i barely ever read a book before that has been so full of contradiction and paradox as this one, and i am sure i still didn't really get it. however,i barely ever read a book before that has been so full of contradiction and paradox as this one, and i am sure i still didn't really get it. however, it's a pleasure to hold it in your hands and read it every once in a while; for even those that don't share the ideas that stand behind the verses, or the ideas that most people think to stand behind them, can find some wisdom in them, especially in the second half. therefore, on of my favorites is chapter seventy-six:
"people are born gentle and fragile, they die stiff and tough. plants and trees are born tender and crisp, they die dried and withered. therefore those who are stiff and tough are followers of death, those who are gentle and fragile are followers of life. [...:]"
the picture of the water, which also appears quite often is the one i like best: for even though (or because) it is weak, amenable, flexible, and soft, it still breaks even the hardest things.
i think everyone should have read it at least once; it's a matter of some hours, but you're going to have something to think over your whole life; even though it probably was the intention of the author that it's exactly that (thinking) which people should stop doing, at least for a while; and you would get an insight into one of the world's most influential philosophical theories of all time, and the eldest that we know of....more
truly wonderful. i finally finished the book two weeks ago and can highly recommend it. the book consists of several chapters which form a "seperate"truly wonderful. i finally finished the book two weeks ago and can highly recommend it. the book consists of several chapters which form a "seperate" story each; but, the further you get, become more and more inter-connected, though still a bit nebulous. the atmosphere of the book catches you completely; if you allow, the place where you're reading disappears and turns into old prague. a very dreamy, beautiful book, thoughtful and emotional, funny and sad at once. that's how a a good read should be. my first perutz, but surely not the last....more
i am not going to rate it, because it can't be approximated enough; and for the same reason i'm not going to say much about it either. just this: it ci am not going to rate it, because it can't be approximated enough; and for the same reason i'm not going to say much about it either. just this: it changed my life. to the good....more
the neverending story has a strong beginning and leads over colorful hills and long-winded trails to a disappointing end. the author's ideas are origithe neverending story has a strong beginning and leads over colorful hills and long-winded trails to a disappointing end. the author's ideas are original, fantastica a most wonderful, absorbing imaginary world, the main characters congenial and likeable and the fascinating and thrilling background story around bastian will even make the numerous lengthy and peripatetic passages bearable. however, the story is losing its breath long before its end; i remember that i had to force me into reading the second half, which took me thrice the time that i needed for the first two hundred pages.
in the middle of the book, where the point of view moves from atreyu to bastian, the action and speed of the story slows down beyond all bearing; or at least it seems so, for it doesn't get any enhancement, which it would desperately need. the reader until now is acquainted to the characters, he knows the setting, and is aware of the connections that hold the strands together. the magic of the beginning is gone. new characters, peoples and landscapes don't surprise anymore, and, moreover, don't have the depth of the ones you already new before, being rather bathetic, irrelevant, and plain.
i don't want to be unfair. i'm very sure that the author had an ingenious idea behind writing bastian's experiences in fantastica exactly the way he did, an ingenious idea behind every image that he used. eventually i got very interested into the issue of almightiness that bastian recieved through the auryn, and the ruthless lust of power that he developes afterwards. but those ideas do not open up to the child for whom this book was written, if they are put into a world that has already been overwrought, exhausted and exploited enough by another story; that of the power of imagination, which finally is getting lost and falls into the disenchanted nothingness that every character of the book wanted to avoid.
however, i still love the first half, remembering even details in it after such a long time; but for me, with the rescue of fantastica, the story reached its end....more
coldest darkness in bright colors; that's how i would describe that book in a few words. after getting over the first couple of pages, which were rathcoldest darkness in bright colors; that's how i would describe that book in a few words. after getting over the first couple of pages, which were rather arduous, the suspense grew and grew until it almost became unbearable. the characters at first seemed fairly strange, but the farther i got the more i could hope and feel desperate with them. the pressure that lay on jakob grew insufferable to both him and the reader. some rather comical scenes made the gloom which ran through the whole book even worse.
i eventually had to read it back in school, which is a bad start for any book, but still i really got excited about it, reading it in a couple of days, nearly sleepless at night....more
"lenz" is one of my favorites of büchner and one of my favorites of all time, for it touched me deeply. of course, it's not a novel, a fragment in bes"lenz" is one of my favorites of büchner and one of my favorites of all time, for it touched me deeply. of course, it's not a novel, a fragment in best case; it's short, the dialogues are disrupted; the narrow plot might make some people think it's "boring", and others might get bored by just any book they were forced to read in school.
but where else would you find such wonderful descriptions of landscapes, both of a beauteous nature, and such an intense depiction of a mad, broken and finally ruined mind? where else to find such hope, frustration, and despair?
the writing style used in this work reflects and mirrors the falling and rising madness of the main character, the poet lenz, so much that you eventually feel it yourself, wondering where reality ends and madness starts. and until today i wonder how to deal with the tragedy of such a person, if even oberlin with all his patience and love can't make him able to live in this world, live with himself, not even to talk of healing him from his inner coldness and obliteration; an obliteration that eventually results of a glut of sentience and comprehension for the world we live in.
büchner makes it possible to understand the inner conclicts of a character afflicted with all-embracing weariness, spiritual derangement and a will of mental and physical self-destruction to a degree that none reached before him; and i would even say, that none has ever reached after him. this is one of the most fascinating narrations ever written, and i deeply bemoan the early death of its great author, who would have had so much more to give to this world....more
this book really has something. its style is as innovative now as it was in diderot's time, and the ideas being articulated, then ground-breaking, arethis book really has something. its style is as innovative now as it was in diderot's time, and the ideas being articulated, then ground-breaking, are still worth some thoughts. for a work of this age, it's surprisingly easy to be read, and the difficulties arise from elsewhere then expected. the storyline is permanently interrupted by stories, dialogues, and the narrator, suddenly starting to talk to the reader about the trustworthiness of the former reports, so sometimes it's hard to reorientate onself in this jungle of tales.
but somehow it's exactly the pleasure of finding the way, following the narrator's ideas, thoughts and stories on fatalism, predestination, free will, love, coincidence, danger, implausibleness which makes this book a real treasure and a fun to read. if above all you get a first hand sample of the philosophy of diderot, and of the ideas of the french enlightenment in general, then why not?...more
the title is surely misleading, part of the irony that is pervading the whole book: since i doubt that the poems which are collected here really do hethe title is surely misleading, part of the irony that is pervading the whole book: since i doubt that the poems which are collected here really do help against the states of mind they are supposed to cure. they surely give you a laugh or at least a smile every once in a while, but definitely not of happiness, for they are too embittered, too ironic, too pessimistic - a feel that completely contradicts the light-hearted, sometimes bothersome rhythm and rhyme. for that reason, someone who seeks for a cure, might, after reading the book, even feel worse. however, and that's how i like the book, it gives a deep insight into the human soul and the fights it has to fight in its everyday life; an insight into the soul of both the author's and your own....more
i'm currently reading this masterpiece for a seminar, i.e. the original in five volumes, its partial translation into german by gernot rotter and itsi'm currently reading this masterpiece for a seminar, i.e. the original in five volumes, its partial translation into german by gernot rotter and its partial translation into english; and already it seems a pity to me that there's only two of al-mas'udi's works that survived until the modern age....more
a couple of months ago i bought the hobbit together with the lord of the rings, thinking that you just have to read them even though i didn't like thea couple of months ago i bought the hobbit together with the lord of the rings, thinking that you just have to read them even though i didn't like the movies at all. checking the wikipedia i found that the hobbit was chronologically the earliest of them both in when it has been written and when it is settled in tolkien's universe. so i decided to start with it.
and how surprised i was! really it was a beautiful, catching story, leaving me not to be able to put it down on the last two hundred pages. i was amazed to see how the hobbit getting more and more mature over his adventures; the hobbit in the end was surely not the same hobbit of the beginning; but sure you will love them both. the world seemed to be so real that i was in no doubt that all this really happened, though sometimes the way that the hobbit got out of his troubles seemed quite impossible, possible though due to tolkien's convincing way of telling.
the adventures where real adventures! they were so adventuresome that i would disagree with people saying it's a story for little children; there was way to many characters getting killed for that it was a children's story, albeit the light-hearted way of telling and the mixture of adventure and comfort....more
i eventually read the german translation of that masterly piece so far, and even there i could feel the immense power of words, themes and imaginary.i eventually read the german translation of that masterly piece so far, and even there i could feel the immense power of words, themes and imaginary. right now i'm hardly trying to translate the original arabic words which are placed next to the translated text, and now i admire it even more. translating is hard, but definitely worth it; with every word a whole new universe comes to me. such a rhythm, feel, stream! a book that accompanied me for quite a long time now, and which will take and deserve even more....more
the book features a very useful overview on most of the semitic languages, such as amharic, hebrew and arabic, but also lesser known as epigraphic southe book features a very useful overview on most of the semitic languages, such as amharic, hebrew and arabic, but also lesser known as epigraphic south arabian. it gives a short survey on each of them as well as quite complex information on important grammatical details. it proved itself more and more useful the more i got the chance to use it....more
the themes of this book - life, death and sense of life, madness and normality - has been themes to many, but this one sticks out for a bunch of goodthe themes of this book - life, death and sense of life, madness and normality - has been themes to many, but this one sticks out for a bunch of good reasons. the most important one of them is just that the story is so wonderfully written; although some passages appeared a bit preachy and kitschy, in general it was a joy to read it, a book, written in a simple, lovingly style, with words surrounded by pure magic. a fascinating ode to life, with a deep sense for emotion and its hidden origin....more