If the mediator finds a way … – Book Art News

‘The Mediator’, which has been adapted many times to theaters and movies, is considered one of the most important names in twentieth century English literature as a masterpiece by LP Hartley. Hartley immerses the reader in the long and hot summer life of the early 1900s, into the world of the child who sees the world of nobility through his own lens.

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LP Hartley, full name Leslie Pauls Hartley CBE, was born 30 December 1895 and died 13 December 1972. Novelist and short story writer. Although his first work was published in 1924, he made a name for himself with the trilogy ‘Eustace and Hilda’, which began to be published in 1944, and ‘Mediator’, which was published in 1953. ‘Mediator’ has been adapted many times for stage and movie. We know him for his adaptation of the movie Joseph Losley, starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates.
The novel begins in 1900 when an adult narrator finds a diary from his 13th birthday. The phrases in the notebook, many of which seem mysterious, remind him of those days.
Leo is invited as a guest to Brandham Hall, the home of Marcus Modsley, a lower school student, in the belief that he has a spelling ability, trying to protect himself from the oppressive environment of the boarding school. As a middle-class boy like himself, life in this palace is very different and there are many rules and regulations that he does not know.
Marcus’s older sister Marian and all the family members help Leo adapt to the environment. This relationship created friendship between Leo and Marian. Meanwhile, Leo has begun to develop an admirable love for the young girl.
Marian takes advantage of this loving friendship and hires Leo as a postman for her relationship with young farmer Ted Burgess.
Because of their social class differences, Marian and Ted’s love has to be kept very secret. There is no question of them living together or getting married. Even knowing about their relationship can lead to a big scandal and bad consequences. Meanwhile, the original owner of the Marian Estate, Viscount Trimmingham, is set to be hired.

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Realizing that Marian and Ted’s relationship was a love affair, Leo, who befriended Viscount Trimmingham, began to feel uncomfortable with this postal job. He wants to quit the job, but the stress created by Marian and Ted prevents him from leaving the post office and leaves Leo in a state of emotional turmoil. Confused between middle-class upbringing and upper-class rules, Leo’s misguided decisions and childish actions turned the incident into a tragedy.
The most important feature of ‘Mediator’ is that it successfully says everything through the eyes of a teenager. As is commonly seen, the child does not change during the development of the novel and becomes the mouthpiece of the author. So he is not an adult narrator. Leo’s shamelessness and outward appearance continue throughout the novel.
Hartley successfully describes the state of the aristocracy at the end of the Victorian era and their relationship to other social strata, with the changes of the new era and the effects of the ongoing war.

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When Mediator was published in 1953, it was met with enthusiasm by both critics and readers. The book became a bestseller when it was published in the United States. It has been translated into many languages. Hartley, who was previously seen as a mediocre writer and did not draw much attention, gained praise from other writers. For example, WH Auden stated that he had read the book and that it was Hartley’s favorite novel. His friends also found many similarities between the novel’s protagonist Leo and Hartley. Known as a staunch moralist, Hartley wanted the “mediator” to be a novel that offered his own explanations of innocence and the loss of morality, but he expressed sympathy for characters who were shocked to think readers should hate.
Hartley is a very good speaker. It immediately immerses the reader in the world of the child who sees life in the long and hot summer of the early 1900s, the world of nobility, through its own lens. ‘Mediator’ is a classic work that has endured with both its narrative skills and a different approach to the subject. I hope Hartley doesn’t take a job in Turkish, but translates his other important books.

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Mediator
LP Hartley
Translated by Duigu Ugur
Communication Publications, 2022
283 pages.

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