Since I was a young girl my mother used to tell me about Qays and Layla, Romeo and Juliet and all these kinds of tragic love stories that show how peo...moreSince I was a young girl my mother used to tell me about Qays and Layla, Romeo and Juliet and all these kinds of tragic love stories that show how people can be completely out of their minds when it comes to love. They would hurt themselves, or even kill themselves for reasons that might seem entirely insane, but it's love! The mystery that changes everything and everyone.
Romeo and Juliet is doubtlessly the most famous love story of all times and I'm aware of this, but there are still things I couldn't quite adjust to. Mostly, the huge amount of exaggeration this play contains. I know that exaggeration is required on stage, but here IT'S TOO MUCH! I couldn't believe how it can be possible for two couple to actually fall in love (true love) at the first sight and get married right on the next morning? Call it admiration or lust or anything but not love! I'm sure if things were different and Romeo and Juliet had a life together, they would've realised that too, and they would probably get a divorce after fighting for LONG hours.
Even though the play was written in the 16th century by one of my favorite greatest writers, I still couldn't take it seriously or realistically. It all seemed to me like a story of two teenagers who couldn't distinguish between their feelings and their desires.
Now, don't get me wrong! No mater how much I think the play is nothing but a teenage girl fantasy, I still believe that fantasy is one thing that holds us together, and it sure makes this world bearable. Pretty lies make our world better, somehow. Also, I loved the characters, the quotes and the language. I MEAN OF COURSE! It's Shakespeare! As for the ending, I don't know about what others think, but for me, I only feel sad when someone dies and the other lover gets to live his\her life with pain, but when both lovers die at the same time, what's so sad about it(less)
Sylvia Plath; a writer that I have been trying to figure out my feelings toward this summer. I started with her most famous novel couple of weeks ago;...moreSylvia Plath; a writer that I have been trying to figure out my feelings toward this summer. I started with her most famous novel couple of weeks ago; The Bell Jar which only succeeded in making me more uncertain of how I truly feel about her; The Bell Jar, for me at least, was a bit monotonous; although its theme is mental illness, it was not filled (enough) with toxic, sick, darky ideas, nor was it pure or childish. It was not gloomy neither hopeful, not personal enough to get me associated neither it was out of my understanding. It was just is. I am not sure how I can exactly describe how I felt for Sylvia during the Bell Jar, but it certainly was not closeness, just complete apathy. Sylvia, along with many other women, was out my reach; long time way dead and hopeless not only physically but also mentally. I couldn't get her. Yes, she had her reasons, but I was not able to fully sympathize with her in any possible way.
I thought maybe reading her journals will get me closer to her head, I mean after all, it’s her own personal journals. As I began reading, the feelings I got in The Bell Jar were, fortunately, absent here; Sylvia in her diaries is more brave, more her, more unclear and uncertain of who she is and what she wants. She would sound, for once, like a hopeful little girl, and another like a desperate woman with so many broken dreams. She, most often, expresses her desire to be pretty much..everything, out of space and time, she wants to be more than one person and have all the experiences one could ever have, all the virtues and the imperfections, but she always finds herself haunted with these ugly notions of how limited she may be. Her long years of mental suffering are quite constant; the dissonance between her bright, successful persona and her isolated, struggled one keep on switching all along her diaries. You could feel her inner struggle, her combats, self-loathing, and discontent at once, and then all of the sudden, she would write about her nice walks, her dreams to build a family, and her detailed conversations with her friends. Just all of the sudden, I must admit I can’t remember the last time I read a book where I had to switch moods that quick. I guess I learned how to read Sylvia, freely and openly.
The journals collection start from 1950 until 1962, the older Sylvia gets, the more engaging her writing becomes. The book starts with endless paragraphs of endlessly silly boys datings on cheesy parties and, somehow, slowly develops into an exposed diary of identity disturbance and emptiness. Sometimes she adds few beautiful poems-both sad and happy ones-. Her poems, I must say, were kind of my type. I’d usually skip few pages and jump into the poems parts. The poems she wrote didn't have an intelligible pattern, just like her diaries, they changed pretty often which of course I loved.
Getting this book done was really a challenge. It's HUGE, I know Goodreads says it’s only 700 pages, but it’s A Huge Seven Hundred Pages Book. If the edition was smaller, it would probably be around one thousands pages. It contains few of her drawings, and some rare pictures of her, as well. That all helped to get Sylvia better and made her diaries even more personal and real.
I want to quote some stuff, but there are truly so many beautiful words and poems and I am sure if I started, I won't stop. Yeah! There's also LOTS of Sylvia Talking about Ted Hugh here which is something I have always dreamt of reading, I mean their relationship was sort of weird and mysterious and I wanted to know more of that. It was fun. REALLY FUN.
At last, I think this book in precise isn't for anyone. If you are into getting to know Sylvia’s head, and can handle reading hundreds of pages of her daily life-with full details, God, this woman is full of details-and have no problem with her mood swings, then fine go ahead, it’s your best way to know the true Sylvia. But if you only want to add her name to your books, then you should probably consider her poems or novel; The Bell Jar. (less)
رغم كثرة تثاوبي خلال قراءه الكتاب: لكني لا املك الا ان اعترف ان الكتاب عباره عن بحث كبير و شامل للشعر العربي منذ بداية الجاهليه... قد يعجب المهتمين به...moreرغم كثرة تثاوبي خلال قراءه الكتاب: لكني لا املك الا ان اعترف ان الكتاب عباره عن بحث كبير و شامل للشعر العربي منذ بداية الجاهليه... قد يعجب المهتمين بهذه المواضيع.(less)
رغم سماعي الكثير عن توفيق الحكيم، الا اني لم يسبق لي ان اقرء له. بدايتي كانت مع هذا الكتاب. الكتاب عباره عن مجموعات مقالات تتناول مختلف مواضيع ادب، اغ...moreرغم سماعي الكثير عن توفيق الحكيم، الا اني لم يسبق لي ان اقرء له. بدايتي كانت مع هذا الكتاب. الكتاب عباره عن مجموعات مقالات تتناول مختلف مواضيع ادب، اغلبها كانت موجه للكٌتاب الجدد: توفيق هنا كتب عن كل ما يمكن لأي كاتب ان يواجه: من ناحية الآلهام، اللغة المستخدمة، و ايضًا المواضيع المتطرق إليها. كتاب لطيف عموما :") (less)
Poe is a weirdo writer and I am all over weirdos, specially brilliant ones. His poetic gothic writing is so hunting and beautiful, the way he describe...morePoe is a weirdo writer and I am all over weirdos, specially brilliant ones. His poetic gothic writing is so hunting and beautiful, the way he describes things and people is just amazing, although he has this thing where he loves to challenge the readers not to use a dictionary pretty often, but you'd never hate him for that because his words are all sentimental and idealistic and somehow you will feel smart reading them..
Okay, "the tales part", well... The Fall of House of Usher is my favorite; I could relate a lot to how the narrator feels toward this creepy, gloomy dark house, which makes me wonder if the House of Usher is not a mere house, but maybe a state of being, like some sort of heavy weight pressing down one's chest. From the very start of the story, the narrator describes the way he feels as well as the things he observes while approaching the house, Poe uses such poetic, complex, deep words to describe this. Take a look;
“During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was—but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me—upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain—upon the bleak walls—upon the vacant eye-like windows—upon a few rank sedges—and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees—with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium—the bitter lapse into every-day life—the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart—an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime."
This whole gothic themes, and the sadness, Poe puts you in is scary. I mean the power of words, people. I could take out that quote and compare it to a five hundreds pages written book and yet Poe would still win with just that quote. Gotta love him.
When it comes to his poems, there are few ones that I genuinely loved, and others that I could not understand. My favorites: A Dream Within A Dream, Tamerlane, Annabel.. and so many more. On a side note, I was REALLY astonished of how Poe was influenced by so many Islamic\Quran themes. Great book.(less)
I had a quite bad image of the feelings I thought I'd have reading The Bell Jar, none of these feelings, however, had me laughing out loud, I just did...moreI had a quite bad image of the feelings I thought I'd have reading The Bell Jar, none of these feelings, however, had me laughing out loud, I just did not see it. I thought I would feel anything but not happiness or laughter. I was wrong, apparently. Sylvia can be pretty funny, I don't know if she intended it, but instead of reading the book with my tears falling down my eyes, I found myself, sometimes, smiling or even laughing... which is weird, I know.
In this semi-autobiographical novel about a woman going insane, Sylvia tries her best to hide names or even herself, but you can still feel all of her soul in the pages she's written. Esther, presumably Sylvia, portraits depression in such an honest way, as it does not start on simply, she does not wake up feeling all sad and hopeless, the magic lies on the way this book is able to drive you through depression and self loathing without realizing how or when it actually started.
Sylvia writing is vivid and personal. As a woman myself I can pretty much understand every single thing she's felt; her fears of getting married and being a mere worshipper of some man, the society's exceptions for her to be nothing but a pure naive little virgin, and the way she felt toward Buddy when she knew he was not as pure as she thought, the way she felt while taking a bath or her inner wishes to always be someone else in somewhere in Europe, all of these is a long list of things I can easily see myself identifying with. Yet, for some reasons, I was not touched at all while reading The Bell Jar. I felt numb all the way reading it. I know some people who hated the book because "it's too dark", for me, it was not even dark enough. I kept wishing if Sylvia had written more details about the way she felt rather than writing a plot of nothing much happening. Also, I wished Sylvia had given us more sense of her inner struggle; the parts where she thinks of how she wanted to kill herself? Yeah, I wanted more of that, more of her romanticizing death, more of her happy memories with her father, more words of how detached she felt from everything. I really felt sorry realizing how the book did nothing for me, I liked several quotes and all, but it was not enough. Were it edgier and more depressing, I think it might have worked for me. I am sorry, Sylvia.
P.S: I think Sylvia is funny and so smart and beautiful (not that it matters), and I'll always be interested in her life and poems. My problem is not with her, maybe with this book but not her. I'm halfway through her complete journals and I'm pretty much enjoying them, maybe more than this one?(less)
I must admit that I liked Frost a lot more when I thought his poems were all similar to "The Road not Taken". You know, nice understandable poems abou...moreI must admit that I liked Frost a lot more when I thought his poems were all similar to "The Road not Taken". You know, nice understandable poems about human nature and life's choices with lots of rural settings. But I guess I was wrong, Frost can get into deep philosophical poems and make you sound pretty stupid trying to analyse whatever the hell he was trying to say.
BUT. BUT I still love him deeply for he is an extraordinary poet especially when he writes simply. I do find myself close to his simple poems; they are filled with self-discovery and beautiful images. I highlighted lots of lines and put heart stickers all over them, because I guess after all, I am still that little girl who read Frost's poems and thought of him as her long-time dead friend; one that she takes walks with and talks about life... and silly stuff.
**spoiler alert** If I could describe this short novel with only one word, it would be painful. The novel follows the story of three Palestinian men w...more**spoiler alert** If I could describe this short novel with only one word, it would be painful. The novel follows the story of three Palestinian men who try to escape their miserable lives, looking for jobs in Kuwait to enable them to pay their debts or giving their children a better eduction, a better life, but they die from heat in a truck's tank as they were hiding from the last check point. Abu Khaizuran, the truck driver, though as sad as he was, allows himself to search the dead bodies' pockets, takes whatever he finds before throwing their bodies into a pile of refuse hoping someone else will give them a respectful funeral.
The novel is filled with symbolism and metaphors. Abu Khaizuran, for example, can easily be a symbol for government\kings; his coward actions are probably the reason why Ghassan chose to strips his manhood off him. The last part of the story when Abu Khaizuran screams in the middle of the desert:"why didn't they knock on the metal container to save their lives?" and listens to his question being echoed over and over, was pretty hard to read. Whether the three men silence is meant as a hopeless surrender that maybe, for once, life seemed to hard to keep on living, or perhaps to show how isolated they were even at times when they needed help the most, the question is still reflecting many political situations.
There are lots of things that have been assumed of Shakespeare the Person. All of which we are not sure of; his iconic face, might be a face of anothe...moreThere are lots of things that have been assumed of Shakespeare the Person. All of which we are not sure of; his iconic face, might be a face of another person, his plays and poems might be a work of some highly educated nobleman who used Shakespeare as a pen name. Rumors and theories are basically all what we know of him, as a person. Bryson takes this subject and writes about it, though as much as we have already read, in such a pleasant entertaining way. The fact that Bryson is able to write about Shakespeare without making another scholarly treatise book, is by itself a literary privilege on so many levels.
Those, like me, who are not into biographies, this book won't trouble you at all. It's easy to read, funny, and so rich of information. Historical information on geography, politics, and the impact of Shakespeare's writings. What I loved the most here is that Bryson does not glorify Shakespeare at all; he actually quotes different people's criticisms of Shakespeare writing style. Take this for example:
"Shakespeare was capable of prolixity, unnecessary obscurity, awkwardness of expression, pedestrian versifying and verbal inelegance," writes Stanley Wells. "Even in his greatest plays we sometimes sense him struggling with plot at the expense of language, or allowing his pen to run away with him in speeches of greater length than the situation warrants." Or as Charles Lamb put it much earlier, Shakespeare "runs line into line, embarrasses sentences and metaphors; before one idea has burst its shell, another is hatched out and clamorous for disclosure."
In very few pages, the book may not offer a lot of new information, but rather succeeds in collecting what have been said and presenting them in such an entertaining way. (less)
قبل فترة قصيره، بدأت اولي اهتمامًا لرسائل الحب بين الكُتاب. في بداية الأمر اهتمامي كان مقصورًا على حالات الحب اللتي لم تتم باللقاء كحالة جبران و مي زي...moreقبل فترة قصيره، بدأت اولي اهتمامًا لرسائل الحب بين الكُتاب. في بداية الأمر اهتمامي كان مقصورًا على حالات الحب اللتي لم تتم باللقاء كحالة جبران و مي زيادة، من ثم قرأت لبرناد شو و وباتريك كامبل الئ ان قرأت ان غسان كنفاني، الاديب الفلسطيني المقاوم، له رسائل كتبها خلال عامين الى غادة السمان.
لم اكن متحمسه جدًا لأطلع على هذه الرسائل، لأني كالاغلبيه عرفت جانب واحد من غسان؛ عرفته كرجل صاحب قضية عاش و مات مناضلًا. خفت آن تتغير هذه الصوره, خصوصاً بعد معرفتي بأن غسان كان وقتها يرسل هذه الرسائل بالرغم من ارتباطه بزوجتة و طفليه فايز و ليلئ. لكن، كقارئه له ايقنت بوجوب معرفتي بكل جوانب غسان ما احبه و ما قد اكرهه.
(غسان مع طفليه)
الآن بعد انتهائي من قراءة الرسائل، لا استطيع معرفة شعوري تجاهها. الرسائل اضافت لصورة غسان صورة العاشق المسكين، فتقريبا في كل رسائله يحاكي غادة متوسلًا لها بلقاء.. او حتئ رد. عشقه لها صعب التصديق، خصوصًا اني اتمنئ ان اعرف سببه. غادة لم تبدو لي إلا إمراءه مغروره و قاسيه و بالرغم من ذلك غسان احبها و استمر في ارسال الرسائل....
الرسائل كأسلوب ادبي ليست مثاليه لكنها صادقة جدًا غسان لم يكتبها لتنشر لكن غاده نشرتها بعد موته. أنرجسيةً منها ام لحقيقة رغبتها بإطلاع القراء علئ جانب آخر من غسان، هو سؤال غادة لن ترد عليه ابداً..
صورة غسان، بالنسبة إلي، لم تتغير. فمعرفتي ان بداخله كان عاشقًا، بغض النظر عن صحته، جعلتني ارتبط فيه اكثر..(less)
I have no idea how I should review poetry, let alone Whitman's poetry, but I'm trying my best here.
I first got to know Whitman in Dead Poets Society...moreI have no idea how I should review poetry, let alone Whitman's poetry, but I'm trying my best here.
I first got to know Whitman in Dead Poets Society film. I remember when Robin Williams gathers his students and starts reading O ME! O LIFE to them, that scene has deeply touched me even though I was little and knew nothing of poetry. I have, ever since, been searching for Whitman's poetry online, reading one or two of his poems and thinking myself a devoted fan. How silly of me. On late 2013 October, as I was in Paris, I went to Shakespeare and Company and there found Whitman; Leaves of Grass copy hiding between books. Well, you can imagine how clumsily I tried to grab it. (I remember pushing off a little innocent girl on my way). ANYHOW. When I first started reading Leaves of Grass, my first impression was; " God, some poems of this man are hard to read!" but the more I read, the more I started to understand him or thought myself doing so.
In more than 700 pages, Whitman writes about pretty much every.thing. He's long winded, an admirer of nature and humanity, and he is an absolute optimist person (if you read poetry to fulfill your emo-feelings-and-no-one-understands-me needs, then Pessoa is your man). Whitman is a nice person who keeps telling you it's gonna be okay, you have to be yourself and yourself only. His language is wild, he may, however, seem to have a laid back attitude toward many things; he's okay with death, he's okay with life's changing circumstances, but he has his views and he doesn't fail to pull you into his world. Reading him in the morning in a garden or a cafe, will make you stare at people with such big smile they might think you crazy. You have been warned. Whitman is great poet, for sure, and Leaves of Grass is a book that you read more than once, each time new experiences, new questions and new answers. (less)
You can check out my review of The Fall of the House of Usher here(*). P.S: Relax, I am not trying to drag you to see my blog. I just wrote a review on...moreYou can check out my review of The Fall of the House of Usher here(*). P.S: Relax, I am not trying to drag you to see my blog. I just wrote a review on The Complete Works.
Mitchell is a genius writer. No, wait. He is a crazy writer -crazy as a good thing-. He has the imagination to create different worlds, each with its...moreMitchell is a genius writer. No, wait. He is a crazy writer -crazy as a good thing-. He has the imagination to create different worlds, each with its own cultures, themes, characters, and LANGUAGE. Seriously, I am so impressed by the innovation of Cloud Atlas; the structure, the worlds' differences, the writing style all of this is worth giving so much respect to Mitchell.
The novel consists of six long novellas set centuries apart. A story begins and ends half-finished, before we get introduced to another one that follows the same pattern (half finished). Until in the middle of the book, in story number six, we then, in descending order, go back to the stories we first read. Simply, it goes like this: 1 2 3 4 5 6 5 4 3 2 1. The stories are not only different in time, but also in genre. The book changes from being a journal of a lawyer, to romantic letters, Mystery and investigations, comic, dystopia (you heard me), and to a post-apocalyptical world. Each one has its own writing style; chapters change from being read as journals, to letters, then to interviews or rather investigations, science fiction style..etc.
The variety of voices each chapter has is brilliant, I cannot imagine how one person can master such uniqueness. Mitchell certainly knows too many words, too many that I kept highlighting until my hand started hurting, especially with Adam Ewing's chapters, at some point I wondered if these chapters were not written for the sole purpose of Mitchell showing off his skill, but rather to torture ambitious readers "HEY! YOU WANNA BE A WRITER? READ A PAGE WITHOUT LOOKING SO LONG AT THE WORDS I HAVE WRITTEN AND DARE AGAIN TO TELL ME THAT YOU WANNA WRITE. NYHAHAHHAHA" At least that is the voice I heard from Adam's chapters. Take a look at this, for ex:
""I thank you, sir, I thank you, but these ivories"--he shook his 'kerchief--"are my angels of redemption. Permit me to elucidate. The Marchioness wears dental fixtures fashioned by the afore- mentioned doctor. Next yuletide, just as that scented She-Donkey is addressing her Ambassadors' Ball, I, Henry Goose, yes, I shall arise & declare to one & all that our hostess masticates with cannibals' gnashers! Sir Hubert will challenge me, predictably, 'Furnish your evidence,' that boor shall roar, 'or grant me satisfaction!' I shall declare, 'Evidence, Sir Hubert? Why, I gathered your mother's teeth myself from the spittoon of the South Pacific! Here, sir, here are some of their fellows!' & fling these very teeth into her tortoiseshell soup tureen & that, sir, that will grant me my satisfaction! The twittering wits will scald the icy Marchioness in their news sheets & by next season she shall be fortunate to receive an invitation to a Poorhouse Ball!"
That is probably one of the least lofty lines out there. But if you can deal with that, then good for you, REALLY.
All the talk and praise of how Cloud Atlas is a magnificent work of art, and yet I gave it only three stars.. well.. here's why..
My problem with the book is as Woody Allen once said "My heart says one thing. My head says another. very hard to get your heart and head together in life".
My head says all the above things. Cloud Atlas is an interesting novel and clever one. My heart, simply, does not care at all. I noticed that my heart had this weird way of turning into a wall while reading the book. I keep hitting it with the book, but it is not responding by any possible way. Although, I liked the characters (Robert Frobisher is a nice lad I really wanted to hug him), but the problem here is once I get to feel so invested in whatever story I am at, the book jumps to another, and when these stories come back, I feel like I don't care anymore. My heart would have fallen for this if it had less worlds maybe, six worlds were just too many to deal with. I wish it sticked with less genres, not that Mitchell cannot write about all of them, it's just that I had some sort of a jet lag headache while reading. And the writing, though as beautiful as it is, but I couldn't help it not to feel that, sometimes, it felt so florid and excessive. Perhaps it is why Frobisher's chapters were my favorites since he wrote them in such beautiful unadorned way.
The moral or the message the book tries to send is about how all of us, past and present, are connected in whatever acts we choose. "“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”
Mitchell takes this cheesy message and manages to deliver it in such unchessy way. Though I thought that the birthmark was such an obvious reincarnation theme, but he still has done a great job. At least he got my head to agree on that.
Looking forward his next novel, wishing he'd stick to one genre next time!
P.S: haven't watched the film yet, but still so excited to do so.(less)