The Sea, the Sea
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
|Cover artist||Hokusai The Great Wave off Kanagawa|
|Publisher||Chatto & Windus|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|LC Class||PZ4.M974 Sd PR6063.U7|
The Sea, the Sea is a tale of the strange obsessions that haunt a self-satisfied playwright and director as he begins to write his memoirs. Murdoch's novel exposes the motivations that drive her characters - the vanity, jealousy, and lack of compassion behind the disguises they present to the world. Charles Arrowby, its central figure, decides to withdraw from the world and live in seclusion in a house by the sea. While there, he encounters his first love, Mary Hartley Fitch, whom he has not seen since his love affair with her as an adolescent. Although she is almost unrecognisable in old age, and outside his theatrical world, he becomes obsessed by her, idealizing his former relationship with her and attempting to persuade her to elope with him. His inability to recognise the egotism and selfishness of his own romantic ideals is at the heart of the novel. After the farcical and abortive kidnapping of Mrs. Fitch by Arrowby, he is left to mull over her rejection in a self-obsessional and self-aggrandising manner over the space of several chapters. "How much, I see as I look back, I read into it all, reading my own dream text and not looking at the reality... Yes of course I was in love with my own youth... Who is one's first love?"
According to Xenophon's Anabasis, "The Sea! The Sea!" (Thalatta! Thalatta!) was the shout of triumphant exultation given by the roaming 10,000 Greeks when, in 401BC, they caught sight of the Black Sea from Mount Theches in Trebizond and realised they were saved from near-certain death.
The phrase "the sea, the sea" also appears both in Greek and in English in James Joyce's novel Ulysses (see Thalatta! Thalatta!).
|Awards and achievements|
|Booker Prize recipient
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