The Spire

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For some reason four years ago when I originally wrote this review or one like it I chose to attach it to The Spire not Darkness Visible or Pincher Martin or The Inheritors all equally fine book

For some reason, four years ago when I originally wrote this review (or one like it), I chose to attach it to The Spire, not Darkness Visible or Pincher Martin or The Inheritors, all equally fine books whose influence on me was no less profound. The review, you see, was really of Golding, not of any single one of his books. It also included an ornery and unfair assessment of British writers in general, prefaced by a genteel insult of British writing by Raymond Chandler and a brief, confused argument as to why Golding was somehow different from the run-of-the-mill of bloated, hubristic Brits. Having jetissoned that useless baggage, I’ll try to focus on what it is that makes Golding great, despite his detractors (most if not all of them angry primarily because he won the Nobel Prize), and despite its having been years since I read more than a page or two of his prose. As a high school student, I studied Lord of the Flies, then chose to make Golding’s other novels the focus of further study. What appealed to me most, I think, in Golding was his ability to write a kind of perceptual counterpoint – to have his protagonist consciously experience one thing while unconsciously experiencing another, yet to make the reader (or the canny reader) privy to both levels of perception. (The most famous example is probably the child visionary Simon’s witnessing the monster atop the hill in Lord of the Flies, a monster which the reader correctly identifies as a corpse tangled in a parachute. But this dual perception is everywhere in Golding, from the egotist priest Jocelyn’s “angel” astride his back to the shipwrecked sailor Pincher Martin’s entire “island” in the Atlantic.) This technique, I thought, could surely only work so well in prose; it helped me to see how a literal rendering of story (which film, the staple of my childhood, so often is) could lack in dimensions, dimensions which prose, a collaboration between writer and reader, could more fully explore. But if this were all Golding offered, maybe he would justly be maligned. (And the truth is, at times – in Pincher Martin, for example – he writes a kind of detective story, a build-up to the Big Reveal, which limits his scope.) These days, when I think back on Golding, I see a creator of myths, not creation myths but dark destruction myths. A vague word to use, I guess, but suited to his peculiar near-timeless semi-allegorical tales, which so often pit helpless humans (or pre-humans, in The Inheritors) against cosmic-seeming forces which turn out, often as not, to be intrinsic to humankind. And suited, too, to the sense that these tales, in their essential forms (ie: not so much as written but when called up later from memory), are like polished stones, the simplest parables which, maybe, should never have been extended into novels at all. (The novella, I suspect, would be the perfect vehicle for Pincher Martin, and would let that shocking, hellish, stark vision truly shine from its igneous core.)Golding wrote (so he tells us) each of his early novels in a matter of weeks, after a long internal gestation period, and I think it shows. It’s both their greatest asset and their biggest fault, but it’s part of what makes them so different from the dominant strand (among major literary prizewinners) of intellectual writing. Golding, to me, is a primitive. Whether he knew this himself I don’t know, and his writing gives no clues (it’s far from self-conscious, opting instead for an immersive quality both old-fashioned – in its insistent naturalism – and modern – in its immediacy, like cinema imbibed via all the senses), but it’s part of what makes his novels seem elemental. Golding – and this is a surprise when you consider his novels from afar, since in synopsis they seem so conceptual – is a sensualist. Or maybe not, if a sensualist enjoys the physical. No, Golding does not revel in the physical, but he inhabits it, relentlessly. Lok’s feet grope and grip the ground just as Pincher Martin’s entire body grasps the rock; even Jocelyn the priest is held to earth by the pains in his deteriorating spine; and the kids in the jungle in Lord of the Flies are always and undoubtedly in the jungle. Golding is in many ways a philosophical writer, but his philosophy emerges from the action; the two are inseparable. Of course he’s limited, like all so-called primitives. Critics have noted how one-dimensional his style can seem when he ventures into certain areas (relationships between the sexes, social realism, contemporary settings), and despite his key novels (Lord of the Flies, The Inheritors, Pincher Martin, The Spire – all of them written in quick succession early in his career) being so far-removed from each other in terms of subject matter, there is a sense in which (like Stanley Kubrick) he seems to be mapping out various parts of the same, very Golding-esque universe. But what do I care if he’s limited? Poe (the master) was limited. Borges, Kafka, Clarice Lispector. If the aim of a writer is mastery in all fields, Golding is a failure. If the aim is to focus, with singleminded intensity, on whatever haunts, fascinates or inspires, he’s a success. In the realm of language, too, he has his moments, when a previously-uncharted (or less-charted) realm of the sayable suddenly presents itself to his vision. (The opening of Pincher Martin is one such moment: “He was struggling in every direction, he was the centre of the writhing and kicking knot of his own body. There was no up or down, no light and no air. He felt his mouth open of itself and the shrieked word burst out.” Rarely have we been so in a protagonist during an action scene, thanks to physical, declarative prose.) Golding, like all great writers, is one of a kind. That he’s able to communicate his vision to the young, I think, is a key part of his talent; there were few experiences so mind-expansive to me as reading these books as a teenager (reading Hermann Hesse was another), and he did much to broaden my conception of what could be said in literature. I recommend The Spire because it caught my young man’s imagination, though I can’t guarantee it would retain its power over me now. The plot (unlike the plots of many – even most – novels) remains with me quite clearly, and the whole of it appears a kind of medieval tapestry when I think back on it, stylised and not quite real-seeming but alive with light. As an adult I read Darkness Visible and though I thought it suffered from stylistic defects (again, particularly in its contemporary realist setting) I felt the pulsing of something true and rarely uncovered in its depths. The other novels listed above are all well worth reading for anyone who saw value in Lord of the Flies, and even the patchy Free Fall and the blander late-period Rites of Passage left meaningful impressions on me. An idiosyncratic master. The best The Spire Author William Golding Viral Ebook Dean Jocelin has a vision that God has chosen him to erect a great spire on his cathedral His mason anxiously advises against it, for the old cathedral was built without foundations Nevertheless, the spire rises octagon upon octagon, pinnacle by pinnacle, until the stone pillars shriek and the ground beneath it swims Its shadow falls ever darker on the world below, andDean Jocelin has a vision that God has chosen him to erect a great spire on his cathedral His mason anxiously advises against it, for the old cathedral was built without foundations Nevertheless, the spire rises octagon upon octagon, pinnacle by pinnacle, until the stone pillars shriek and the ground beneath it swims Its shadow falls ever darker on the world below, and on Dean Jocelin in particular.From the author of Lord of the Flies, The Spire is a dark and powerful portrait of one man s will, and the folly that he creates.. Sir William Gerald Golding was a British novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his 1954 novel Lord of the Flies Golding spent two years in Oxford focusing on sciences however, he changed his educational emphasis to English literature, especially Anglo Saxon.During World War II, he was part of the Royal Navy which he left five years later His bellic experience strongly influenced his future novels.Later, he became a teacher and focused on writing.Some of his influences are classical Greek literature, such as Euripides, and The Battle of Maldon, an Anglo Saxon oeuvre whose author is unknown.The attention given to Lord of the Flies, Golding s first novel, by college students in the 1950s and 1960s drove literary critics attention to it.He was awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage, the first book of the trilogy To the Ends of the Earth He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983 and was knighted in 1988.In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.. Bestseller Books The Spire A BALANCING ACTSecond readings are dangerous enterprises. Anything can happen. When I first read this novel, I thought the Spire, that gives the name to the title, stood defiantly by the end of the book. My attention was focused on the descriptions of how architects and builders managed to pull up the complex architectural structures that miraculously were built during the Middle Ages. I did not pay too much attention to the writing. At the time, my English did not have strong foundations, and it was as much a guess-work as the art & craft of the medieval masons.In my second reading and with a with a sounder linguistic knowledge I could expect that my understanding would be as firm as blocks of stone. The result is that the former ending collapsed in my mind. Nonetheless, Golding has used a dream of a language as elusive and as ambiguous as the afternoon sun filtering through glass stained in a variety of hues, which led me to conclude that certainty is after all a Balancing Act. As Golding lived in Salisbury for several years, the reader easily thinks of Salisbury Spire being in the author’s mind when he worked on the scaffolding of his book. But any Spire would do. One can also forget about spires since any other building, or enterprise, could play the role. For what this novel does is edify the process through which a fixation can absorb one’s mind. Firm obsessions can dissolve uneasily as perceptions shift and flounder. And Golding’s equivocal language captures splendidly the way a fleeting chimera can take over one’s life and one’s will until it can either triumph or destroy. Your pick.
The Spire Home The Spire Center for the Performing Arts Greater Partner The Spire is a Proud Founding Partner of Plymouth , The organization planning the th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony For Questions, please email info spirecenter The Spire Visit Dublin The huge, striking and innovative monument of the Spire stands in the middle of O Connell Street just across from the famous GPO m high and m in diameter at the base, the Spire rises above O Connell Street, breaking above the roof line with as slender and elegant a movement as is The Spire by William Golding Jocelin is the spire, absorbed by it into its stone and timber As the spire is supported by four pillars of stone, so Jocelin is supported by the Master Builder, the Verger and their wives Jocelin finds of himself in each higher level, as the pillars and his supports deteriorate below him. Spire Horizon Wiki Fandom Spire of Dublin Spire of Dublin The Spire AHC Inc. May , The Spire, a redevelopment of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection site is being planned in the City of Alexandria The project will provide new affordable apartments in . Welcome to The Spire Hotel The Spire Hotel Queenstown Nestled in the heart of Queenstown, New Zealand s premier holiday destination, The Spire Hotel offers award winning luxury accommodation within a lively precinct Ours is a distinct experience, merging exceptional service and impeccable style with genuine hospitality and inner city vibrancy. SPIRE Institute Academy SPIRE IA Institute Academy is one of the most unique and comprehensive Athletic, Academic, Personal and Career Development organizations in the world Constructed on acres with , sq ft under roof, it is among the largest indoor multi sport, training, education and competition complexes in Spire Studio iZotope Spire Studio makes it easy to record and collaborate The creative process can be a challenge, but it doesn t have to be In this video, discover how easy it is to get your next song idea recorded, produced, and shared with the world, all using tools as creative as you are iZotope Spire and plug ins Aubrey Charley Write a Song

About Author

  • William Golding Post author

    Sir William Gerald Golding was a British novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his 1954 novel Lord of the Flies Golding spent two years in Oxford focusing on sciences however, he changed his educational emphasis to English literature, especially Anglo Saxon.During World War II, he was part of the Royal Navy which he left five years later His bellic experience strongly influenced his future novels.Later, he became a teacher and focused on writing.Some of his influences are classical Greek literature, such as Euripides, and The Battle of Maldon, an Anglo Saxon oeuvre whose author is unknown.The attention given to Lord of the Flies, Golding s first novel, by college students in the 1950s and 1960s drove literary critics attention to it.He was awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage, the first book of the trilogy To the Ends of the Earth He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983 and was knighted in 1988.In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.

One thought on “The Spire

  • A BALANCING ACTSecond readings are dangerous enterprises Anything can happen When I first read this novel, I thought the Spire, that gives the name to the title, stood defiantly by the end of the book My attention was focused on the descriptions of how architects and builders managed to pull up the complex architectural structures that miraculously were built during the Middle Ages I did not pay too much attention to the writing At the time, my English did not have strong foundations, and it was [...]


  • This might be the finest historical fiction that I have read to date partly because it works through atmosphere rather than detail.The book is short and the story simple Set in medieval England during the reign of Henry II it concerns a new Dean who seeks to have a spire built on his cathedral against advice to the contrary and what results from this The transformation of a cathedral into a medieval building site may not sound terribly exciting but it works through atmosphere and the confusion o [...]


  • For some reason, four years ago when I originally wrote this review or one like it , I chose to attach it to The Spire, not Darkness Visible or Pincher Martin or The Inheritors, all equally fine books whose influence on me was no less profound The review, you see, was really of Golding, not of any single one of his books It also included an ornery and unfair assessment of British writers in general, prefaced by a genteel insult of British writing by Raymond Chandler and a brief, confused argumen [...]


  • I have loved Lord of the Flies since we read it in English Literature class at school and have read it again a couple of times since It occurred to me a few days ago that, despite my love of Lord of the Flies it has never even entered my head to try any other William Golding books With this in mind, I bought Golding s fifth novel The Spire.Set in the twelfth century A.D or C.E or whatever you want to call it , this fantastic novel tells the story of Dean Jocelin of a cathedral that I m pretty su [...]


  • May be three and half stars.On the surface, the plot looks very simple Nepotism plays a main role in placing a less qualified person as a Dean of a Cathedral The Dean considers it as his Call Later as a Dean he has a vision and wants to transform the vision into a reality by building a spire to the cathedral This is an impossible undertaking for the Cathedral is on a marshy land and does not have the foundation necessary to hold a spire of 400 feet Everyone is against The Deans considers it his [...]


  • William Golding deyince insan n akl na hemen Sineklerin Tanr s geliyor Hadi en iyi ihtimalle Piramit gelsin Ama Kule gelmez Herkes Sineklerin Tanr s na tapar Amanda efenim ne de g zel kitapt r o de il mi imdiden klasikle mi tir te ben Golding olsam Sineklerin Tanr s ndan nefret ederdim B yle bir aheserle kmak piyasaya ve sonras nda da mr n boyunca sadece bir kerecik tadabildi in ba ar y yakalamaya al mak D nyan n en zor i i O kadar roman yaz, hepside birbirinden g zel olsun, ama hepsi de zaman n [...]


  • I think it s possible to measure to some extent a great piece of writing by how large it looms in your psyche This book and the religious hubris of its main character seemed to take up residence in my dreams from the moment I started reading it It is a book packed with metaphor, and although written in the third person, it is fully inhabited by the main character Jocelyn s mental landscape He is a man obsessed by a vison and a charge, which he is convinced has been placed on him by God, to erect [...]


  • Golding s The Spire is an extraordinary novel though uneven, I felt, in the same way as his Rites of Passage The first two thirds or three quarters, while the spire is thrusting its improbable way to the heavens, is startlingly good a poem of a novel, almost Blake like in its fierce, odd, visionary, lyric language The ending, for me, came untuned rather, but in a way that helped illustrate what a remarkable balancing act Golding pulls off in that great, prolonged opening sequence Golding taught [...]


  • After going to see Salisbury Cathedral and learning that Golding lived just down the street from it, near St Anne s Gate, I was compelled to read this book in which Golding imagines the creation of the enormous spire atop the cathedral In it, he has created is a brilliant, densely woven, intensely introspective study of obsession and faith, which pushes everyone around him to the very edge of endurance Golding did a brilliant job showing us as the readers how the gigantic phallic spire in the sk [...]


  • Golding s The Spire concerns Dean Jocelin s attempt to crown his parish s cathedral with a vast spire, despite the cathedral not having the foundations to support its weight and length He is opposed my many, learned man and layman alike, who claim that such attempt is a folly that will only end in disaster Jocelyn s will remains unshaken however, for he firmly believes that he is doing God s work, resorting to coercion and manipulation to force the unwilling collaboration of others in order to f [...]


  • A priest builds a spire on a cathedral according to a spiritual vision, believing it to be the calling of God and dependant upon his will and faith to bring it to completion, destroying his congregation, vocation and sanity in the process.The prose is dense and disorientated, flashing between coherent thought, delirium, reality, reverie and nightmare Certain themes and motifs are repeated throughout some of which hints at an understated, repressed sexuality There is often reference in the narrat [...]


  • Pretty good book I would probably listen to it again just so I can hear Benedict Cumberbatch whisper in my ear Yum This is the story of a clergyman who thinks he was given a divine message to build a spire on his church even though the builder warns against it Soon the clergyman thinks he also hears the devil talking to him, too.As he slips further into madness and the spire grows, we see how the actions of his congregation change without his guidance and how that effects him.


  • What you can notice immediately about a novel like this is that it has nothing to do with today s shabby historical fiction trend Such books merely transpose today s sensationalism to a remote timeperiod but deliver nothing than the same tawdry potboiler intrigues we re familiar with from TV The Spire is, in fact, literature in that Golding exposes a forgotten way of life which heretofore has had little light shed upon it He makes his scenario as authentic as possible, and most important he use [...]


  • This is the only Golding book I have read since The Lord off the Flies as a teenager and I am glad I made the trip with the author back to medieval England and this story of a man and an unfinished Cathedral Jocelyn is the Dean of the Cathedral a young political appointment of the old King with aristocratic connections, now out of favour with the new King The Cathedral, possible based on Salisbury, since Golding lived close by, lacks a Spire, for good reason, being built on marshy ground with in [...]


  • As I read this story I felt as though the author was reaching inside of me and tearing out something that is flawed or blinded by what I want to believe William Golding unsettles me yet this is his most compelling story I have read so far Brilliant C.A Powell Saxon Quest



  • William Golding s The Spire is another of those improving books that my father bought me years ago This edition claims to have been published in 1983, but that feels a little to early 1989 sounds likely That said taking only 14 years to read a gift still feels woefully inadequate Luckily he doesn t have a account, so he ll never know.The Spire is the story of Dean Jocelin and his spire He is a man who has been touched by a vision a man who God has charged with the task to build a spire on top o [...]


  • 3.5 stars Typically of a Golding novel, The Spire is a real uphill struggle to get through, but equally typically there is great reward to be found in and at the end of your labours At times it shares a mad, hallucinatory quality with Pincher Martin , which a mind can only take so much of in one sitting My reading of The Spire had ground to almost a halt when I went to see Roger Spottiswoode s adapted play at Salisbury Playhouse, having originally intended to finish the book beforehand The brill [...]


  • Description Dean Jocelin has a vision that God has chosen him to erect a great spire on his cathedral His mason anxiously advises against it, for the old cathedral was built without foundations Nevertheless, the spire rises octagon upon octagon, pinnacle by pinnacle, until the stone pillars shriek and the ground beneath it swims Its shadow falls ever darker on the world below, and on Dean Jocelin in particular.Opening He was laughing, chin up, and shaking his head God the Father was exploding in [...]


  • A r s k c bir konu sayfalarca ilgi ekicili i olmayan kuru bir anlat m, yar m b rakma huyum olmad i in ite kaka bitirdim.Golding in okudu um ilk kitab yd kendinden so uttu diyebilirim, uzun bir s re Golding kitaplar n n kapa n a mam san yorum.


  • Nothing William Golding wrote about is what Golding wrote about he was a master of metaphor, and his 1964 novel The Spire is a good example as was his masterful Lord of the Flies, still on many reading lists This is not an easy book, and reviews are all over the place It is stream of consciousness filtered through the mind of its main character, a style filled with ambiguation And it is an allegory, speaking of things unspoken On its surface, The Spire is about a medieval cathedral in an unnamed [...]


  • Sineklerin Tanr s n okumu ve ok sevmi biri olarak kitaptan beklentim b y kt Konu da ilgimi ekmi ti Ama kitab ok zor okudum Sorun eviriden mi kaynaklan yor acaba diye d nd m ve buradaki baz yorumlara g z at nca ayn s k nt lar orjinal dilden okuyanlar n da belirtmi oldu unu g rd m.Zemini ok da sa lam olmayan bir kiliseye transept kulesi in a etmek isteyen bir rahip zerinden insana dair bir ok zaaf n din ve in aat ekseninde anlat lmas ok g zel olabilecekken bir eyler eksik ya da fazla olmu Betimlem [...]




  • I really like William Golding s novels or at least the number of them I ve read And this was no exception He has a really interesting style straightforward on one level, but really gnarly and hard to follow on another And, I confess, I read this quite quickly, so missed a few key parts of the plot, which actually makes me want to re read it again It was such a clever interplay of allegory, fable, and realism, too It reminded me a lot of Pincher Martin, and that line that most novelists tend to w [...]


  • Okumas kolay olmayan bir kitap H zl okunursa da gayet akar fakat bir ey anla lamaz, o y zden yava ilerlemek ok daha faydal ok fazla sembolizm bar nd r yor ve e zamanl ara t rma gerektiriyor bence yle kapsaml bir eser yazm ki Golding, sayfalarca tez yaz labilir bence bu kitap zerine Ben de normal bir okur olarak bir kere okumayla hakk n tam veremedi imi d n yorum, belki ilerideki bir okumada ba arabilirim imdilik 3,5 puan veriyorum.


  • I read and listened to this book at the same time, so this review will cover both the work itself, and the narration done of it I read this book after reading some Proust, so it honestly seemed accessible to me, despite being a story told via stream of consciousness thoughts from an increasingly crazy man It s a short book, so if the style is bothering you, I d suggest trying to power through it Do this because this is one of those books that have a bunch of different themes and viewpoints and l [...]


  • I first read Golding s The Spire when I was about 15 I was completely astonished by it, and read it twice without stopping It was the first time I realised that and perhaps something of how a contemporary writer can represent a cultural worldview which is, of necessity, very different from my own in a way which enabled me to not merely appreciate the differences in conceptualisation but in some way to understand the differences It brought about a paradigm shift in the way I thought about literat [...]



  • He was laughing, chin up, and shaking his head God the Father was exploding in his face with a glory of sunlight through painted glass Wonderful writing William Golding makes the English language sing in this compelling study of a mediaeval churchman obsessed by the building of an impossible spire that thrusts upwards from the pit and pierces the very heavens Seen from below, the spire is like an upward waterfallat broke all the way to infinity in cascades of exultation that nothing could tramme [...]


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