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In the Blood: A Memoir of my Childhood av…
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In the Blood: A Memoir of my Childhood (utgåvan 2006)

av Andrew Motion (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
682313,679 (4.25)8
In the Blood is Andrew Motion's beautifully written memoir of growing up in post-war England - an unforgettable evocation of family life, school life and country life. It also tells the story of how these worlds are shattered, when his mother suffers a terrible riding accident. The tragedy shadows the book, feeding its mood of elegy as well as its celebratory vigilance. Written from a teenage child's point of view, without the benefit of adult hindsight, Motion captures the pathos and puzzlement of childhood with great clarity of expression and freshness of memory. We encounter a strange but beguiling extended family, a profound love of the natural world, a troubled schooling, and a growing passion for books and writing. By turns funny and elegiac, In the Blood is a wonderful picture of a vanishing England, a remarkable insight into a poet's mind, and a deeply moving portrait of the bond between a mother and her son.… (mer)
Medlem:christinefyfe
Titel:In the Blood: A Memoir of my Childhood
Författare:Andrew Motion (Författare)
Info:Faber & Faber (2006), 336 pages
Samlingar:Lästa men inte ägda
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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In the Blood av Andrew Motion

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Beautifully written memoir of Motion's upper-middle class childhood in the 1950s and 60s. The book is framed by the first and last chapters that concern his mothers riding accident when he was 17, that left her in a coma from which she never recovered. These chapters being written in the present tense with the rest in the past and thus from the viewpoint of a teenager. It was an interesting insight into a post war class of family that was in his father's words a dying breed, being crowded out by the encroaching suburbs and social change. We have lots of riding, hunting and shooting, a loving mother and a more distant, restrained ex-military father. Large parts of it deal with school. Sent away to board at a prep school at seven, we get homesickness, beatings, introversion and a comfort from and a love of nature. Later at public school, much more liberal and encouraging, Motion takes stock of who he is, finds poetry and rejects a lot of his upbringing values. Or at least the fox hunting and politics. The central theme however is the bond between a mother and a son and how his childhood comes crashing to a stop one day when he is 17. The book is shot through with poetical observations and is the type that leaves you wanting more when finished. Excellent read. ( )
1 rösta Lord_Boris | Feb 21, 2017 |
I love reading memoirs, although they often disappoint for one reason or another. This is a memoir by the poet laureate of England and it was a poignant read for me, as I am six years younger than Andrew. It was a perfect slide back in time to the England of my childhood. Although his world was filled with boarding schools and hunting and other pursuits that passed me by, his evocation of the era and the place struck a deep chord.

I think this will be one of my favourite memoirs. Motion manages to capture the child’s voice, conjuring up a world of larger-than-life adults that dominate his childhood. He artfully weaves a picture of his early life, illuminating the simple commonplace happenings in all their complexity and mystery. It allowed me to reflect and compare with my own similar childhood, and relive the sensation of largeness and awe and innocence that filled childhood. The pivotal event defining the end of his childhood is his mother's untimely death in a hunting accident - at the end of 1969, coincidently the month and year that my family emigrated from England.

Although an elegy to his mother, who died when he was 16 or 17, his descriptions of the countryside, the characters and violence of ‘civilized life’ at school, the cult of hunting and other period events leap off the page. Motion writes his prose with such clarity of form, I found myself visually experiencing his beautiful phrases. He relates events around his family, encounters with animals and nature, and his school experiences with simple, often humorous clarity. His descriptions of the violence at school are heart-breaking and familiar. He manages to convey his deep love and attachment to his mother without sentimentality or trite. His developing love of nature and poetry are understood in the context of his upbringing and his mentors. The reader sees his early development as a poet, including his response to various contemporary poets such as Larkin, Auden and e.e. cummings.

If you are looking for an interpretive memoir, one that probes and questions and attacks, this is not for you. Rather, this is a reflective recounting of Motion’s young world, a poetic description of the commonplace. He lets the reader sink into the world of a child, capturing that slow-moving time, the simplicity and lucidity of events, with the inevitable overriding adult control. He also captures the intense experiences of a sensitive child to the natural world, the innocence, angst, and violence.

This memoir takes its title and its epigraph from Wordsworth:

"I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart". ( )
3 rösta kiwidoc | Mar 2, 2008 |
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In the Blood is Andrew Motion's beautifully written memoir of growing up in post-war England - an unforgettable evocation of family life, school life and country life. It also tells the story of how these worlds are shattered, when his mother suffers a terrible riding accident. The tragedy shadows the book, feeding its mood of elegy as well as its celebratory vigilance. Written from a teenage child's point of view, without the benefit of adult hindsight, Motion captures the pathos and puzzlement of childhood with great clarity of expression and freshness of memory. We encounter a strange but beguiling extended family, a profound love of the natural world, a troubled schooling, and a growing passion for books and writing. By turns funny and elegiac, In the Blood is a wonderful picture of a vanishing England, a remarkable insight into a poet's mind, and a deeply moving portrait of the bond between a mother and her son.

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