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Silk

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  21,518 Ratings  ·  1,655 Reviews
When an epidemic threatens to destroy the silk trade in France, the young merchant Herve Joncour leaves his doting wife and his comfortable home in the small town of Lavilledieu and travels across Siberia to the other end of the world, to Japan, to obtain eggs for a fresh breeding of silk worms. It is the 1860s; Japan is closed to foreigners and this has to be a clandestin ...more
Paperback, 91 pages
Published August 25th 1998 by Vintage Books USA (first published 1996)
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(showing 1-30)
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TK421
Apr 25, 2012 TK421 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
I never imagined I would like a book where the main character makes a living by buying silkworms. But I did. In fact, I not only liked it, I loved it. SILK is easily one of the top ten books I have read in the past eighteen months or so. It has a sparse writing style, and passages are repeated almost verbatim in no less than three different spots. The characters are there, fully realized, but at the same time, each character is a mystery or a ghost without definite shape. The prose is smooth, dr ...more
Huda Yahya

أن تموت شوقًا إلى شئ لن تجربه أبدا

دع أناملك تنزلق على خيوط الحرير
دع مشاعرك تنساب نعومة لتختلط بمشاق الحياة
فتخففها حينا
وتبرزها حينا

ولا تنس
هذا الحرير أدمى قلوب يرقات صغيرات
كدّت وتعبت كي تتمتع أنت بهذا الملمس
وهذا الشعور

إنه نزيفهن وذروة كفاحهن
ذلك الكفاح الذي لا يجنين من ورائه شيئا

ولكن تذكر أيضا أن الحرير ذو متانة عالية
فهن لسن منكسرات أو ضعيفات
أنهن ينضحن قوة لا تعرف مداها بعد

::::::::::::::::::

على هذه المفارقة يلعب باريكو لعبته الصغيرة تلك
ويكتب رواية بساطتها لا تقلل من جمالها أو عمقها

تبدو الرواية ك
...more
Chiara Pagliochini
« Dicevano che era un truffatore. Dicevano che era un santo. Qualcuno diceva: ha qualcosa addosso, come una specie di infelicità. »

Ordine, prego! Silenzio in aula. Silenzio, prego (due colpi col martelletto).
La Corte di Giustizia si riunisce oggi per decretare l’assoluzione o la condanna a pena da stabilirsi per il signor Baricco Alessandro, classe 1958.
Tra i capi d’accusa imputati al signor Baricco, ricordiamo: “faciloneria”, “faccia da ruffiano”, “spocchia”, “ammiccamenti al lettore”, “egoce
...more
Kalliope
Apr 03, 2013 Kalliope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This read was a nice break after reading long books. Silk reads like a gauzy flowing breeze. An almost fairy tale with the exotic as background and with travel and some suspense as some of its most palpable elements, it is a not an easy book to put down, precisely because it is so easy to read. The next short chapter with big print draws you immediately in until you suddenly reach the end. As a tale it also has an element of the oral tradition, with periodic repetitions to help its audience reme
...more
Mike Puma
Aug 14, 2015 Mike Puma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italian-author, 2015

Very briefly: After seeing the unfortunate, movie tie-in edition’s cover, I had an Oh-No! It’s a Romance moment. So I read, disregarding the cover, defiantly at times. And I read. Read more. And all of the sudden, the airiness of the text, the nice use of iteration and variation, and as much as I hate to say, the plot, began working in my favor. Quotes won’t really do for this one, at least not quotes of the sort I like to liberate. It’s the absence of text, the lightest hint of language, that m

...more
Agnieszka
Feb 11, 2016 Agnieszka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, reviewed, ebook, 2016


I have a tendency to picking up doom and gloom books . But not this time , not this time . Silk evoked images of distant Japan and the girl which eyes did not have an oriental slant ; elicited thoughts about things that couldn't happen and made me ponder over pain of longing and power of patience . Beguiled me with its ephemeral beauty and deceptive simplicity and I’m not even sure what it was . Was it a fable with its repetitive phrases and unreal aura ? Was it a parable of human life wit
...more
Kelly
"I never even heard her voice."
And after a while:
"It is a strange grief."
Softly:
"To die of nostalgia for something you will never live."


I finished this in a matter of hours. My advice on this book would be: do not let that, nor its slim size, nor the whispering, simple voice that it adopts, fool you into thinking that it is insubstantial in any way. The end got to me even after my short acquaintance with the book. At times, it may feel as if you don't understand the significance of each passing
...more
Marita
Did I read that or dream it? No matter, it was beautiful...
Dolors
Mar 19, 2013 Dolors rated it it was amazing
A tale, but not a tale. A novel, but not a novel. A sad story, but not a sad story. A love story, but not a love story. Silk is everything summed up in a few lines. A masterpiece.
Jean-Paul Walshaw-Sauter

description

(Three Women Playing Musical Instruments, Katsushika Ôi)


“His life fell like rain before his eyes, a quiet spectacle.”


Hervé Joncour is a merchant of silkworms from the South of France, who travels the world for their invaluable eggs. In the autumn of 1861, the lack of healthy silkworm eggs forces him to travel to unknown territory: Japan. This country is both known for the supreme quality of its silk as well as for its antipathy towards foreigners:

“In those days Japan was, in effect, on the other
...more
Magrat Ajostiernos
Dec 13, 2016 Magrat Ajostiernos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Una historia melancólica, triste, sutil, evocadora.
Se lee de una sentada pero deja un buen poso tras de sí
Evan
Aug 13, 2016 Evan rated it really liked it

"He wasn't much cut out for serious conversations. And a goodbye is a serious conversation."

OK, for 125 pages I'm reading this thinking, "three stars, nice little story, fast read; wish more novelists could tell a sweeping romantic adventure tale with such dispatch. Vivid, enjoyable, and even educational, but no great shakes."

And then I get to the end, and realize the power of the wife's desire. What she does. How he realizes what she did, and how she had felt. How she knew about his inner life,
...more
Lynne King
Although his father had pictured for him a brilliant future in the army, Hervé Joncour had ended up earning his crust in an unusual career which, by a singular piece of irony, was not unconnected with a charming side that bestowed on it a vaguely feminine intonation.

Hervé Joncour bought and sold silkworms for a living. The year was 1861. Flaubert was writing Salammbo, electric light remained hypothetical, and Abraham Lincoln, beyond the Ocean, was fighting a war of which he was not to see the
...more
Carmo
Jul 13, 2016 Carmo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italia, bib-p
Segundo o autor, este livro não é um romance, nem um conto; é uma história; mas não é uma história comum, acrescento eu. Deve lêr-se como uma história de encantar, um conto das mil e uma noites, sem racionalizar ou tentar encontrar razoabilidade nas personagens e na ação. Sendo assim temos uma escrita leve e macia como a seda e uma história que fala de desejos, de sonhos e de amores - dolorosos, impossíveis e às vezes vividos intensamente.
Mohamed Al Marzooqi
قراءة هذه الرواية تشبه تمرير راحة اليد على قطعة قماش من الحرير؛ سينتابك شعور لذيذ وأناملك تنزلق على خيوط الحرير، سرعان ما سيختفي عندما تصل سريًعا، وبسبب النعومة الفائقة للحرير ، إلى نهاية القطعة!
Mikela
I found myself totally captivated by this odd yet hauntingly beautiful story of love. This short little book fills its pages with so much mystery, suspense and love that I found myself wanting to read it again and again, gaining more from it with each reading, yet never quite knowing it completely, never quite finding answers to my many questions, but able to accept that. I loved the author's use of repetition as emphasis as well as his sparse style of writing with prose that smoothly moves the ...more
charta
Mar 02, 2013 charta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa, europa
Prestito di una prestigiosa docente universitaria l'ho letto con religiosa attenzione. E una volta finito mi sono chiesta se sono cretina io o Baricco è sopravvalutato. C'era bisogno di scrivere un libro incentrato sul manierismo geishizzante e sullo stupor occidentale davanti ai topoi della femminilità giapponese? Bastava un articolo di fondo se proprio se ne sentiva l'urgenza di parlarne.
Simona Bartolotta
"E' uno strano dolore, morire di nostalgia per qualcosa che non vivrai mai."

Prima di questo ho letto Oceano mare, libro che, devo ammettere, non ho apprezzato più tanto.
E inizio a pensare che il problema sia mio.
Dopo Seta, continuo imperterrita a non capire Baricco.
Lettura piacevole, per carità, ma non ti lascia nulla. Dicono che nei libri di Baricco non si deve prestare attenzione alla storia, ma a ciò che la storia vuole comunicare. Come la mettiamo se la storia non comunica niente?
Ti sciv
...more
Francisco
Apr 19, 2008 Francisco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novela, italianos
Novela muy, muy breve, aquilatada al máximo, de gran profundidad, con muchos hilos abiertos... estupenda y con un gran recorrido. Más que leerla, la he bebido.
¡Qué triste es descubrir el amor después de haberlo perdido!
Teresa
Um homem num corrupio entre França e Japão para comercializar bichos-da-seda. É casado com uma mulher que ama, está apaixonado por outra que vive no Japão, e que não é japonesa, e dorme com uma oriental que a que não é oriental lhe "disponibiliza".
No final, temos uma cena de "erotismo contido" através da leitura de uma carta, lida por uma mulher a um homem que pensa ter sido escrita por uma e afinal foi escrita por outra.
Tudo isto e muito mais em 123 páginas, 65 capítulos e letra tamanho 20, n
...more
Simona
Feb 27, 2016 Simona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un haiku occidental în proză, puțin peste o sută de pagini.
Un poem epic de o muzicalitate desăvârșită, despre real si imaginar, sub pretextul unei diafane povești de dragoste franco-japoneze, în care protagonistul se îndrăgostește (ori cel puțin așa crede) de un soi de nălucă, de o fata morgana orientală, a cărei existență care se va dovedi a fi, în cele din urmă, incertă.
O poveste simplă și totuși foarte concentrată, plină de mesaje subtile despre lucrurile pe care le căutăm în depărtare, dar
...more
Samidha Kalia
This was the best book I've read in my entire life. It's only 60 paragraphs but it talked to me on so many levels.
Phenomenal writing and phenomenal work.
And just sixty paragraphs. Damn.
Susana
Sep 07, 2016 Susana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(review in English below)

Um pequeno livro, com 123 páginas que corresponderão a metade, ou menos, dado o tamanho da fonte e os espaçamentos.
Na capa diz "romance" mas é mais um conto grande, do qual gostei muito.

Não sei se faz algum sentido, pois não leio nada de Somerset Maugham há muito tempo (mais de 20 anos, acho eu), mas fez-me lembrar os contos deste autor...
A escrita é muito bonita, sem grandes floreados mas com algumas pérolas ("Mantinha os lábios entreabertos, parecia a pré-história de
...more
Pooya Kiani
این کتاب بر اساس فراز و فرودهای یک سمفونی نوشته شده.
من رو از هفتاد درصد به بعد شدیدا جذب کرد. مشکل از من بود که جذبش نشده بودم البته.
وقتی که حوصله ی یک داستان سورئالیستی رمانس دارید بخونیدش، ناامیدتون نمی کنه.
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 12, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Nenette; Rhys
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Must Read Books; Tata J
Shelves: 1001-core
What I liked most about this book is its story telling approach: direct, brief, concise without sacrificing the plot. It is as if you are reading a tragic love story that is told almost like a telegram. Okay, it is a bit exaggerated considering that this was originally written in Italian and published in 1958 but was translated into English in 1997. Which means that they could be somehow something that got lost in translation. I know a little of Italian, having finished my Basic Italian course l ...more
Jorge
Nov 13, 2015 Jorge rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una belleza de libro, lleno de artificios que nos hacen caer en la melancolía. Obra elaborada a base de frases cortas que expresan sentimientos grandes y profundas cavilaciones. Una pequeña perla en el fondo del mar que desde la superficie no es posible apreciar, pero que sumergiéndose a las profundidades se puede ir distinguiendo y apreciando su discreto y bello esplendor.

La magia de este libro consiste, tal vez, en que el autor sólo requiere de dos o tres pinceladas para crear a un personaje
...more
Samuel Ch.
Sep 26, 2011 Samuel Ch. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Samuel by: Turris
Shelves: biblioteca
Una historia elegante, delicada, sutil; como la seda misma. El texto encanta por la sobriedad de la narración, por su historia apasible de personajes serenos. Leer Seda es también tocar seda, es palpar la femeneidad a la distancia -la local y la extranjera-, es entrar en contacto con momentos de aire, momentos de levedad, momentos de seda.

La trama está tejida con el cuidado de una hilandería y la seriedad de un autor que sabe lo que hace. Su erotismo es exacto y el juego con la figura de la muje
...more
Alberto Schiariti
E' proprio "boh" la parola più adatta alla sensazione che mi ha lasciato questo libro. Leggere un libro di Baricco è un po' come giocare al Lotto. Io ho amato Novecento, ma comincio a sospettare che sia colpa della trasposizione cinematografica che ho visto prima di leggere il libro. Caso raro, ma il sospetto si insidia.

Seta è un libro in bilico tra la cagata e la poesia. Strana oscillazione, ma c'è da una parte una trama veramente molto povera e lineare, una quantità di pagine infima e una desc
...more
Mohammad
May 22, 2015 Mohammad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رنجی شگفت انگیز است ؛ مردن از درد غربت عشقی که هرگز با آن نخواهی زیست

ترجمه دل آرا قهرمان ، عالی بود ، زیبا و ادبی
Ilaria Viola
Feb 08, 2016 Ilaria Viola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-È uno strano dolore. Morire di nostalgia per qualcosa che non vivrai mai.-

Così breve ma così forte.
Una lettura che mi ha lasciato qualcosa di intenso e emozionante.
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Café Literario: This topic has been closed to new comments. Seda de Alessandro Baricco (Reseña) 2 23 Nov 19, 2016 03:53AM  
Boxall's 1001 Bo...: Silk 10 236 May 30, 2016 12:11PM  
Question about Silk 5 84 May 11, 2013 12:39PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publishing date 3 56 Mar 25, 2013 03:39AM  
صدر حديثا - كتب و...: الحرير - أليساندرو باريكو 1 42 Oct 27, 2012 05:46PM  
Around the World: Italy: Chel recommends Silk 1 10 Jan 02, 2012 07:20PM  
Question: 2 64 Aug 30, 2008 06:01PM  
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Alessandro Baricco is a popular Italian writer, director and performer. His novels have been translated into a wide number of languages, and include Lands of Glass, Silk, Ocean Sea, City, and Without Blood. His theatrical monologue, Novecento, was adapted into film, titled The Legend of 1900.

He currently lives in Rome with his wife and two sons.
More about Alessandro Baricco...

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“إنه ألمٌ غـريب , أن تموت من الحنين لشـيء.. لم تعشـه أبداً” 169 likes
“It's a strange grief… to die of nostalgia for something you you will never live.” 152 likes
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