In Zodiac Light

In Zodiac Light

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
In December 1922, Ivor Gurney, ex-soldier, poet and composer was transferred from Barnwood House Asylum in Gloucester to the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford. Suffering from increasingly frequent and deepening bouts of ‘Systemized Delusional Insanity’ — paranoid schizophrenia — Gurney was to spend the rest of his life there until his death in 1937.

Neglected by the military and by his own family, and abandoned by all but a notable handful of his friends, Gurney descended into the madness and oblivion which he believed had long been waiting to claim him. But for a short period following his arrival at Dartford, there seemed to be those who continued to believe in Gurney’s capabilities. A belief that by having finally found some calm and ease in his life, he might at last achieve the status of a major composer that some considered him capable of becoming.

Few of those now responsible for Gurney, however, had any true idea of what he had endured on the Western Front during almost three years of military service, or of what he had already achieved in both his poetry and his compositions.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Gardners
It is December 1922, and ex-soldier, poet and composer, Ivor Gurney, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia is transferred to the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford. Neglected by the military and by his own family, Gurney begins a descent into the madness and oblivion which he believes has long been waiting to claim him.

Blackwell North Amer
It is December 1922 and the aftershocks of the First World War continue to make themselves felt. Ex-soldier, poet and composer Ivor Gurney, suffering from increasingly frequent and deepening bouts of paranoid schizophrenia, is transferred to the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford.
Neglected by the military and by his own family, and abandoned by all but a notable handful of his friends, Gurney begins a descent into the madness and oblivion which he believes has long been waiting to claim him.
Yet following his arrival at Dartford, there are still those who continue to believe in Gurney's capabilities - in his 'wayward genius'. For a brief period, it seems that he might find some calm and ease in his life, and thus achieve the status so many consider him capable of.
But few of those now responsible for Gurney realize the consequences of their hopefulness. They have no idea of what he endured on the Western Front during almost three years of military service and the effects it had on his mind. Ultimately it is not the war but the refusal of his admirers to acknowledge the trauma of his experience that will take him further from a creative rebirth and closer to the edge of sanity that he both craves that he both craves and fears.

Publisher: London : Doubleday, 2008
ISBN: 9780385612586
0385612583
Characteristics: 368 p. ; 23 cm

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uncommonreader
Aug 01, 2012

This book is set in a mental hospital after WW I. An ex-soldier, poet and composer becomes less and less able to share his horrors the more people encourage his art. Alternating chapters on beekeeing. No Pat Barker, but not bad.

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