Friday, August 10, 2007

The Madhouse - post IX

This is all going to be the wrong way round today because I am hoping to read some of Around the World… later tonight but in the meantime my lunchtime read is the final part of The Madhouse. Finally it seems to make sense and although you sense that some of the cuts here did impact the novel’s cohesion the general point – freedom of thought is not going to be tolerated - does come across in the end.

Bullet points between pages 452 – 501

* The time at the rest home comes to an end and JRF heads back to Moscow not really having made any friends but certainly having found more evidence if it was needed of a deep cynicism about the system

* Before he leave he has an encounter with the former head of the academy who calls for his papers that JRF had been working on and then burns them and shortly afterwards dies but starts to appear in dreams to JRF telling him that he had denounced plenty of other people to save his own skin

* Back in Moscow and JRF senses something is wrong because no one is happy to see him and things start to get bleaker with the May Day parades coming up and the KGB vowing to get any potential troublemakers off the streets

* After visiting his parents JRF realises that he is not wanted and starts to feel vulnerable and heads back and sure enough is called to the directors office and escorted off the premises by two men

* The irony is that he had just begun to contemplate conforming to the system and was ultimately punished for the imaginary world of his dreams and his thoughts

A full review will follow shortly…


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