23 June, 2013
The Green Child by Herbert Read (1935)
Based on a 12th century Suffolk legend about the appearance of two green-skinned children this, Read's only novel, is utterly unique. The three distinct sections of the story are so contrasting that the juxtaposition simply shouldn't work, but somehow it does. Read, a poet, anarchist and proponent of education through art, pens prose that can be serenely beautiful. Indeed, The Green Child is such a singular work, its meaning so slippery - seemingly eternal yet fleeting and trivial at the same time - that it has been quietly meditating in a corner of my mind for a while as its many layers slowly crystalise.