Sep 23, 2011

Lit Review: There Came a Surgeon

Having put aside my classics for a while, I have decided to review some of the most significant pieces of literature that grace my shelves. Today's review will be on a piece of avant-garde feminist literature from the mid sixties. This book has everything: Sweeping romance, philosophy, drama, good and evil in its starkest forms.

Tite: There Came a Surgeon

Author: Hilda Pressley

Cover Art:

Summary: "Another child's toy, another girl's boy, it was all the same to Elvira. Whatever Alison had, Elvira had to try and snatch it from her-even to the extent of becoming a nurse in Alison's hospital.

And Alison never realized how much she minded Elvira until Steven Hartley joined the hospital staff...


Pertinent selections from the text:

During the meal she noticed he gave her an odd puzzled look every now and then. She was tempted to ask him what was the matter, but she found she was curious about him, too. She had the impression that he was well used to entertaining the opposite sex. Not merely because of his courtesy--though Alison had rarely been made to feel so feminie, so precious--it was his whole manner. She found difficulty in putting a name to it. It was something in the nature of a quality which was absent in Johhny. Yet she had the impression that this man could be very, very masterful indeed when he chose. (pp. 54-55).



"There's no reason at all, of course," Stephen said, 'why people shouldn't take a drug like a tranquillizer to allay anxiety and nervous tension in special circumstances, just as drugs are taken for pain or any disorder of the body. The trouble begins when people come to rly on them too much. Then, drugs are taking the place of character. Instead of learning to deal with life and its problems they turn to a tablet or pill."

"like drowning their sorrows in drink," contributed Alison.

"That's right. And of course that solves nothing, only makes matters worse."

"I suppose, in a sense, it's on a par with treating mastoididtis with aspirin."

"Exactly. Half the time people ought to be visiting a psychiatrist instead of a physician."

Alison considered this. "Even that can be a sort of handing over to somebody else instead of grappling with the problems themselves, can't it? Except in special circumstances."

Stephen smiled. "Perhaps I should have said clergyman instead of psychiatrist. Or do you think that even then, people should do their own homework?"

"Well, yes, I do think so. How does the old hymn go? Something about: "Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in Prayer."

"I see what you mean." He looked at her interestedly. "Are you a deeply religious person, Alison?"
pp. 114


Elvira looked at the lipstick and Alison saw that old, familiar sly smile appear on her face.

"Where did it come from?"

"From where you left it," Alison told her. "Or rather, from where you put it--in Mr. Hartley's car."

The smile vanished. "What do you mean, where I put it?"

"I think you know," Alison said as gently as she could. "It hasn't worked, you know, Elivra. Neither has planting all kinds of things belonging to Johhny in my flat."

Now an angry flush appeared on Elvira's cheeks. "I don't know what you're talking about. If this is why you invited me here--"

pp. 144


Elvira clung to the railings, a litle pale, but her jaw set obstinately. "you can talk until you're blue in the face, but I shan't budge on your say-so."

..."You want Steven to come. Is that it?"

Elvira gazed out across the expanse of sky. "He got the man down from the roof in your ward."

...Elvira was standing sideways on the parapet, but the top half of her body was screwed round so that she could hold the rail with both hands. As Alison finished speaking she made a sudden movement which caused Alison's heart to leap, thinking Elvira would slip. But she leaned over the top rail, her face distorted with emotion. "I hate you! I hate you, do you hear?" Her voice rose to a screaming pitch, then became hysterical as she repeated: "hate you, hate you, hate you!" She burst into a flood of the most heart-rending weeping.

Alison moved swiftly towards her and put her arm around the girl comfortingly. "Elvira dear, I'm sorry. But it was better out than in. COme along now, one foot at a time and you'll be safe."

To her great relief Elvira returned to safety, sobbing as though her heart would break. Then she almost fell into Alison's arms. "Oh, Alison--"

"There now, don't worry dear, Everything will be all right. I know you love Steven. So do I. But shall I tell you something? He doesn't love me either. And my heart's almost breaking, too."

pp. 177-178

unfortunately the last page of the work has been ripped in half, so I will only include the words that I can decipher, of the last paragraph of the book:

"arling," he said softly. "if you... een searching for you, how...at last I've found you...ever intend letting you go." ... pulled his face down to


pp.188

Clearly (as you see) There Came a Surgeon is a classic, and a must-read.

4 comments:

Putz said...

to let you cross at my crossing you would have to !1. tell me your politics<>><<><>2. tell me i am funny and cute<><><><><>3. tell me that eventually you would let your wonderful kids cross at least when they reach college age<><>4. read my post on idahonians like i asked you too<><><>5. be home when i visit

Putz said...

oh oh oh you are in pinedale california apparantly visiting your mom{with all the kids or are you breaking from them????}

Putz said...

and appartently spending all your time reading soppy romantic love novels that are pure fiction

Putz said...

well i just can't wait for you to say it,.,.,,.IT<><> you will eventually and whooseit indicated there is really only ONE left, now, so i will say his name<><>,.ron paul<<><>so sarha say it<><><>i am waiting for you so i don't have to be the one who is a mormon that goes against huntsman and romeonely<><>this must be the place for just me, my fourth post right here but the most important thing that i can say is ron paul ron paul