As far as I could find out, this novel has not been published in Italian. And I wonder wich kind of copyright reasons prevented it to be published in the USA too… maybe because the author was a friend of Sartre? It seems that all of her books have not been published in the USA. Very odd…
Anyway, let me say that this writer was a great surprise to me!
It doesn’t happen so much in this novel that takes place at the end of the Fifties: the main carachter is a middle-aged school master (I think between 40 and 50) falls in love with a young artist and all his life is endangered, his marriage, his two children, his political future… At the end the young painter goes away and Mor, remains with his family and embrace the candidature as a member of the Parliament.
Iris Murdoch was so great in depicting the feelings and the faults of this man! It is not easy to take the part of a member of opposite sex, for a writer. She show us how Mor is just a man, who is not able to face the conformity of his environment, and she describe it very well in few lines here, when the lover is going away and he doesn’t manage to follow her because he is surrounded by his colleagues and friends:
(…) although Mor struggled in his seat he could not bring himself to get up. A lifetime of conformity was too much for him.
A counter-hero, at the end, who is incapable of telling his wife his reasons, a man who postpones explanations and who prefers to talk about silly issues to avoid more important and deep discussions.
He hardly takes a decision to go with his lover, and he immediately feels light-hearted, but this is just a sandcastle, because he is not able to go on accepting the consequences of this decision.
A very immature man, therefore. But we all have a bit of him in ourselves. This is why I suggest to read this book.