There are some people who feel things much deeper than the rest of us. They shine too brightly and burnout too quickly. Regardless of the detriment to...moreThere are some people who feel things much deeper than the rest of us. They shine too brightly and burnout too quickly. Regardless of the detriment to their mind and soul, they stare into a dark abyss but continue to bring beauty into the world.
My friend Monica was like that. Recently she chose to end her life.
I think Monica turned out to be a kindred spirit of Sylvia Plath. Monica saw the world through a romantic, yet dark, lens much like I imagine Sylvia and Esther did. The idea of living an ugly life is more terrifying than living at all.
Their depression truly felt inescapable, a demon they could never out run. An overwhelming sense of fear consumed them; the fear of this sadness--the bell jar--descending again, the fear of isolation and disconnection, the fear of continuous mental anguish.
It is hard to forgive people like Sylvia and Monica for depriving the world of their wonderful existence. Death is never a solution, but I can understand how both these women thought it would be their only way to find peace.
The Bell Jar is an important book. It can be eye-opening for those who do not suffer from this illness. I will never again be able to read this book without hearing Monica's voice, as if this was her own story. In many ways it was. (less)
This book touches you, and although each short story is a quick read, it takes some time to move onto the next one. It sort of made me want to just si...moreThis book touches you, and although each short story is a quick read, it takes some time to move onto the next one. It sort of made me want to just sit and think for a while. Amy Bloom allows you to enter a character's life and mind without any warning and without any explanation. Tragic, beautiful, real. (less)
You know how you can be doing some mundane task and all of a sudden a random memory just surfaces? For a while you are just reliving that moment and m...moreYou know how you can be doing some mundane task and all of a sudden a random memory just surfaces? For a while you are just reliving that moment and maybe you even smile because that line between the physical and mental world is blurred enough to allow you to.
That’s sort of the effect this book has left on me.
The Beautiful Room Is Empty is one of the few books that left me with very distinct scenes, as if Edmund White’s memories are now mine.
Edmund White is a very talented writer; I think that goes without saying. I liked the gay liberation history and bohemian lifestyle he weaved into the storyline. I clearly remember underlining many passages I thought were beautiful; the one coming to mind first is when the narrator was talking about how much he achingly missed one man.
This book has gotten three stars from me simply because, it being the first LGBT lit I have ever read, I was unprepared for what this book contained. It left me a little disquieted, in all honesty.
I love the title of this book though, and its namesake passage:
Sometimes I have the feeling that we're in one room with two opposite doors and each of us holds the handle of one door, one of us flicks an eyelash and the other is already behind his door, and now the first one has but to utter a word and immediately the second has closed his door behind him and can no longer be seen. He’s sure to open the door again for it’s a room which perhaps one cannot leave. If only the first one were not precisely like the second, if he were calm, if he would only pretend not to look at the other, if he would slowly set the room in order as though it were a room like any other; but instead he does exactly the same as the other at his door, sometimes even both are behind the doors and the beautiful room is empty. -Franz Kafka