage Classics. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780099276456

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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0099276453. Nº de ref. de la librería ST0099276453

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