William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

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William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:03 pm

Stephen King joins William Golding centenary celebrations

Horror master jumped at request to write introduction for new, anniversary edition of Lord of the Flies, says publisher

Alison Flood guardian.co.uk, Monday 11 April 2011 15.35 BST


Stephen King's new introduction to William Golding's Lord of the Flies has been warmly received by publishers Faber & Faber. Photograph: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Both are famous for chronicling the darker side of adolescence, but where William Golding won a Nobel prize for his work, so far Stephen King has had to settle for bestsellerdom. Now King is writing a new introduction to Golding's seminal novel Lord of the Flies, as part of celebrations later this summer to mark 100 years since Golding's birth.

King rarely contributes introductions but, said publisher Faber & Faber, jumped at the chance to write one for Lord of the Flies when he was approached. The bestselling horror writer named Castle Rock, the fictional Maine town which features in many of his books, after the area that Jack makes his fort in Golding's novel, while a copy of Golding's book plays a role in King's novel Hearts in Atlantis.

"The dark powers of childhood are what King has been so interested in writing about," said Hannah Griffiths, who is publishing the book for Faber in August. "We only approached him because we knew he loved the book – writers like him must get 50 requests a day. [But] he was back on email really quickly and said 'I don't do a lot of these but this one I've got to do'."

King delivered his introduction ahead of deadline, and has written about how he first came across and read Lord of the Flies as well as giving his critical perspective on the novel. "It's quite autobiographical," said Griffiths, who described the introduction as "beyond my wildest dreams". There are "so many boring combos" of authors and introductions out there, she added, but King and Golding "is just the best combination of writers ever".

Faber hopes the new introduction, and a fresh look for the book, will send Lord of the Flies to the top of the book charts again, 57 years after it was first published in 1954. "We sell a lot of copies every year of Lord of the Flies [but] our goal in July is to make it a bestseller again," said Griffiths.

The publisher is also marking the centenary of Golding's birth with a new edition of his novel The Inheritors, with an introduction by John Carey, as well as a memoir by his daughter Judy Golding, The Children of Lovers, which is published in May. In addition, it will open its archives for a Golding exhibition this autumn.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Thu May 19, 2011 5:43 pm

The Children of Lovers by Judy Golding – review

William Golding's daughter attempts to bring him to life

Ian Sansom The Guardian, Saturday 14 May 2011


The author William Golding. Photograph: Paul Schutzer/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

In a long-forgotten review of a long-forgotten book, Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell, the much-racked William Golding wrote: "We walk among the layers of disintegrating coral, along the straggling line of 'brown sea-wrack, dizzy with jumping sand hoppers'. We stand among the flotsam, the odd shoes and tins, hot-water bottles and skulls of sheep or deer. We know nothing. We look daily at the appalling mystery of plain stuff. We stand where any upright food-gatherer has stood, on the edge of our unconscious, and hope, perhaps, for the terror and excitement of the print of a single foot." In The Children of Lovers Golding's daughter, Judy, goes beachcombing for her father.


The Children of Lovers: A memoir of William Golding by his daughter by Judy Golding

John Carey's official biography, William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies (2009), was a scholarly, cool-headed examination of Golding's life and work that presented a "deeply self-examining and self-blaming man", frustrated and obsessed by his personal and professional failings. In his famous journal, quoted by Carey, Golding wrote: "One day . . . people will examine my life, and they will come to the conclusion that I am a monster and possibly they will finally say tout comprendre and all that. They will think they know all but they won't. No matter how deep they dig they won't reach the root that has made me a monster in deed, word and thought."

Judy Golding digs deep in The Children of Lovers, but still no root, no monster. Probably there's no root to be found: at bottom, it's all disintegrating coral. She offers glimpses of the depths, but it turns out they're the same depths as everyone else's. She discusses, for example, what motivated her father as a writer, and it turns out that what motivated the Nobel prizewinner is the same as what motivates you and I. "He was strong, full of self-will, full of the need to succeed, to be different from and better than his peers. It was that need which helped him become a writer. He told me privately once . . . that he wrote Lord of the Flies partly to prove he wasn't 'just an ordinary schoolteacher'." Golding ended up, of course, as an extraordinary schoolteacher: at the height of his fame, he would opine: "To go on being a schoolmaster so that I should have time to write novels was a tactic I employed in the struggle of life. But life, clever life, has got back at me. My first novel ensured that I should be treated for the rest of my days as a schoolmaster only given a longer tether."

A man on a long tether, Golding kept his family close – and they, in return, worshipped him. "I felt complete, unquestioning love for him long before I knew the word love," writes Judy Golding, like one of the neanderthals in The Inheritors observing the god-like homo sapiens. "I copied him. I tried to be left-handed. I deepened my voice. I ran downstairs the way he did, lightly and with toes turned out." Her mother, Ann, felt the same: "She would follow him anywhere."

The Children of Lovers, at its best, is a set of projections, of shimmering surfaces. The complete picture emerges only through the constant play of light and dark, an effect of contrast and adjacency: "I need to make these two men one . . . the warm, embracing man I adored, and the indifferent, sometimes self-centred, occasionally cruel man, who could drink too much, could be crushing, contemptuous, defeating, deadening. This is hard."

It's worth it. With his biblical beard, his jaundiced eye, his journals, and his enthusiasms, Golding has long been ill-served by devotees and detractors – treated like a guru, or a charlatan. "People sometimes took me to task," his daughter recalls, "for treating him like an ordinary person. Alastair Sim's wife once upbraided me for saying my father wasn't very good at tennis – which he certainly wasn't – as if I was committing sacrilege." It's only family who are granted the gift of double-focus. Up until now, the closest anyone has come to getting the full picture was the scholar and critic Stephen Medcalf, who taught Judy at university, and who became a friend of Golding's, and who wrote some years ago in an appreciation: "He looks somewhat like a bear – only a small bear. It is the hardest thing to hold in one's mind about him and indeed about his whole family that with a force of personality that makes one remember them all as huge, they are actually all – Bill, Ann, David and Judy – short."

Some seem shorter in stature than others. Golding's wife is dwarfed and diminished in her daughter's imagination. "When I was small, he brought me comfort and safety. He had a round solidity that my mother did not." She "was not motherly by nature". The Goldings' son, David, who had a nervous breakdown, is also overshadowed. "However complex and unfathomable the causes of David's illness were, my father saw himself and his behaviour unsparingly, as a contributory factor. I wouldn't wish such a belief on my worst enemy. I am very sorry for him, all the more so because I think he was at least partly right."

"One of the attractions for me in writing this memoir," she admits, "has been the tantalising prospect of bringing my father to life again." The prospect is fulfilled. Here is Golding, shuffling around in his old naval clothes, indulging in amateur dramatics, drinking heavily, forever tempted by glamorous 20-year-olds on American college campuses, and furiously practising the piano, "an inexorable sight-reader". Flotsam. Footprints. The mystery of plain stuff.

Ian Sansom's Mobile Library series is published by Fourth Estate.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:24 am

Lord of the Flies cover designs - the shortlisted pictures

On Saturday we announce the winner of our joint competition with publishers Faber to design a new cover for the schools' edition of Lord of the Flies. Here's the shortlist

guardian.co.uk, Friday 17 February 2012 14.51 GMT

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:26 am


Tribal Pig by Amrita Robertson aged 13. Photograph: Amrita Robertson

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:28 am


Dancing Round the Fire by Avinda Cabandugama aged 14. Photograph: Avinda Cabandugama

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:31 am


Into the Mouth of the Beast by Amy Baxter aged 15. Photograph: Amy Baxter

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:33 am


Print by Beth Squire aged 13. Photograph: Beth Squire

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:36 am


Buzzzzzzz by Eliza Powell aged 14. Photograph: Eliza Powell

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:39 am


Painted boy by Daniel O'Connor aged 16. Photograph: Daniel O'Connor

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:41 am


Painted Face by Ellie Scorah aged 16. Photograph: Ellie Scorah

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:44 am


Ritual by Billy Hermon aged 14. Photograph: Billy Hermon

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:48 am


Lord of the Flies by Harriet Marshall aged 13. Photograph: Harriet Marshall

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:50 am


Lord of the Flies cover by James Laszcz aged 14. Photograph: James Laszcz

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:53 am


Untitled by Josie Connolly aged 14. Photograph: Josie Connolly

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:57 am


Fire by Matthew McDougal aged 13. Photograph: Matthew McDougal

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:00 am


Untitled by Madeleine Wilson aged 15. Photograph: Madeleine Wilson

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:03 am


Beautiful Savage by Laurel Constanti Crosby aged 13. Photograph: Laurel Constanti Crosby

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:06 am


The Devil Within by Naomi Bartholomew aged 14. Photograph: Naomi Bartholomew

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:11 am


Savage Triumph Sahaya James aged 13. Photograph: Sahaya James

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:14 am


Survival by Ryan M aged 13. Photograph: Ryan M

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:17 am


Beast Head by Sam Glynn aged 13. Photograph: Sam Glynn

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:20 am


The Island by Ned Prizeman aged 14. Photograph: Ned Prizeman

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:28 am


Moon and Stars Come out to Play Havoc by Sam Johnston aged 15. Photograph: Sam Johnston

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:30 am


Lord of the Flies by Ranya Zerrouki aged 13. Photograph: Ranya Zerrouki

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Re: William Golding's The Lord of the Flies

Post  eddie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:35 am

^

To all of which I say 'Bravo!'

There's a cumulative depth of understanding of the themes of Golding's book in the work of these youngsters to rival, or even surpass, the now defunct but very learned ATUI thread on "The Lord of the Flies".

The comparatively tender age of the artists might account for this.

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