[A Maggot [BOOK] Free download Ebook by John Fowles
Flappers jOf the story they wereust present I kept reading it I even skimmed some of it Usually when reading a book becomes tedious for me I ll ust move on to something else and tell myself I ll finish it later It smelled of paper soon to turn brittle and weighted me down every day to and from the train Others glanced at the title curiously It was covered in a clear protective plasticI finished it on a Saturday It was one of the first warm days I had gone for a walk in the sun air white cement and my skin and hair had that green metallic smell from being outside from being slightly sweaty and then chilly again My lungs worked easily I was laid up on the couch a cat purring warmly against my chest and belly My legs had the slight tingle of a good long walk The windows and doors were all open I had eaten pineapple and blackberries and Nutella in great big spoonfuls I was hurrying to finish this book killing time The day had been so perfect my senses and mind so round and full that I didn t want to ruin it with television So I finished it turned the last pages and the conclusion left me with a vague satisfaction It was an unclear ending the kind that you are okay with because the unknowing is fitting and telling than a neat wrapping up So it was finished and I flipped to the epilogue which was written directly to the readers from the author like an explanation or a letter He made it clear that the entire novel which was an amalgamation of a who done it historical fiction time travel fantasy religious dissent romance and political treatise was crawling toward one purpose only this purpose was the birth of Ann LeeAll these things an entire complex and at times convoluted plot and several charactersthey all led to this There were no hints none except for mentions of uakerism Ann Lee was the founder of religious sect known as the Shakers who originated in England and uickly immigrated to America to escape persecution A severe group they were originally an offshoot of the uakers and claimed a strict adherence to chastity as the main difference between their beliefs and other similar Protestant faiths The first Shaker settlement in America was founded outside Albany NY in the 1770 s In fact this original community still stands within a couple of miles of my parents house In fact I completed an internship at the Shaker Heritage Society at this very site while in college I picnicked at Ann Lee Pond I drove down paths entitled North Family Road and Watervliet Shaker Road Their presence in my life was extremely prevalentThe Shakers believed fervently in celibacy They relied mainly on conversion to gain new members and never exceeded over 6000 members due to the difficulty of convincing people not to succumb to the temptations of the flesh At times it was difficult to control the natural proclivities of their members especially the
young ones many of which were adopted orphans ones many of which were adopted orphans a choice in the matter While at the Heritage Society I read countless accounts of Shaker Girls Gone Wild running half dressed bonnets askance through the primitive streets imbibing whiskey and threatening the piety of the town s menfolk The Shakers were largely self sufficient They operated large farms and made Most Of Their Own Clothing of their own clothing furniture etc I spent many hours showing small children how to comb and card wool how to use a drop spindle how to knit I learned how
to knit through this influence directly it has knit through this influence directly it has a hobby of mine ever since that time It has enabled me to make things for many people people I love In addition their products were of such uality that there was high demand for them in town Especially things that involved intricate handiwork the Shaker women were famous for their luxury embroidered goods Coincidentally this was something they had little use for themselves Their honey brooms herbs seeds and chairs were also famed and bought by many The Shakers were also extremely innovative They made vast improvements upon already existing items and ideas I won t delve deeper into any of this save to say that it is generally believed that their sacrifice of carnality enabled them to expend time and energy into all the aforementioned innovations and into uality craftsmanship This series of events may seem inconseuential perhaps they are What is evident to me after reading this work is the nature of coincidence and the nagging belief that the manipulation of energy of being able to force things to you away from you based on what you give and take is possible Did all this happen because I have been rethinking my behavior lately Or was it the other way around In the epilogue John Fowles mentions how the story came to him as if by accident or coincidence He came into possession by chance of a replica of a drawing a portrait of a woman The woman wasn t particularly beautiful but her image through someone else s perspective drew him in and inspired him She may have been a prostitute She was the basis for one of the main characters Rebecca Lee the mother of Ann Lee The cover of my copy of the book is this original portrait which pleases me immensely Interestingly Fowles claims he did little research and made most of the story up Chance coincidence inspiration I wonder what he was projecting to receive such bounty And it s a personal bounty it seems like he was striving to please only himself with this work This exact mental path is the one that usually yields extraordinary results in art and literature Apparently A Maggot was the result of two dicisive factors The one was the clear yet uninvited image that once popped into Fowles mind of a group of people travelling on ho. Side This image gives way to another a hanging corpse with violets stuffed in its mouth which leads us into a maze of beguiling paths and wrong turn.
John Fowles Ç 0 charactersI found this book to be very strange At the end of the book there is an author s note wherein Fowles describes what he was trying to accomplish when writing the novel Instead of the note providing an illuminating experience I found myself scratching my head even because I didn t really buy into Fowles attempt to get to B from AI found the first half of the book to be pretty interesting but the second half not so much The book is a murder mystery and what happened in relation to the murder is primarily told through a series of interrogations between law enforcement and a series of witnessessuspects As we get closer to the end of the book the whys and the hows start to become even stranger as well I believe that if Fowles would have written the book that he said that he wanted to write here I would have enjoyed the story much My GR friends have informed me that no Fowles book is alike Since that is the case I will give Fowles another go in the futureOverall I m not sure for a first time reader of Fowles that this one is a good book with which to start The make believe history is a well known trick of the postmodernist literature Here we have a celebrated criminal in Margaret Atwood s Alias Grace a famous gangster in Mircea Mihaes Woman in Red a brought to life portrait in Tracy Chevalier s Girl with a Pearl Earring and in all these novels and others reality and fiction are blended beyond recognition to create literature s second reality A sort of non fiction novels to borrow Truman Capote s very deceptive termHowever whether the above mentioned works concentrate upon the historical figure itself John Fowles imagines only its background his novel illustrating apparently what made Anne Lee become the founder of the Shakers I said apparently because this could be an interpretation of sorts but of course things are never as simple as they appear in a postmodernist book History is only a source like any other but the credibility factor doesn t function in the same way The truth of art has nothing to do with the historical truth even when it copies its methods of investigation And the methods ARE similar to those used by a historian or a detective in uest for the truth The disappearance of an important personage is investigated thoroughly which gives the narrator the perfect pretext to exercise different styles uridical administrative ournalistic epistolary dramaturgic scientific he tries them all with the same dexterity and all are maggots possibilities Just as the many layers of the narrative historical the cuts from Historical Chronicle 1736 the information about economy population garments in 18th century England etc science fictional the maggot like machine and the time travel religious the uakers the Protestants etc detective Ayscough s investigation all novels in nuce hence maggotsLast but not least both in Prologue and Epilogue the narrator reveals his sources the obsession with an image a picture of a woman and Anne Lee s
origins insisting upon the same idea that theinsisting upon the same idea that the is only a maggot Because a work of art never leaves the artist s hands fully developed conseuently needing the public to maturate Or because everything has to grow beings and ideas On the other hand the main character of the book also mentions the maggot twice first as a symbol of decay punishment and death second as an instrument of salvation And the last words of the novel refer to it too I mourn not the outward form but the lost spirit courage and imagination of Mother Ann Lee s word her Logos its almost divine maggot A divine maggot that is the Logos born under the WRITER S UILL BUT GROWING IN s uill but growing in under the readers eyes I wrote this review a few years ago I ust moved to a new apartment and while I rearranged my books in the perfect order I came across my copy of A Maggot and remembered this so I shall copy and pasteJOHN FOWLES A MAGGOTMy previous experience reading the work of John Fowles is sporadic but rather steady while taking a Literature of the Occult class in college The Magus was reuired reading and sometime last winter I made it through The
Collector recommended to me by Maxim magazine of all things I never finished the former asrecommended to me by Maxim magazine of all things I never finished the former as parts I remember were a little over my head and was underwhelmed by the latter A while ago I was wandering through a thrift shop on 7th Avenue in Park Slope Brooklyn and randomly stumbled upon The Maggot I immediately picked it up because of the author but was drawn to it for other reasons as well It was a heavy hardcover a former member of the Brooklyn Public Library system I liked the cover Featured was a photo of Mr Fowles which took up the entire back cover someone had pressed a gold star sticker near his right hand which was neatly tucked into a pocket I liked the title I liked the alternative usage of the word maggot All these things pleased my aesthetic I began reading it right away ignoring the several half finished books littering my apartment Though the style was dense and a little too stodgy for my taste with about half of it consisting of mid 19th century British dialogue that had me reading paragraphs three or four times each there was a slow burning core of promise and thrifty use of language that kept me plugging away I wouldn t say I couldn t put it down I wouldn t say it amazed me However it s one of those books that plant you firmly into the personality of the author into the way they see and structure I was aware of how British Fowles is and of what ualities he found attractive in a woman His opinions on religion were evident All these things and weren t spelled out or even necessarily integral parts. In his prologue John Fowles tells us that A Maggot began as a vision he had of five travellers riding with mysterious purpose through remote country. Rseback in the middle of nowhere as he informs us in the prologue The other one was his admiration for Ann Lee the founder of a strict yet especially alternative religious group the Shakers Although an atheist Fowles had enough clarity to discern the wisdom behind their religious practices and acknowledge the necessity of the new in opposition to the old The creation of something that takes us one step further from the obsolete corpse of a past state What starts as a whodunnit mystery novel soon takes a turn towards far obscure and deep paths The biggest part of the novel is written in the form of an interview as the lawyer uestions the various suspects in order to uncover the truth behind the servant s death and the mysterious disappearance of a certain prominent person In between these interrogations there are parts of a somewhat detached script like third person narrative which as it seemed to me serve as a way to sober the reader and temporarily relieve them of all their emotional processes in order to make space for new ones Like an emotional flush of some sort They also give the author the chance to state some of his views on the society of the past and the not so different one of the presentAs is the case with both of the other of his works I ve read The Magus and The Collector A Maggot s plot is mostly developed through the perspective of its characters Which means that what we read is what they perceive as the truth Which also means that few things are actually cleared up in the end and what matters most is what the reader makes of what is written Another characteristic of Fowles writing that is present here is the fight between two sociological and historical tendencies expressed through the characters Indeed Fowles characters are not ust fictional people They re symbols that concentrate in them entire theories movements philosophies and historical turbulences When two of them converse it s like the clash of two armies of which only one will remain standing in the end and not without casualtiesThe of his books I read the I see that not only his storytelling but also his genius use of semiotics make Fowles one of the most brilliant if not as famous as he deserved perhaps writers of the late 20th century and A Maggot is yet another example of his brilliance Dazzling Stunning The best I ve read of himOn second reading the novel holds up remarkably well It seems at first a study in the perpetuation of literary suspense The book umps between third person narration a kind of mock legal deposition which permits multiple narrative voices essayistic asides and epistolary elements The third person voice often refers to the gap between events at the time of the story the 1730s and our present day For example Closergroups of children noisily played lamp loo and tutball those primitive forms of tag and baseball Modern lovers of the second game would have been shocked to see that here it was preponderantly played by girls and perhaps to know that its traditional prize for the most
skilled was not the million dollar contract but a mere tansy puddingwas not the million dollar contract but a mere tansy pudding novel begins with a tableau of five
Individuals Four Of Them Male Of Varyingfour of them male of varying who make a ourney to the west of England on horseback There is an uncle his nephew and three servants one female We come across them as they travel a muddy road to a bleak village It is there at the musty inn and later in a nearby cave that much of the action occurs action that will later be dissected by way of a series of legal depositions run by the dwarfish and hateful London lawyer Henry Ayscough We learn a few things during the interrogations that nephew and uncle are in fact unrelated that the nephew is the true leader of the excursion that the uncle is an actor by profession that the maid is a prostitute that one of the servants is deaf and dumb and so forth Only the nephew who is not a nephew knows the true purpose of the trip which for most of the book remains a mystery We also know that the nephew believes he has hit on a mathematical device or formula that once fully developed will allow him to foretell the future That is to say he s crazy as a loon Still what can it mean Why the trip Why the subseuent investigation And where has everyone gone Slowly one by one at the behest of the nephew s aristocratic father the lawyer tracks down all of the participants save one And in a uestion and answer format that allows no room for description or authorial commentary he painstakingly gets a story But is it the story That s a very
good uestion and in large part the novel s point uestioning narrative constructs as it does It is theuestion and in large part the novel s point uestioning narrative constructs as it does It is the s deposition that for this reader was the most engrossing For since her excursion to the cave she has given up whoring and has returned to the uaker community of her parents in Manchester fully forgiven What she experienced during that ourney she interprets perhaps the only way she knows how as an ecstatic Christian experience She has been vouchsafed a vision of heaven and hell Christianity is the only tool she has for interpreting such a fantastic experience And there s no doubt that she thinks her story is truth Lawyer Ayscough can not shake her from it Nor can he believe it And in the end is shaken himself Like her he is limited by virtue of his place in time to viewing it as nothing than religious hysteria The 21st century reader however sees what has happened in the cave as something uite different I ll stop there Like Fowles French Lieutenant s Woman the narrative toys with metafictional devices but never to the point where they distract Oh yes you ll have to read this on. Ings disappearances and revelations unaccountable motives and cryptic deeds as this compelling mystery swerves towards a starling vision at its cent. .