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Book review and technical detail THE MANTICORE ~ Robertson Davies

Technical detail of THE MANTICORE ~
author Robertson Davies
ISBN 114580
Language English
Category Fiction & Literature
Publisher Penguin Classics
Pages 288
Publishing Date 1st January, 1970

Book Reviews:

Fifth Business (1970) reintroduced Mr. Davies after more than ten years to a very appreciative audience and some of the same characters appear here although the two novels are quite independent. Davies is a thoughtful, tasteful mediator in human affairs and while the earlier book was concerned with "moral bookkeeping," the audit here is psychoanalytical, attempting to release the submerged life of feeling of a rigid rationalist. He's David Staunton, a most successful Toronto lawyer, who suddenly finds he's lost control of himself in a theater shouting "Who killed Boy Staunton" -- his father. Staunton senior had been found in his car at the bottom of a harbor with a stone in his mouth -- pink granite. After this showy beginning calculated to arrest your attention, Staunton goes to the Jung Institute in Zurich where under the quiet Johanna von Haller he undertakes a Jungian analysis. Dr. von Haller keeps the Jungian cabalism to a minimum although you will be inducted from anima to persona to archetype (the manticore) while Staunton is forced to reconstruct/revise his relationships -- primarily the lack of them -- with his father, the non-existent women in his life, and his mother whom he was led to suspect had an affair with Dunstan Ramsay (a principal character in the previous book). The last inset which leaves David Staunton still uncommitted and which has also featured some startling circumstantialities suggests that this account may be resumed, if only to determine whether David will continue to live only the half life of the mind (esse in lntellectu solo). One questions whether all readers of the earlier book will be as comfortable in the penumbra of the collective unconscious; still Davies is a donnish, civilized and discreet guide. He also returns the novel to its primary domain so that it serves its resident characters on the level of insight rather than sensation.

Hailed by the Washington Post Book World as "a modern classic," Robertson Davies’s acclaimed Deptford Trilogy is a glittering, fantastical, cunningly contrived series of novels, around which a mysterious death is woven. The Manticore—the second book in the series after Fifth Business—follows David Staunton, a man pleased with his success but haunted by his relationship with his larger-than-life father. As he seeks help through therapy, he encounters a wonderful cast of characters who help connect him to his past and the death of his father.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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