Jill A subtle and moving account of a young English undergraduate from the provinces this portrait of Oxford during the war is now regarded by man critics as a classic of its kind Jill is in a sense a k

  • Title: Jill
  • Author: Philip Larkin
  • ISBN: 9780571268115
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • A subtle and moving account of a young English undergraduate from the provinces, this portrait of Oxford during the war is now regarded by man critics as a classic of its kind Jill is, in a sense, a kind of cryptic manifesto It is a novel about writing, about discovering a literary personality, and about the sorts of consolation that art can provide Andrew Motion

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    About "Philip Larkin"

    1. Philip Larkin

      Philip Arthur Larkin, CH, CBE, FRSL, was an English poet, novelist and jazz critic He spent his working life as a university librarian and was offered the Poet Laureateship following the death of John Betjeman, but declined the post Larkin is commonly regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the latter half of the twentieth century He first came to prominence with the release of his third collection The Less Deceived in 1955 The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows followed in 1964 and 1974 In 2003 Larkin was chosen as the nation s best loved poet in a survey by the Poetry Book Society, and in 2008 The Times named Larkin as the greatest post war writer.Larkin was born in city of Coventry, West Midlands, England, the only son and younger child of Sydney Larkin 1884 1948 , city treasurer of Coventry, who came from Lichfield, and his wife, Eva Emily Day 1886 1977 , of Epping From 1930 to 1940 he was educated at King Henry VIII School in Coventry, and in October 1940, in the midst of the Second World War, went up to St John s College, Oxford, to read English language and literature Having been rejected for military service because of his poor eyesight, he was able, unlike many of his contemporaries, to follow the traditional full length degree course, taking a first class degree in 1943 Whilst at Oxford he met Kingsley Amis, who would become a lifelong friend and frequent correspondent Shortly after graduating he was appointed municipal librarian at Wellington, Shropshire In 1946, he became assistant librarian at University College, Leicester and in 1955 sub librarian at Queen s University, Belfast In March 1955, Larkin was appointed librarian at the University of Hull, a position he retained until his death.

    651 thoughts on “Jill”

    1. From BBC Radio 4 - Classical Serial:A young student arrives at Oxford and is drawn helplessly into his own imaginative world.

    2. Larkin wrote Jill during Word War II, while he was still at university and set the book in the same time and place. The writing is very good, as you would expect from a poet as good as Larkin. Words are tools he obviously has no problem using. However, the story leaves something to be desired.As I began reading the book I raced through it. Larkin writes brilliantly of the displacement felt by his main character, John Kemp, a working class freshman at Oxford University. John is "as restless as a [...]

    3. Although this one of Larkin's only two novels - all his other books were poetry, it is obvious that he would have succeeded just as well with prose. He was a wonderful writer and this is a small an ordinary story made great by way Larkin relates it.

    4. 'Jill' by Philip Larkin is a frustratingly erratic novel. It starts promisingly, then dips considerably before rallying in its final section. I came near to giving up on it during the very dull and tedious middle part of the story. I persevered with it, and I'm glad that I did. I was left with the impression, however, that it's an unremarkable novel which had it not been written by someone who went on to become a very well-known poet would probably be largely forgotten today. The principal chara [...]

    5. While he's much better known as a poet, it seems that Philip Larkin wrote a couple of novels as well. Jill tells the story of a young man, John Kemp, away from home for the first time, going up to Oxford to study English literature.Published a few years after Larkin left Oxford, there appear to be many parallels with his own life: a less privileged background, from the north of England, studied English at Oxford - apparently wrote more than he studied - during the war and would have been at risk [...]

    6. Classical Serialbbc/programmes/b006qfz6Duration: 58 minutesFirst broadcast: Sunday 31 March 2013(view spoiler)[ BBC Blurbs: Dramatised for the first time on BBC Radio 4 by Robin Brooks (Ulysses, I Claudius, The Chandler Season). Starring Samuel Barnett as John Kemp. With Jessica Raine , Richard Goulding and Frank Dillane, and introducing Grace Englert as Jill.Jill was Philip Larkin's first novel, written when he was 21 and just out of Oxford. John Kemp, a Northern Grammar boy arrives at Oxford f [...]

    7. Sorry I give everything five stars. If I hate a book I don't finish reading it! This one is beautiful.

    8. If you’re familiar with Larkin’s wearily fatalistic, self-assured, wry poetry, the first thing that will strike you about this book is how young Larkin seems; it was almost uncomfortable to read the first few passages, as it felt as though I was prying into his juvenile mind - the metaphors were so consciously tentative, most unlike his comfortably cynical poems. Written by a 21 year old Larkin in 1943-44, when he was fresh from University, 'Jill' is impressive as a debut novel for all its f [...]

    9. Larkin really slammed this so I wasn't expecting much. But really, it's more skilful than he gives it credit for. Yes, it IS a bit rough -- and I do think Larkin is a better poet than novelist -- but it is really quite enjoyable. And more skilful than expected, as I've already said. I'm afraid I didn't like Kemp so much [even as I identified with him, poor soul] but that's probably a GOOD thing, not bad, and Larkin managed to tread the balance between creating someone pathetic and yet -- quite f [...]

    10. Hard not to read this and absorb the protagonist's sensitivity and inwardness. His diffident, conventional nature causes him to be swept along by outside circumstance until his imagination and desire overwhelm him. Most surprising here was, to me at least, the kind of fantastical feel of his delusion. Or is it? In fact the college setting, impeccable writing style and feeling of increasing disturbance made this a kind of more subdued version of Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson which came out 5 yrs l [...]

    11. Philip Larkin begins my version of the novel with a self-serving introduction that pretends to apologise for the novel as a piece of "juvenilia". It does little to disguise the overwrought self-pity of the following couple of hundred pages. Jill is well-written, but incredibly self-involved. Larkin's narrative is based around one-term at Oxford University, as he idolises his room-mate, feels sorry for himself and becomes annoyingly obsessive about a multitude of things. The book is repetitive, b [...]

    12. Of Larkin's two novels, I prefer the other one. This was Larkin's first prose novel under his own name (he also wrote some short fictions under the female pseudonym Brunette Coleman that are worth checking out if you're a Larkin fan). It tells the tale of John Kemp who goes off to Oxford University. John is from a working class background and feels out of place with his self-assured and wealthy roommate. As an escape from this John creates an imaginary sister Jill whom he writes to, painting him [...]

    13. This book is so strange.First of all, nothing really happens. There aren't any huge plot twists, you don't browse the pages as quickly as you can to see what happens next. This book is very still. It's like these slow motion images of the characters' lives and their personalities. Second, I don't know whether this counts as a spoiler, but every single character in this book is detestable. Well, at least everyone who is showed more. They are flawed but to an extent were it is extremely difficult [...]

    14. I don't think any book can do existential-crisis-while-at-Oxford (or some other college) better than Brideshead Revisited, but I'm just not a huge fan of the genre outside of that. I KNOW I love Larkin, though, so perhaps there's something I'm missing.

    15. This book was stylishly written, with some wonderfully and sharply observed passages, highlighting the snobbery and carelessness of people in social circles 'above' the protagonist, who is a new undergraduate at Oxford University in the 1940s. Some have marked the book down due to the youth of the writer (21 when he wrote this), and there are certainly aspects of the style and the subject matter that denote a younger, less experienced author (it's notable in some of the perhaps belaboured metaph [...]

    16. I'm not familiar with Larkin's poetry and didn't know until finishing the novel that he published it at 21. Given this, he does a skillful job bringing to life a specific time and place (Oxford during WWII) and the inner workings of an 18-year-old male mind. I just might not have preferred to become intimately acquainted with this particular mind. John is spineless and undiscerning; I've never been so relieved to see someone progress from hapless passivity to pompous ass.It's also annoying that [...]

    17. Me gustan las novelas situadas en ambientes universitarios; Jill es una de ellas. Philip Larkin la escribió a los 20 años, cuando estaba Oxford. Por eso el retrato parece tan real, y a la vez tan parecido a un ajuste de cuentas. Allí vertió su inquina, eliminando cualquier atisbo de idealización. De sentimentalismo. Le echó hiel, retrató perfectamente la mediocridad, la soledad, entre las paredes de un college; estudiantes ricos que se codean con otros (nuestro protagonista), becados por [...]

    18. Best known of course as a poet, Larkin wrote a couple of novels - this is his earliest and he asks for the indulgence traditionally awarded juvenilia in an introduction so engaging it threatens to upstage the book, but in the end I liked the book proper quite a bit. An awkward provincial young man from Lancashire comes up to Oxford around 1940, the war hanging heavy over everything. He has a complex infatuation which starts with a girl he's invented until he meets one who is close enough to the [...]

    19. 'Jill' describes the experience of John Kemp, a Northern scholarship boy, during his first term at Oxford. Written when Larkin was only 21 and an Oxford undergraduate himself it is in some ways immature, and certainly the dialogue is amusingly old-fashioned; however its description of student life in Oxford during the war, contrasting the continuity of tradition and habit within the ancient colleges to the shock of the blitz, is interesting. John's awkwardness and introversion, and his growing i [...]

    20. An insight into the stratified world of 1940s Oxford University. A young man, John Kemp from the North of England ends up sharing a room at the University with a brash Londoner. The books shows Kemp's obsession with trying to get with the in crowd even as they mock and denigrate him at every turn. But the more they do it the more it seems to sharpen Kemp's desire to be part of their circle. Eventually he finds that Christopher's (above mentioned brash Londoner) one possible chink in a seemingly [...]

    21. A slow burner for me, as nothing much seemed to happen in the first third of the book, but I persisted, and it paid off. Larkin portrays the British class system in the microcosm of Oxford during the Second World War, when a scholarship student from the 'provinces' ends up sharing digs with a boorish and entitled idiot from the home counties. The clash of their two worlds is portrayed on different levels -- attitudes towards sex, money, family and academic effort -- in the last two-thirds of the [...]

    22. I have mixed feelings about this book. At times I couldn't put it down, and at other times I wanted to throw it across the room in frustration. It's an odd little story, and doesn't really have any satisfying resolution, and I am not really sure what the point of the story was. The writing, however, is at times superb (although there are some structural defects). I believe it was Larkin's first and only novel - and is semi-autobiographical, taking place in an Oxford college during the war.I woul [...]

    23. Philip Larkin was a poet of some note. John Kemp is a working class kid who having been coached by his English teacher, get a scholarship to Oxford during the war years. The story is a description of his social inability to fit into a society that he may have been academically trained for but not socially. He is abused by his roommate and his friends. Develops a fictional character who he finds a real person to be that character. His fixation develops to such an extent that he seems to lose his [...]

    24. Jill was Philip Larkin's first novel, written when he was 21 and just out of Oxford. John Kemp, a Northern Grammar boy arrives at Oxford for his first term. Socially awkward and inexperienced, he finds he is sharing rooms with the upper class Christopher Warner, whose brash loutish behaviour both intimidates and attracts him.Jill is a subtle and moving account of a young man facing the big issues of life - sex and class - and retreating into the world of the imagination. In effect, Jill is about [...]

    25. "Then if there was no difference between love fulfilled and love unfulfilled, how could there be any difference between any other pair of opposites? Was he not freed, for the rest of his life, from choice? For what could it matter? Let him take this course, or this course, but still behind the mind, on some other level, the way he had rejected was being simultaneously worked out and the same conclusion was being reached. What did it matter which road he took if they both led to the same place? H [...]

    26. This is at some points a touching story about a northern boy's feelings of displacement when he arrives at Oxford - a discomfort repeated in his parents' visit at the end - and the bombing of John's home-town whilst he studies in the south is an important counter-point to the question of place and where he 'belongs'. At other points, however, the protagonist is feeble, immature and simply unlikable: this is true of the 'Jill' storyline, which also highlights the characters' - and also the story' [...]

    27. Jill, was Philip Larkin's first novel, it tells the story of John Kemp and his first term at Oxford in 1942.John is a scholarship student from Huddersfield, he shares a room with Christopher Warner, a thoroughly unpleasant ex public schoolboy, who has a crowd of equally unlikeable friends. John a rather immature young man becomes dominated by his room mate, and one knows that things can only end badly.Having no characters of any merit, this was a difficult book to enjoy, I'll think I'll stick to [...]

    28. "Jill" is a wonderful story about a Young Englishman from a working class family, who attends Oxford on a scholarship, and his attempt to fit in with people from higher classes of society. Larkin has drew a very interesting portrait of life in Oxford during WWII. I also think he managed to brilliantly convey the protagonist concerns and feelings. The writing, as can be expected from Larkin, was beautiful, lively, and yet very simple

    29. This was my first Larkin , and , despite wariness of beginning with a novel when he is more known and , possibly, more valued for his poetry , I was extremely glad I did. This is a short but charming story , with a melancholy aura , as the poor narrator feels so isolated at university and almost embarrassed by his upbringing . His actions as a result of this are at first almost desperately humorous in his desire to fit in , later becoming semi-reality.

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