FREE MOBI å DOC The Archivist 9780316158466 ✓ MARTHA COOLEY

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FREE MOBI å DOC The Archivist 9780316158466 ✓ MARTHA COOLEY Ð [Reading] ➷ The Archivist By Martha Cooley – Danpashley.co.uk A young woman's impassioned pursuit of a sealed cache of T S Eliot's letters lies at the heart of this emotionally charged novel a story of marriage and madness of faith A young woman's impassioned pursuit of a sealed cache of T S Eliot's letters lies This book created a dark sense Not noir but a sense of foreboding and of something evil lurking I'm a sucker for that Witness my liking Donna Tartt's The Secret History which many of my Facebook friends turn up their noses at Apparently that makes me want to find out what is going on The story is of a young couple who marries in 1945 She's a poet He's a librarian the archivist of the title He's a Christian she a Jew He can't accept what she's going through as everybody learns what happened during the Holocaust and he can't tolerate looking too closely at it himself So he tries to block her preoccupation and stifle her creativity on the subject Although he believes he's protecting her he's defending himself Already he subtly looks down on her religion She gradually falls apart and gets institutionalized for good which is like nothing that happens today This parallels what happened in TS Eliot's relationship with his wife so snippets of his and other poetry are part of the narrativeThe book is about how the husband failed the wife in his ability to relate to herThe book is also about the impact of their faith traditions on what happens Not only is the husband the male but also he's part of the dominant religious tradition of their locale The book has some flaws As I put in some of my comments there was some confusion of dates and ages That's important because it's a little bit of a challenge to keep the people straight The young couple is of the greatest generation ie those who were of age to fight in WWII That makes them the age of my parents but for many readers it would be the age of their grandparents Different events happen along the line that relate to where they are in history For example the wife goes into the hospital in 1959 in her 40s Meanwhile the present in the novel is the 1980s when the husband is in his mid 60s One of the mistakes would have added another five years onto his age but being in his 70s during the present day action would have been even less plausible I say that because he seems a little too young for his 60s except that since I'm in mine of course I'm young at heart haThe male protagonist's character is a little off as though the author couldn't do men just right Both my husband and I arrived at that conclusion independentlyThe religious attributions are a little odd Since both the male and female are utterly without community then it could mean each had arrived at idiosyncratic beliefs I think you'd have to say that to make sense of it Also I think the author leaves the impact from the male's religious attitudes not just subtle but underdevelopedThe author perhaps couldn't make up her mind or didn't know whether the woman's mental illness was something that would have happened anyway or whether it was in response to relationship issues religious factors and the times The author didn't make a clear case for either one of those so that took away from her pointAnd I wish a little had been done with Eliot's poetry I'm not much of a poetry aficionado so I could have used that I have heard that Eliot had antisemitic tendencies but whether they impacted what he wrote I don't know and it didn't seem to have anything to do with the storyAll that being said the book did lend itself to discussion of the issues at hand even though the author's portrayal of them was through a glass darklyIt didn't bother me that their lives paralleled those of Eliot and his wife Some Goodreads reviewers thought that seemed contrived but they are probably very young and don't know how strange life isI will say that this book was recommended by a clergyman scholar involved in an interfaith foundation who thought it would be a good book for interfaith couples to read In that respect I just wish it hadn't had the woman going down the tubesI would have probably given this book three stars except that my husband and I read it together What we put into it raised it to a 4

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At the heart of this emotionally charged novel a story of marriage and madness o It would appear that I purchased a copy of Martha Cooley's novel at least a decade ago never read it or perhaps began it while traveling in the UK with BritRail ticket stubs parked with the book I was most likely captivated by the novel's suggested attempt to pair the poetry of TS Eliot his relationship with his wife who was eventually placed in an asylum with an American man his wife who also was sent to a psychiatric hospital Alas my own appraisal after finally reading The Archivist is that the author was ill euipped to deal with a rather complicated structure What occurs is a potentially interesting story with many dangling possibilities but with a definite lack of cohesion At the outset we encounter Matthias Lane age 65 an archivist whose duties include presiding over a wealth of letters from Emily Hale an American who was a longtime friend confidant of TS Eliot whose English wife has been incarcerated due to mental instability We learn that Mr Eliot seems to have suddenly parted company with Ms Hale when the Nobel laureate's wife Vivienne dies though most of the interaction between Eliot Hale was via posted mailThere he is a hugely successful poet a man released from an awful marriage with a woman friend who would marry him instantly And what does he do He rejects her completely isolates himself for a decade lives like a hermit and at the end of a decade suddenly marries his secretary a woman almost 40 years his juniorMeanwhile we learn that Matthias once happily married to a woman named Judith also a poet has likewise dealt with his wife's increasingly bizarre behavior causing her to be taken to an institution for help in regaining the ability to cope with daily life Matthias visits her on a regular schedule as do Judith's adoptive parents Len Carol but she never regains an ability to cope drifting deeper into a nether sphere of her own consciousness though the prescribed drugs are perhaps thought to have been detrimentalMatthias Lane's wife Judith another woman Roberta Spire also a poet as well as a graduate student someone who who is very intensely in search of the secrets of Eliot's relationship with Emily Hale that may be conveyed within the letters to be kept under lock key unrevealed to the general public until 2020 as it turns out are both Jewish women raised as Christians Thus Judith Roberta are each exceedingly perplexed by issues of identity in the case of Matthias's wife Judith very preoccupied with the issue of the Holocaust so much so that it seems to affect her sense of well being interfering with what had seemed a happy marriage The poetry of TS Eliot rather than being used to meaningfully encapsulate the lives of these key characters is employed as a kind of intermittent decoration within The Archivist The excerpts do not seem to act in support of the characters or their situations though Eliot's poetry does have some limited peripheral value for those who find that it represents an important voice We never learn about the relationship between Eliot Emily Hale though Matthias appears aware of content of the letters It is indicated that Judith had become an archivist of evil a nice phrasing perhaps but not really substantiated even though her behavior is increasingly erratic In my view Eliot's poetry is as profound it is varied We have The Wasteland something I feel stands a a kind of intellectual Rosetta Stone for the 20th Century or at least the first half of it But we also have poetry that involves an almost perpetual uest for meaning via various formal religious vestiges a search that culminates in his declaring himself an Anglo Catholic something I'd forgotten about until rereading much of Eliot's poetry And let's not forget that Great Tom as Mr Eliot was sometimes called also authored those wonderful little poems dealing with practical cats Thus TS Eliot takes us on a path that leads from complex symbol dissection to considerable feline whimsy Eliot stated in Little Gidding The Four uartets thatEvery poem is an epitaph I feel that Martha Cooley should have employed some form of invented poetry for both Judith Lane Roberta Spire to relate their individual life stories their inner complexity The author should also have allowed Matthias Lane to at least insinuate how the letters entrusted to the university for which Matthias serves as archivist to point to some similarity between the madness of both Judith Eliot's wife Vivienne or even to eventually infer that there was little or no point of similarity In the end we have a narrative that displays for the reader little connective fabric though it seemed to have been forecast Matthias does tell the readerWords phrases then a few lines came to me pieces of different poems Judith had recited I was hearing her voice reedy dense profoundly erotic powerful an instrument of connection release I put my head down cupped my face in my hands wept for Judith and for myself I wept for my terror my silence for Judith's courage her madness; for all our shared lossThis is expressed within a small church in Manhattan where the couple had lived early on in their marriage In fact New York City Jazz might be said to be major characters or at least primary influences in Martha Cooley's The Archivist The actions of Matthias his personal responsibility for decisions made in dealing with his wife's illness ultimately as archivist are also at the heart of the novel What we encounter is not without interest but I felt that ultimately the framework for the novel exceeded the author's ability to properly navigate it Because it isn't clear from my review comments the period detailed in the novel would seem to be from the late 1940s to approximately the early 1970s And with all of the characters seeming to cast backward glances in search of identity I would like to offer some hopeful words from Mr Eliot What we call the beginning is often the endAnd to make an end is to make a beginningThe end is where we start from Author's photo image included within my review followed by one of TS Eliot with Emily Hale an inset of one of his letters to her and finally the image of a young TS Eliot My own inserted Eliot uote is from Little Giddings the Four uartets

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The ArchivistF faith and desire of jazz age New York and Europe in the shadow of the Holocaust I first read The Archivist when it was released in paperback in 1999 I was drawn in by the cover and the concept an archivist a woman old letters and the connection of lives in history There are many plot summaries so I will keep mine brief the archivist advanced in years is a man named Matthias the younger woman is Roberta a poet who seeks some letters written by TS Eliot Matthias's deceased wife does have about a third of the book in diary entry form entries made while she is committed in an asylum but the main purpose of Matthias's wife is to draw an analog between him and Eliot whose wife was also committed After my first reading I hated the book I hated it so much in fact that I kept it on my shelves thinking that I would try to let time and personal context really change themselves so I could see if that earlier version of myself lacked some form of depth or experience that was blinding me to what might lie deeper within the novel More than 10 years have past my urban life has given way to a rural one I'm now married not single and birth and death have marked me in ways that while not making me an entirely different person have etched things in my understanding of life that make it comprehensive Although I do not hate the book I go away from it with the same misgivings that the book's central theme on religious conversion is a failure because Cooley doesn't understand religion or a religious identity The result dilutes her characters and the other themes of the book If anything my experiment in time and rereading validates that the current version of myself retains that younger core; that some of the intuitions I would have had difficulty expressing are now concrete because of experience and maturity