Beautiful writing, intentionally comical at times and very well done. Regardless of the subject matter, this is an excellent book that tells a story iBeautiful writing, intentionally comical at times and very well done. Regardless of the subject matter, this is an excellent book that tells a story in such a way that many books try (and fail) to mimic even today. If you can read this as objectively as possible, it is an incredibly wonderful read....more
*** If you want to get this book and get the most out of it look for the cheap Bantam Classic! It has an abundance of essays, correspondence letters f*** If you want to get this book and get the most out of it look for the cheap Bantam Classic! It has an abundance of essays, correspondence letters from the author to others, and biographical sketch. (which is amazing if you are into French literature and the author's background ***
I think there is a little of Madame Emma Bovary in all of us, and when asked who the author based Emma off of, he said "C'est es moi", or "She is me". She is me too, I've felt a lot of these emotions, wants, dreams, and the need for something more. She finds them in excessive materialism, religion, romance, and other outlets with varying degrees of outcomes.
The big topic a lot of people write about I've noticed in these critical essays is that she was hard to like or dislike, but I think the reason people are indifferent: we all have that part in us, and some find it a rather unpleasant admittance.
You'll feel her, and whether you have ever felt these emotions to that degree, you'll experience a view of the world through someone that others can most definitely relate to and in fact feel. Her thoughts are revealing, honest, and sometimes I think people who can not empathize will criticize the character too harshly. If you do find that you understand her, you'll travel along with her through her life and feel her hopes and her despair. At times the reading can be grueling, as you are waiting for the very thing she is waiting for to come.
For one, I understood Emma, and I liked her. Flaubert's own father was a doctor, and I believe he had some inspiration for her impulsiveness from what was probably his father's patients with mental illnesses poorly understood at the time. I believe this is why Madame Bovary may be too extreme for others, because they can not understand such poor judgment or empathize with someone looking for something more to life than a common existence. Madame Bovary was an extreme example, and her actions are considerably selfish in that it affects others besides herself, but again it was something she may not have been able to control due to an underlying factor.
After all, aren't we even now raised in a society where we and our kids are dressing up as princesses, princes, or characters of noble deeds and fantastic actions? Why? Maybe some like the characters, but also maybe some want to *be* the characters but find that their dreams are larger than life. Childhood bubbles pop, but for some of us they were never bubbles but part of our being that we could never dream of fulfilling in societal expectations.
I think these people are dreamers, to an extent maybe it becomes a symptom or problem... but some of us don't stop dreaming once we wake up and the result is our unhappiness that we can not make these dreams actions....more
...You need to be in the right mood to read this. If you are looking for something that resembles more "classical" or "theatrical" writing (some of th...You need to be in the right mood to read this. If you are looking for something that resembles more "classical" or "theatrical" writing (some of the writing is very eloquent but melodramtic) then this might be your cup of tea. The moment you open the book, you are taken for a ride in the character's thoughts and actions which make vising a coffee shop as exciting as a high speed chase - but it's anti-climatic and it makes me tired. I don't want to be on edge every sentence - I want to enjoy the story and feel excited when the plot gets good. What took away from the reading for me was the excessive use of exclamation marks. It reminds me of canned laughter -- I don't want to laugh when I'm told to, it's very distracting, nor will I feel the importance of something unless it hits me.
Thanks to Goodreads Giveaways for this book!...more
Haunting, moving, terrifying, hopeful. I blew through this in less than a day, being so thirsty for info about the world's biggest black hole. A definHaunting, moving, terrifying, hopeful. I blew through this in less than a day, being so thirsty for info about the world's biggest black hole. A definite must read.
There are so many things wrong with the world, but personally I hope I live to see the day that the DPRK crumbles and falls... but most of all that the people who are subjected to such cruelty might have opportunities and a choice of how to live their lives.
I don't know how anyone can understand the situation and just not feel really, really, really pissed off....more
My 5 star rating is because it's The Prince, you know, the ultimate guidebook for the aspiring tyrants or blossoming despots. I don't agree with the pMy 5 star rating is because it's The Prince, you know, the ultimate guidebook for the aspiring tyrants or blossoming despots. I don't agree with the premise of this book, and it goes against everything I believe in, but having to analyze every sentence for my renaissance and reformation class definitely lead me to exhaustively view it from so many different angles. You have to understand and study something before you can condemn it, and then I think even then you start to have respect due to the challenge it presents as an affront to your views. How can you condemn or question things if you don't fully understand them?
A toast to not watching, reading, or listening to only what you agree with so you can easily wallow in confidence with your decisions, but challenging yourself by being receptive to things you disagree with and constantly allowing yourself to evolve.
Our paper for the class was to set up an argument that someone could disagree with but wasn't a blatantly obvious opinion, but only through analysis of the book, and no outside sources... very difficult. I couldn't reference anything historical to give insight to the context of the times, or compare contemporary or even past rulers that fit the mold of being "the prince". I also couldn't draw on the popular theory that maybe Machiavelli wrote it as satire, or even that it was a means to garner favor and restore his political position by charming the Medici family (he dedicated it to the very guy who destroyed him). Most challenging paper I've ever written, but I know this book like the back of my hand now, and despite how much I disagree with it (besides hiring mercenaries, that is pretty concrete), I have to admire how shrewd and ironic it is when you really tear it apart.
So... to challenge myself I decided to argue that the book was written in favor of the prince's subjects, working in their self-interest and even as a tool of preservation of happiness for subjects, guiding the most ruthless ruler to put them first but still get his kicks as a sociopath. I don't agree, obviously, but an interesting way to view the book for sure. I was given an A and a thumbs up for a "interesting" and "challenging" argument. In a sense, it was very Machiavellian for me to twist some of his words and leave certain things out to "prove" my point, so thanks Machiavelli! Hahaha.
This is a guy who thought Henry VIII was a jerk, and would have known of him pretty well, so there is a glimmer of hope this is satire, although historians still argue about whether it was or wasn't and there is still no universally accepted conclusion. Another reason why this is a 5 star book, seriously, it's all about interpretation, and as I concluded in my paper, The Prince is ultimately really Machiavelli in the end for the way he played and continued to play everyone. Kudos, your legacy is secure....more