Lucy and Todd

Free copy of Doctors & Nurses – quiz closed June 15

In Stuff We Like, The Gloves Are Off : Thoughts on Literature on June 6, 2014 at 10:44 am

In Lucy Ellmann’s rather outrageous study of medicine post-Harold Shipman, the main character was originally called “Loathe Self”. This later seemed too explicit a cross for her to bear, so she was reduced to the humbler name of “Jen”, Jen with her trademark cargo pants, ravenous appetite, and handbag fetish.

All you need to do to win your free copy of Doctors & Nurses is: guess the novel from which the following quote comes.

Three winners will be picked indiscriminately from a handbag, during a ceremony courteously witnessed by pigeons, sparrows and French marigolds (in honour of the apparent advent of summer). Winners will then be contacted and asked for an address to which to send the book.

(NB Former Atelier quiz winners may not participate, on the grounds of being too smart – apologies.)

 

The quote:

Drearily I wound my way downstairs: I knew what I had to do, and I did it mechanically. I sought the key of the side-door in the kitchen. I sought too, a phial of oil and a feather; I oiled the key and the lock. I got some water, I got some bread: for perhaps I should have to walk far; and my strength, sorely shaken of late, must not break down. All this I did without one sound. I opened the door, passed out, shut it softly. Dim dawn glimmered in the yard. The great gates were closed and locked; but a wicket in one of them was only latched. Through that I departed…

…  I skirted fields, and hedges, and lanes till after sunrise. I believe it was a lovely summer morning: I know my shoes, which I had put on when I left the house, were soon wet with dew. But I looked neither to rising sun, nor smiling sky, nor wakening nature. He who is taken out to pass through a fair scene to the scaffold, thinks not of the flowers that smile on his road, but of the block and the axe-edge; of the disseverment of bone and vein; of the grave gaping at the end: and I thought of drear flight and homeless wandering–and oh! with agony I thought of what I left.  …  Birds began singing in brake and copse: birds were faithful to their mates; birds were emblems of love. What was I? In the midst of my pain of heart and frantic effort of principle, I abhorred myself. I had no solace from self-approbation; none even from self-respect. … I was hateful in my own eyes.

 

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June 15:

Many thanks to all who participated. The answer was Jane Eyre, which had a big influence on Doctors & Nurses. This scenes sees Jane at her lowest point, beautifully described. She has just lost Rochester, she thinks, for ever. The contrast between the summeriness outside and the abyss inside her head is ferocious.

 

LE

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  1. […] Last chance – free copy of Doctors & Nurses – quiz ends June 15. […]

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