October 7

Golding’s “The Spire” and Joyces’s “The Dead”

I’m up to May 1986, still before children, still working long hours at Bundaberg hospital (pre Dr Patel) and apparently I was spending my spare hours reading novels and short stories from the EN104 reading list. Bundaberg was dragging, as we had gone to every half decent restaurant enough times to be blasé and I was doing the same job as the previous two years. On the plus side we had moved out of the hospital flats and were renting a nice house on the other side of town. My wife was pregnant with our first child and she was finishing work about this time I think and the second assignment is better typed, so I strongly suspect I did not type this assignment. I found what looks like an attempt at a full hand written version that was probably the manuscript for her labours.

In a delightful turn around, a daughter nowhere near born in 1986 was kind enough to retype her mother’s typing into Word for me.

I recall being most impressed with “The Spire” but have little recollection of Joyce’s short story.

The assignment was:

Modern theories of narrative have placed stress on the elements of repetition and pattern in fiction. Choose two pieces of fiction studied this semester and show how repetition is used and how it builds the pattern of the work.

The Spire and The Dead


I was rightly chipped for appalling referencing and can only assume I forgot to indicate the pages of the quotes or had yet to master MLA style, but I was pleased to have it labelled excellent apart from that. As further evidence of the hard work going on in this first year subject we were sent a copy of a really good essay with which to compare our own. I can guarantee that in a lot of study since, I have seen very little to match the thoroughness of this initial Arts subject. I certainly don’t recall that sort of interest in those running the medical course at the time.

I’ve recently seen the Spire at Salisbury Cathedral that inspired the book. It certainly looks a risk.


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Posted October 7, 2013 by Geoffrey Madden in category "Uncategorized

About the Author

Dr Geoffrey Madden MBBS BA PGDipArts MA (Theol) GCTS(Liturgy)