Sounds like fun, as far as seeing what life was like back then. And seeing how class expressed itself then, and what the ebbing away of aristocracy wa...moreSounds like fun, as far as seeing what life was like back then. And seeing how class expressed itself then, and what the ebbing away of aristocracy was like back then. My grandparents were young then, would be fun to see what their lives were like (although they weren't in this setting). (less)
Sounds like someone saying out loud what some of us have thought for a long time. 'money follows merit' - people actually believe that? Obviously mone...moreSounds like someone saying out loud what some of us have thought for a long time. 'money follows merit' - people actually believe that? Obviously money follows privilege, most of the time. Etc... Not that there aren't exceptions, yadda yadda.. Anyway, looks like a great read. (less)
This book is three complete contents, perfectly interspersed. One: a loving immersion into Persian literature from ancient to modern days, as well as...moreThis book is three complete contents, perfectly interspersed. One: a loving immersion into Persian literature from ancient to modern days, as well as many warm embraces to literatures of other peoples and places also. This immersion includes not simply sharing of various literature snippets, but a great deal about the effect of fiction on the human psyche: what effect it can and should have on a people. The very power it holds over the human species. Highly recommend to any who writes, or reads, or is human (ok, slightly exaggerating, but not much. Really). In fact, literature is so much a presence in this book, her first addendum after the acknowledgements (there are four unique ones) is a suggested reading list, giving details of the referred-to content: Forough Farrokhzad, Golshiri, Ferdowsi, Gorgani, so many more.. all translated. This list doesn't include all the non-Iranian fiction mentioned.. really, this book calls out for an index- between the political content and the literary content, the family content also of course.
The second content: Iran's history, 20th century. Fascinating look from the inside at the motifs and textures of the administration of Iran, from a person on the inside who herself - and/or her family - had contact with a wide range of people at the core of the country. This part was very illuminating for me. And not just about Iran, but also I imagine it can be extended to other Islam-based countries. For instance, this section, about life in Iran in the early Eighties: "Since almost all aspects of public life had been restricted or banned, out private domains took on the function of public forums. Our houses became our restaurants, bars, movie houses and theaters, concert halls, public forums on literature, the arts, and politics. True, these free zones were threatened constantly by a state that could at any time of day or night raid our houses and confiscate the alcohol, gambling cards, makeup forbidden books, and videos. They could arrest us on charges of immorality.And yet in those days there was a suppressed excitement that belied the anxiety and fear-- or, now that I think of it, perhaps the two fed off and strengthened each other. While the country was torn apart by war and besieged by repressive laws, daily arrests, and executions, beneath the surface, just underground, there were mutinous acts and shows of resistence that constantly frustrated and subverted teh powers of the state. An act as normal and mundane as having a party with men and women where drinks were serve, music was played, and perhpas a movie was watched.. had to be undertaken with caution, curtains drawn, so that it became something very special, like a stolen eclair." - I can't help but wonder if that captures a flavor that - atleast in part - is also tasted at various times in countries like Pakistan, perhaps Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc.. Azar also made clear how various forces came together to result in the overthrow of the Shah, nearly 100% of which were disappointed by the outcomes. Almost had echoes of Hitler's rise - people not listening to the clearly-available actual plan of the Ayatollah, instead hearing only that part of his mesage that suited their needs. Very dangerous, again. The third content of this book is Azar's family: and it could be said to be the core of the book. Any female who thinks she has a difficult relationship with her mother could try this one on for size, I think she'll find trading doesn't appeal. All the members of her family and close friends are well-drawn and complex. The pacing didn't always suit me, but I believe it did serve the content well.
So, three distinct contents, knitted together into an intricate tapestry reminiscent of beloved Persian artwork. All three are present from page one to the end, all three support the other two alternating with taking their own spot in the limelight. Really a fascinating work. (less)
Given that this was a pivotal event in the life of my country, and this book won a pulitzer, and I don't plan on ever being at Gettysburg and learning...moreGiven that this was a pivotal event in the life of my country, and this book won a pulitzer, and I don't plan on ever being at Gettysburg and learning about it in person; perhaps will read. Offset by endless lack of interest in things military, in case that is not affordable my whole actual life.(less)
According to the quiz: I've read this (knew Hector's name), so it must have been among that set of high school english gauntlet books of which I retai...moreAccording to the quiz: I've read this (knew Hector's name), so it must have been among that set of high school english gauntlet books of which I retain nothing except an unpleasant aftertaste.
I understand theoretically that it could be beneficial to re-read this, but that's not gonna happen. The diction alone is not worth it; and then the Christian morality aspect (a kinda big part of it) disinterests me. And the literature-ness of it: thankfully, there are many other great books out there I can explore first. If I fully consume every other great book out there in my lifetime, maybe this'll get a second go-round. But I'm thinking not. Blech.
But I just found out - he had a relative who was a judge during the Salem witch trials, and it was guilt over that which propelled much of his work! That's interesting. And his book Blithedale Romance includes themes around feminism and mysogyny.. Also this book was one of the first to be mass produced and to be (for its time) a best seller.. All very interesting..(less)
I'd heard about this forever, feels like something I'd really like to read now. Partly if I get the job involving unions; in any case because the coun...moreI'd heard about this forever, feels like something I'd really like to read now. Partly if I get the job involving unions; in any case because the country (world) is at a turning point regarding work. Much of the -work- that had been done integrally involved harm to the earth or to a group of people or to one's customers or employees or all of the above. Feels like at this moment, since so much has to change anyway, people are somewhat awake about the potential of now to change those aspects as well. In any case, life is like to get more pedestrian or simple or something for vast numbers of people, seems we may need to regain our parents/grandparents attitudes about work being not ego-driven etc.. Like it was for the people interviewed in this book, for instance.(less)
I am so glad that he wrote about that city and its murders, I'd heard about it and been quietly upset that more wasn't being done. He both answers tha...moreI am so glad that he wrote about that city and its murders, I'd heard about it and been quietly upset that more wasn't being done. He both answers that need and has already acted on that same need very powerfully. (less)
Sounds interesting.. another novel that has as it's focal point a woman in a mental institution - 'Women on the Edge of Time' is one I've thought to b...moreSounds interesting.. another novel that has as it's focal point a woman in a mental institution - 'Women on the Edge of Time' is one I've thought to be a favorite (although I really have to re-read that to refresh it).
It's interesting on initial data-gathering that she needs to be evaluated for whether she can live on her own because the institution is closing - so that wasn't a question of interest for her and the others until then apparently?? Yet, all that time that it wasn't of interest, didn't deter the managers from launching a formal process to determine that when it was to close. Just is an interesting posture with regard to mental illness. Maybe they explain some more in the book.
Anyway, sounds interesting; especially in its honesty regarding the Catholic Church in Ireland.(less)