Plagued by the Nightingale

Plagued by the Nightingale Papa says we should have a child he said A dear little child to run around and call us mama and papa I can give it paralysis what can you give it my dear This extraordinary novel first published i

  • Title: Plagued by the Nightingale
  • Author: Kay Boyle
  • ISBN: 9780860681670
  • Page: 173
  • Format: Paperback
  • Papa says we should have a child, he said A dear little child to run around and call us mama and papa I can give it paralysis, what can you give it, my dear This extraordinary novel, first published in 1931, recounts the love story of the American girl Bridget and the young Frenchman Nicolas whom she marries Bridget goes to live with his wealthy, close knit family i Papa says we should have a child, he said A dear little child to run around and call us mama and papa I can give it paralysis, what can you give it, my dear This extraordinary novel, first published in 1931, recounts the love story of the American girl Bridget and the young Frenchman Nicolas whom she marries Bridget goes to live with his wealthy, close knit family in their Breton village and finds there a group mother, father, sisters, and brother in law who love each other to the exclusion of the outside world.But it is a love that festers, for the family is tainted with an inherited bone disease, a plague which, Bridget slowly discovers, can also infect the soul Then Luc young, handsome, healthy arrives and Bridget is faced with a choice confronting the Old World with the courage of the New she makes the bravest choice of allIn subtle, rich and varied prose Kay Boyle echoes Henry James in a novel at once lyrical, delicate and shocking.

    One thought on “Plagued by the Nightingale”

    1. ”Ah, well,” he said to Bridget. “You can’t just give freedom. It’s a much more complicated thing than taking it away.”There is a bird singing in the man-made cage. A nightingale brethren sang in its wild and the cage felt it was their song. No one had to do the dirty work of kidnapping a nightingale from it’s home; a pet store exchanges dirt on hands. There are theories about why the og bird hasn’t come to sing this time, but even Hans Christian Andersen doesn’t know. Bridget b [...]

    2. One of my immediate comments about this novel would be that it was poorly translated but for the fact that it was written in english in the first place. Some of the sentences were so long and unwieldy, and do understand that I quite enjoy meandering through grammatical clauses and sub-clauses as a rule, that i lost the will to live part way through them and they often made no real sense to me even after two or three re-readings.One shorter example of 'what are you talking about woman ?' may suff [...]

    3. Did not work for me, unfortunately, though had some flashes of the brilliance of her later works - far too many unnecessary adjectives. For some reason I just found myself unable to be that interested

    4. In her preface to this reprint of her first novel, which was originally published in 1930, Kay Boyle writes that "the meaning of the book may perhaps be that there is always in life the necessity to choose," which isn't my favorite moral: I mean, yes, but sometimes the choice you get to make is to have both/and, rather than either/or, but many stories about choices only look at the either/or kind. So I started this book a little bit ready to dislike it, but ended up pretty pleased. Boyle's prose [...]

    5. I came across this book when visiting an exhibition of Man Ray portraits. Kay Boyle was one of the post war authors who was part of the French artistic clique. I loved it. I will be seeking out more of her work. Subtle but expressive prose, exquisitely drawn characters, with wonderfully believable faults. Like a feminist Henry James - female characters to the fore, and with the power. Astounding.

    6. (7/10) Plagued by the Nightingale seems to take place in some kind of misty dream version of France, an inescapable hamlet where everyone is related and nothing happens until someone abruptly dies or gets married. It's homely but also unhomely, in the Freudian sense. Boyle's prose creates a kind of strange veil between the reader and the story. All of the characters seem to be overflowing with emotion, often unreasonably so, and yet it all unfolds at a bit of a remove.In some ways this is very m [...]

    7. I'm not sure I really "got" this book. It is the story of a young American woman who marries a French man with some sort of genetic bone disease which has just started to take effect, and leaves him weak and cynical. They go to live with his family in a rural french town, and while she is happy to be part of a large family for once, she often seems to look down on the family for their unworldliness. Her husband is miserable that he must rely on his family for support and he becomes increasingly [...]

    8. This is a first novel by American Kay Boyle published in 1930, written in a lyrical, almost over-elaborate style which masks the unpleasant and sometimes horrifying themes of inherited disease, death, mean small-mindedness and self-sacrifice. Its style is initially off-putting, but worth persevering with as it is that which raises it above a conventional love story. The picture of the family life and rituals in Brittany, as observed by the young American, Bridget, is well done and the scenes of [...]

    9. A struggle to read. Boyle's writing is so larded with useless adjectives and overly dreamy language, I just wanted to put the book down and read something more straightforward.

    10. A highly autobiographical novel, according to the introduction. It was good anyway. Kay Boyle is very good at being sparse and still achieving a specific voice or purpose.

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