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Matrix af Lauren Groff
Indlæser...

Matrix (original 2021; udgave 2021)

af Lauren Groff

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4022349,504 (3.94)42
Medlem:N1na
Titel:Matrix
Forfattere:Lauren Groff
Info:New York : Riverhead Books, 2021.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****1/2
Nøgleord:historical fiction, England, medieval

Work Information

Matrix af Lauren Groff (2021)

Indlæser...

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» Se også 42 omtaler

Engelsk (22)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (23)
Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
The lais (que j’ai lus et aimés il y a 25 ans, dans un cours d’ancien français) figure little in the narrative, but this is still a rich imagining of Marie de France, who builds a city of ladies 200 years before Christine de Pizan.

Matrix: “something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form”—Merriam-Webster ( )
  Bruyere_C | Dec 2, 2021 |
Not much is known about the medieval poet Marie de France (fl. 1160 to 1215). Author Lauren Groff imagines her as a free-thinking nun and leader of women whose biography includes mystical, feminist visions, lesbian encounters, a trying perimenopause, and even a battle scene. Marie’s prophetic gifts inspire her to hold anachronistic views on women in the priesthood, childhood sexual abuse, and climate change.

There's not much of a plot to this novel; secondary characters are not well developed, and much is told rather than shown. I was disappointed that Marie's writing life was limited to one brief scene. Even though the novel’s pace picked up toward the end, ultimately the narrative didn't transcend its bland title and unattractive cover (the cover of the North American first edition, that is). ( )
  akblanchard | Nov 27, 2021 |
A novel of Marie de France, sent away from the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine to become abbess of a nunnery in cold, wet England. After a few years of misery, Marie pulls herself - and the abbey - together to make it comfortable and profitable, a safe space for women. She has visions and builds up the abbey's defenses, including a labyrinth. The book takes place over the course of Marie's life and just past her death, when the next abbess takes over and burns Marie's book of visions.

Quotes

Ritual creates its own catharsis....Mystical acts create mystical beliefs. (Emme to Marie, 60)

Visions are not complete until they have been set down and stepped away from, turned this way and that in the hand. (101)

Marie does not wonder why so few of her nuns have the capacity to think for themselves; she saw from the first moment she arrived that this was planted deep in the design of the monastic life. (130)

If one looks hard at even the most powerful magic, one can see nimble human hands. (Marie, 138)

Her women are always underestimated. (139)

At least Marie understands the limits imposed upon her; Eleanor in her great arrogance believes herself to be free. (147)

Aging is a constant loss; all the things considered essential in youth prove with time that they are not. (177)

And in singing they came closest to prayer, for singing is the very heart of the heart of prayer... (180)

The winter is a sheet of parchment that the small feet of birds, of vixens, of hares, write upon. (193)

Marie is always at her best when there is someone to fight. (199)

Only an old woman with pity in her heart. A rather common form of goodness.
Marie tells her gently...that such goodness can seem common only to those who see holiness in places where it is not. (207)

She has known prayers in her life, but before tonight it has been prayer like sending a coin with a wish into a body of water, it was hope dispersed vaguely outward....Even in prayer she was rebelling. (225)

...if you minister enough to any adult body, you will discover the frightened child hiding within it. The greater the protestations of power, the smaller the child. (229)

To think: all the hatred so deep inside Marie when she was young has, through the pressure of time, somehow turned to love. (233)

For I am all poured out like water. (238)

Of course Marie did have a greatness in her, but greatness was not the same as goodness. (244) ( )
  JennyArch | Nov 17, 2021 |
A royal bastard is made Prioress at an Abbey mismanaged into poverty and turns it into a rich foundation over the course of half a century. The language is lush and sometimes dreamy and it seems all the bits that would interest me are off stage, the spying, the political connections. The handling of visions is interesting and rather believable in the revelatory suitability of the plans inspired. ( )
  quondame | Nov 5, 2021 |
Filling in Marie’s Missing Pieces

Let’s start off reviewing Lauren Groff’s latest, Matrix, by remembering another Matrix, perhaps the springboard for the novel, Marie de France. This Marie, like Groff’s Marie, lived in the 12th century, was of French origin, of Aquitaine, living most of her life in England. Marie de France wrote long-form narrative poetry that, among other things, gave birth to chivalric romance popular in the High Middle Ages and beyond. And her writing was iconoclastic for the time. But apart from her name and her writing, little else is known about her, and so what an interesting opportunity to conjure a life for her, that of a nun who writes a journal of her exploits, devotion, and loves, who takes nearly defunct abbey and through vision, divine and temporal, organization, compassion, and hard work, molds it into a shining, thriving enclave of women. Thus, in lyrical style, Groff tells the tale of Marie, cast out to realize her best life.

The novel opens with Marie at 17 sent away from Eleanor of Aquitaine’s court to the poorest of poor abbeys in England to serve as prioress under the aging abbess. She, of course, hates being tossed out by Eleanor, whom she adores, but in due course forms bonds, one intimate, with other new members. Almost from the beginning, she works to make improvements, and with the passing of the abbess assumes the role herself. She expands the holdings of the abbey and its income by bringing the nobles of the region to heel. She organizes her charges into productive groups managing all the affairs of the abbey, from field, to bakery, to infirmary, to their spiritual lives, and as she does, allows the women to take solace in themselves. And all this, the good and the bad, she diligently records in her personal papers kept secret during her life but discovered by the new abbess upon her death, suffering a fate the real life Marie de France didn’t, at least not totally.

As Marie de France imbued her work with the details of life and realistic views of life as it was lived, so Groff provides a good deal of background detailing the grittiness of life in the High Middle Ages and of a woman who carves her place in her times by asserting herself on many levels, among them as the matrix, or mother, of a community of women who prosper on their own.
( )
  write-review | Nov 4, 2021 |
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