By Iris Murdoch
Martin believes he can own either a gorgeous spouse and a pleasant lover. but if his spouse, Antonia, without warning leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into a radical emotional re-education. He makes an attempt to act superbly and sensibly. Then he meets a girl whose demonic splendour at the start repels him and later arouses a eating and tremendous ardour. How will he continue to exist it?
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Additional info for A Severed Head
Did they come from Saruman, perhaps? Who does he think he is, setting up on his own with his filthy white badges? They might agree with me, with Grishnákh their trusted messenger; and I Grishnákh say this: Saruman is a fool, and a dirty treacherous fool. But the Great Eye is on him. 'Swine is it? How do you folk like being called swine by the muck-rakers of a dirty little wizard? ' 463 THE TWO TOWERS Many loud yells in orc-speech answered him, and the ringing clash of weapons being drawn. Cautiously Pippin rolled over, hoping to see what would happen.
He has been a guest in the land many times in the memory of men, coming as he will, after a season, or after many years. He is ever the herald of strange events: a bringer of evil, some now say. 'Indeed since his last coming in the summer all things have gone amiss. At that time our trouble with Saruman began. Until then we counted Saruman our friend, hut Gandalf came then and warned us that sudden war was preparing in Isengard. He said that he himself had been a prisoner in Orthanc and had hardly escaped, and he begged for help.
But instead of Frodo hundreds of hideous orcfaces grinned at him out of the shadows, hundreds of hideous arms grasped at him from every side. Where was Merry? He woke. Cold air blew on his face. He was lying on his back. Evening was coming and the sky above was growing dim. He turned and found that the dream was little worse than the waking. His wrists, legs, and ankles were tied with cords. Beside him Merry lay, whitefaced, with a dirty rag bound across his brows. All about them sat or stood a great company of Orcs.
A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch