I started writing a review about 4 times. It doesn't work. I just loved it. It's perfect. The setting, the plot, the characters, each and every one of...moreI started writing a review about 4 times. It doesn't work. I just loved it. It's perfect. The setting, the plot, the characters, each and every one of them. And Miles, I fell for you. Big time.(less)
I read it with constant lumps in my throat, secretly hoping, wishfully thinking... It's probably the kind of book you want to get back to, every now a...moreI read it with constant lumps in my throat, secretly hoping, wishfully thinking... It's probably the kind of book you want to get back to, every now and then.
--- Let me just add that I've found the book surprisingly global, there's nothing Italian in it except the names; it could be anyone anywhere. Smart move, Paolo! Plus, I did something I'd never tried before: read a foreign book in English translation. (less)
Sometimes I'm very bad at choosing books. I read this one, for instance, because I saw a nice photo of someone reading it and the title sounded promis...moreSometimes I'm very bad at choosing books. I read this one, for instance, because I saw a nice photo of someone reading it and the title sounded promising. I had not read anything by Didion before, except an article on her, I knew nothing about the book, I jumped right in.
And then it struck me. Why am I reading a book about someone who's grieving the death of her husband when I should be very much enjoying the company of my playful baby girl and read something optimistic and fun? Why on earth is this the second book in which someone mourns the death of a spouse I read within months?
I've got no answer and the truth is I read the book in like no time, given the circumstances. Because I liked it. Because yes, the woman grieves and mourns and reads medical journals to find answers to countless questions, but she eventually finds healing and understanding and comes to peace with her controlling self (very much with the help of literature, just like Rob found his peace through music).
There isn't much to do when you're done with the book. Hugging my husband and daughter and thanking God for being with them here and now was it for me.(less)
"Surprised by Joy" este autobiografia intelectuala a lui C.S. Lewis si prezinta trecerea lui de la crestinismul din copilarie la ateism, la teism si a...more"Surprised by Joy" este autobiografia intelectuala a lui C.S. Lewis si prezinta trecerea lui de la crestinismul din copilarie la ateism, la teism si apoi la un crestinism matur. In prima parte a cartii descrie copilaria in Irlanda, relatia cu tatal si fratele lui, apoi diversele scoli si internate prin care a trecut, anii petrecuti la Oxford si experienta primului razboi mondial. Intors la Oxford dupa citiva ani, intilneste mai multi intelectuali crestini, printre care si J.R.R. Tolkien. Lecturile lui sint masive si impresionante, incepind cu mitologie [nordica, celtica si greaca:], continuind cu poetii romantici, filozofi [Aristotel, Berckeley, Hegel:], ajungind pina la autori crestini, cum ar fi Milton si G. K.Chesterton. In 1929, in timpul unei calatorii cu autobuzul [ :) ] accepta existenta lui Dumnezeu. In 1931, dupa o lunga discutie cu Tolkien si Dyson despre crestinism si mitologie, si o lunga noapte de lupta cu ideea acceptarii lui Isus ca fiinta divina, devine crestin.
Cei [ca mine:] care se astepta sa gaseasca o o trezire spectaculoasa la Realitate, vor fi usor dezamagiti. Pentru ca totul se intimpla la nivel intelectual, tot procesul e unul rational. Cartea merita oricum citita. Mi-a placut mult fragmentul in care vorbeste de intoarcerea lui din razboi, profesor fiind, si-i face prieteni pe Tolkien si H.Dyson, iar cind afla ca acestia sint crestini ajunge sa exclame: “these queer people seemed now to pop on every side!”. ;)
*** l-am gasit pe arthur stind in pat, in capul oaselor. pe masa de alaturi era un exemplar din "myths of the norsemen".
si tie iti place cartea asta? am intrebat eu.
si tie iti place cartea asta? a intrebat el.
in clipa urmatoare tineam amindoi cartea in miini, sedeam cu capetele aplecate deasupra ei, aratam cu degetul, citam, vorbeam - aproape strigam - descoperind, intr-un torent de intrebari, ca eram incintati nu doar de acelasi lucru, ci si de aceleasi fragmente si in acelasi fel; ca amindoi simtiseram sagetarea Bucuriei si ca, pentru amindoi, sageata fusese trasa din nord. mii de oameni au avut experienta descoperirii celui dintii prieten, dar ea continua sa fie o minune; o minune la fel de mare [pace romancierilor:] ca prima iubire, sau chiar mai mare. fiind departe de a crede in posibilitatea de a avea un prieten, nu tinjisem niciodata sa am unul, nu mai mult decit sa ajung regele angliei. daca as fi descoperit ca arthur concepuse in mod independent o replica exacta a lumii boxoniene, nu as fi fost din cale-afara de surprins. probabil nimic nu este mai uluitor in viata unui om decit descoperirea ca exista de fapt oameni care-i seamana foarte, foarte mult.(less)
'the four loves'  sau 'cele patru iubiri', pentru norocosii care au prins cartea de la humanitas, aparuta in 1997, impreuna cu 'problema durerii...more'the four loves'  sau 'cele patru iubiri', pentru norocosii care au prins cartea de la humanitas, aparuta in 1997, impreuna cu 'problema durerii' si 'despre minuni'.
cartea pleaca de la cei patru termeni care definesc dragostea, intilniti in noul testament: storge [afectiunea], fileo [prietenia], eros [atractia/dragostea sexuala] si agape [caritatea sau mila, in trad. romaneasca]. lewis merge pe ideea ca primele trei iubiri, cele 'naturale' sint complet diferite, rupte de agape, dragostea perfecta a lui Dumnezeu. ele sint doar umbre schiopatinde care ramin doar atit, cit timp dragostea lui Dumnezeu nu le 'vindeca' si nu le inglobeaza.
We are all receiving Charity. There is something in each of us that cannot be naturally loved. It is no one's fault if they do not so love it. Only the lovable can be naturally loved. You might as well ask people to like the taste of rotten bread or the sound of a mechanical drill. We can be forgiven, and pitied, and loved in spite of it, with Charity; no other way.
ultimul capitol, 'charity', e o bijuterie din toate punctele de vedere. la sfirsitul lui, mi-au dat lacrimile.(less)
"a grief observed" e probabil una din cele mai cutremuratoare carti care mi-au cazut in mina. cei care i-ati citit biografia ["surprised by joy"] stit...more"a grief observed" e probabil una din cele mai cutremuratoare carti care mi-au cazut in mina. cei care i-ati citit biografia ["surprised by joy"] stiti ca procesul lui de convertire a fost unul rational si lipsit de focuri de artificii. de fapt cam in toate scrierile [din cit am citit & obsevat eu] pare sa aiba un soi de detasare rationala. tocmai din cauza asta am fost mai mult decit uimita sa descopar aici un lewis pasional si introspectiv, scriitorul cedindu-i loc barbatului de data asta. "a grief..." e de fapt jurnalul lui, imediat dupa moartea sotiei sale, joy.
trebuie sa recunosc ca la inceput l-am condamnat pentru casatoria de convenienta cu joy. nici acum nu sint sigura ca sint in totalitate de acord cu rationamentul lui. [poate exersa una din cele 4 iubiri...] in fine, in cele din urma se indragosteste de ea si petrec impreuna citiva ani, dupa care ea moare de cancer.
ce frapeaza e, asa cum s-a mai spus, durerea. de fapt nu durerea in sine, ci strigatul de durere care razbate printre rinduri. nu stiu vreun barbat sa-si fi descarcat sufletul in felul asta si cu intensitatea asta, desi probabil ca fiecare are felul lui de a o face. in plus, intrebarile fara raspuns si reducerea la un singur cuvint pe care il intoarce si il suceste pe toate partile, pentru a-i cauta/gasi adevarata semnificatie.
poate ca unul din cele mai controversate lucruri legate de carte e punerea la indoiala nu a existentei lui Dumnezeu, ci a bunatatii Lui.(less)
With all the fuss about the new film, I remembered an anecdote I read at the same time with the book. After the success of Alice books, queen Victoria...moreWith all the fuss about the new film, I remembered an anecdote I read at the same time with the book. After the success of Alice books, queen Victoria gave Lewis Carroll(C. L. Dodgson) an audience and requested that he send her his next publication. His next book was a mathematical treatise, and it is said that the queen was quite bemused to receive it.(less)
A bit slower for my taste, quite lyrical and melancholic, yet interesting. After this first encounter, I didn't think I'd continue reading Woolf, but...moreA bit slower for my taste, quite lyrical and melancholic, yet interesting. After this first encounter, I didn't think I'd continue reading Woolf, but I very much did so.(less)
A piece of jewelery. Set in sunny California - Salinas, during the Great Depression, "Of Mice and Men" is a story of friendship, dreams and loneliness...moreA piece of jewelery. Set in sunny California - Salinas, during the Great Depression, "Of Mice and Men" is a story of friendship, dreams and loneliness. I have a long history with it. First I saw the film (excellent, btw), more than 10 years ago, then, a few years later, while writing an essay on Burns, I discovered the connection between "To a Mouse" and "Of Mice...". I was determined to write my final paper based on this, but I eventually gave up.
I felt like re-reading it yesterday and I feel anything but sorry about that. As I said, the strongest feeling I've got while reading it was the utmost admiration for the characters' friendship. There's no reason whatsoever for George to be Lennie's friend, take care of him and get him out of trouble all the time. Because Lennie is mentally disabled and has a weird tendency of petting soft things. He's getting in George's way and somehow prevents him from having a better life. Yet, he sticks to Lennie till the end. They both dream of a better life, George wants to be independent and get to be somebody. Lennie dreams to live on the fatta the lan together with George and tend the rabbits they're going to have. Despite their optimism and dreams, there's a feeling of loneliness throughout the novella. George and Lennie are friends because they're lonely. Candy's lonely since his dog is shot and Crooks is lonely because he's black. He has this line that says everything: "A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you."
Highly recommend it.
*** Interesting fact: in the 90s, the book was banned in some US schools because of "profane language, moral statement, treatment of the retarded, and the violent ending." (less)
oops! i did it again. i started it for the third time. and i'm determined to finish and like it [i intend the same thing with ulysses and foucault's p...moreoops! i did it again. i started it for the third time. and i'm determined to finish and like it [i intend the same thing with ulysses and foucault's pendulum - i'll see about the rest]. if only i could get over the first 100 pages. wish me luck. i can't believe i paid 43.8 RON in 2005 to get this book. well, this might be just another reason for reading it ;)
"The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step out of the frame."
*i'm sort of happy i didn't read the book earlier, i just discovered some cinematographic referrals to fellini, bergman and godard i would have certainly skipped back then.
*i still fail to picture rushdie's art deco (?!) bombay. i can't separate india from malaria, cholera or typhoid.
*rai reminds me of nick carraway narrating gatsby's love story.
70's Bombay through a photographer's lenses:
"There was too much money, too much poverty, too much nakedness, too much disguise, too much anger, too much vermilion, too much purple. There were too many dashed hopes and narrowed minds. There was far, far too much light."
"The hanged man and I were alone for a long time. His feet swung not far from my revolted nose and yes I wondered about the heels of his boots yes when I got the ropes off I made myself approach him yes in spite of his pong like the end of the world and the biting insects yes and the rawness of my throat and my eyes sore from bulging as I puked I took hold of his heels one after other yes I twisted the left heel it came up empty but the right heel did the right thing the film just plopped down in my hand yes and I put an unused film in its place from my own boot yes and I could feel his body all perfume and my heart was going like mad and I made my escape with Piloo's fate and my own golden future in my hand yes and to hell with everything I said yes because it might just as well be me as another so yes I will yes I did yes."
i have the feeling that if i update my reading status more often, i'll finish the book sooner. i already imagine myself reading something light, kinsella or smth similar ;p
so far, i don't like vina's character. dunno why.
"After a tense initial period during which they sometimes see each other in the evenings, with painfully awkward results, they agree to meet only to rehearse with the other band members, to discuss their finances and to perform. They are never alone together any more, they never eat a meal or take in a movie in each other's company, never phone each other, never go dancing, never feed animals in the zoo, never touch. Like divorced couples, they avoid each other's gaze. Yet, mysteriously they continue to say they are both deeply, irreversibly, forever-and-a-day in love.
What can this mean?
It means they are with each other constantly even while they are apart." ***
No dear, it means that they're both stupid. Stupid oath. Stupid Ormus for accepting Vina's eccentricities and caprices.
some final notes: rushdie is indeed a skillful writer, and his use of language is absolutely beautiful. i liked the many references he made to literature, cinema and mythology, though at some point i was fed up with remarks about orpheus and eurydice.
speaking of the two mythological characters and the multiple connections between them and the larger-than-life characters of ormus and vina, i prefer mortals like rai.
i really don't get why rai and ormus would both worship the ground beneath vina's feet.
i'll reward myself with a whole box of chocolate for finishing this :d
oh, and one final thing: it was the last place where i thought i'd read about ceausescu and targu secuiesc [misspelled târgul-sačuesc] :)(less)
You read this book and realize how incredibly lucky you are to be living in a country where you are not told what to read, what to wear and whom to ma...moreYou read this book and realize how incredibly lucky you are to be living in a country where you are not told what to read, what to wear and whom to marry. Plus you discover some beautiful insights into English and American literature but also Persian culture. (less)
delicious reading. i must admit i'm scared of long books and long films. that's one reason i haven't tried mann's magic mountain yet, and i really don'...moredelicious reading. i must admit i'm scared of long books and long films. that's one reason i haven't tried mann's magic mountain yet, and i really don't know if i'll have the courage to do so. when the reading implies a computer, i'm even more tempted to give it up. yet, here i am, overcoming my fears and enjoying middlesex. i love family sagas, that's probably one reason for choosing to read this book, but with regards to middlesex i must admit that it was the last part of the book that kept me attached to the computer. the first two parts [grandparents'& parents' stories] were also juicy and interesting, but callie/cal's coming of age and discovering his true self assured me i made the right choice. callie is the girl i would have liked to be, minus the sex problems, of course. she's smart, witty, well-read and she's not afraid to ride her bike at night :)
i must be completely out of my mind trying to read this on the computer. somebody stop me.
Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever. I can’t just sit back and watch from a distance anymore. From here on in, everything I’ll tell you is colored by the subjective experience of being part of events.
“Can I tell you something, though?” she asked. “About your part?” “Sure.” “You know how you’re supposed to be blind and everything? Well, where we go in Bermuda there’s this man who runs a hotel. And he’s blind. And the thing about him is, it’s like his ears are his eyes. Like if someone comes into the room, he turns one ear that way. The way you do it–“ She stopped suddenly and seized my hand. “You’re not getting mad at me, are you?” “No.” “You’ve got the worst expression on your face, Callie!” “I do?” She had my hand. She wasn’t letting go. “You sure you’re not mad?” “I’m not mad.” “Well, the way you pretend to be blind is you just, sort of, stumble around a lot. But the thing is, this blind man down in Bermuda, he never stumbles. He stands up really straight and he knows where everything is. And his ears are always focusing in on stuff.” I turned my face away. “See, you’re mad!” “I’m not.” “You are .” “I’m being blind,” I said. “I’m looking at you with my ear.”
“The only way we know it’s true is that we both dreamed it. That’s what reality is. It’s a dream everyone has together.”
People were falling in love, getting married, going to drug rehab, learning how to ice skate, getting bifocals, studying for exams, trying on clothes, getting their hair cut, and getting born. And in some houses people were getting old and sick and were dying, leaving others to grieve. It was happening all the time, unnoticed, and it was the thing that really mattered. What really mattered in life, what gave it weight, was death.
An interesting and pretty original idea. Since it's a story, it moves quite rapidly through Benjamin's life, but you get the point. It reminded me of...moreAn interesting and pretty original idea. Since it's a story, it moves quite rapidly through Benjamin's life, but you get the point. It reminded me of Eliade's novella, Youth without youth, except in that one the old man gets younger right away, struck by lightening.
Too bad the movie sucks. I successfully wasted almost 3 hours of my life to see a brilliant idea transformed into a cheap love story that has (almost) nothing to do with Fitzgerald's original story.(less)
Remember how this book was seen throughout the whole Friends series? First at Central Perk, then at Monica's. Now it's on my shelf, thanks to Patty :)...moreRemember how this book was seen throughout the whole Friends series? First at Central Perk, then at Monica's. Now it's on my shelf, thanks to Patty :) It's actually a nice read if you're into arts and stuff, and of course I cannot brag for reading it, rather browsed through. (less)