I am not sure how I can describe the intense amount of destruction I went through when I first started reading this epic poem, and how slowly I was pu...moreI am not sure how I can describe the intense amount of destruction I went through when I first started reading this epic poem, and how slowly I was put up to pieces again the more I read. I never thought I'd experience reincarnation through a poem.
Darwish wrote this poem as a result of his near death experience, as I read. He wrote about this experience in a way that goes beyond time-travel, history, and the apocalypse; it reminded me of the Divine Comedy and of Murakami's surreal worlds. Although, I think that this poem has a tremendous uniqueness and should be only set as an example of its own.
Identities no longer exist in here; no "I" no "me" neither "we", all what one can earn is his name. Time, on the other hand, seems to be a different experiment; Darwish travels between Gilgamesh, Sumer, and meet dead great poets all under the same cosmic. Pain is not felt, memories of his life float in front of him. He often wakes up to find himself in a hospital-reality-, but only to get back to this place where he's not alive nor completely dead.
I got a continuous shudder of fear and some sort of sadness while reading the poem. I can definitely say it's my all time favorite, and I shall always be grateful for Darwish.(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.
I have heard all about Dostoyevsky genius, his philosophy, nihilistic views, and the solitudes of his works. All of that I have comprehended, but stil...moreI have heard all about Dostoyevsky genius, his philosophy, nihilistic views, and the solitudes of his works. All of that I have comprehended, but still all the same I was not even slightly close to realize how deeply Dostoyevsky is capable of giving a near definition of life as what it is, a whole look-or rather an analysis-into the human soul, one that is more darker than ever. A miserable, gloomy look into humanity if it may be, but still an honest one. I was ashamed that for a second I thought I knew Dostoyevsky, because even now, I don't. These notes are full of madness, I tell you. I have been driven, willingly, to chaos and madness by their few pages, and I have sold my soul to this book. Entirely.
The book is divided into two parts. First part, "Underground" starts with the unnamed character writing from the underground, a place he chose to live in after realizing that life is not worth living, a complete waste of time. Full of isolation, misanthrope themes, this unnamed character speaks of the reasons why he’s become who he is, and then starts speaking of finding the purpose life -if there’s such a thing-, and how pain can be a pleasure to humans;
"Well, even in toothache there is enjoyment" ... I had toothache for a whole month and I know there is. In that case, of course, people are not spiteful in silence, but moan; but they are not candid moans, they are malignant moans, and the malignancy is the whole point. The enjoyment of the sufferer finds expression in those moans; if he did not feel enjoyment in them he would not moan. It is a good example, gentlemen, and I will develop it. Those moans express in the first place all the aimlessness of your pain, which is so humiliating to your consciousness; the whole legal system of nature on which you spit disdainfully, of course, but from which you suffer all the same while she does not. They express the consciousness that you have no enemy to punish, but that you have pain; the consciousness that in spite of all possible Wagenheims you are in complete slavery to your teeth; that if someone wishes it, your teeth will leave off aching, and if he does not, they will go on aching another three months; and that finally if you are still contumacious and still protest, all that is left you for your own gratification is to thrash yourself or beat your wall with your fist as hard as you can, and absolutely nothing more.........
Of Free Will;
if there really is some day discovered a formula for all our desires and caprices — that is, an explanation of what they depend upon, by what laws they arise, how they develop, what they are aiming at in one case and in another and so on, that is a real mathematical formula — then, most likely, man will at once cease to feel desire, indeed, he will be certain to. For who would want to choose by rule? Besides, he will at once be transformed from a human being into an organ-stop or something of the sort; for what is a man without desires, without free will and without choice, if not a stop in an organ? What do you think? Let us reckon the chances — can such a thing happen or not?......... "Our choice is usually mistaken from a false view of our advantage. We sometimes choose absolute nonsense because in our foolishness we see in that nonsense the easiest means for attaining a supposed advantage. But when all that is explained and worked out on paper (which is perfectly possible, for it is contemptible and senseless to suppose that some laws of nature man will never understand), then certainly so-called desires will no longer exist......
Two plus two is four, you can never be free. Even if there’s a utopian world that exists -A Crystal Palace- a world of absolute perfection, man shall always do what is out of his own advantages only to prove his own individual existence. An animal-like behavior.
The second part ”Apropos of the Wet Snow”; is a look into the past of the Underground Man; he writes of how small and insignificant he often felt, how detached from society he was, and of his moral views. He even shares these views with a prostitute called Liza, a prostitute whom he lectures and tries to save from being used more. Liza, after listening to The Underground Man and thinking that he may actually save her, he may be different, get our man address, and pays him a visit where she sees him in his greatest humiliation. Poverty. The Underground Man; the man of books and intelligence living among mice and ashes. Once, again, he feels little and thus takes back all the good things he once said to her. Maybe out of disgust, fear, humiliation, he curses her and again shows his ugly side, or perhaps his only side to her. Liza, unlikely, choses to embrace him maybe out of love…. or pity.
"They won't let me...... I can't be good"
Was the cry The Underground Man let out under Liza’s arms. His most sincere cry. Blaming society for his own sins, and incapability of love. Afterward, he proves to be no different from others he wrote about, he continued to treat Liza badly and -acting against his own advantages- succeeds in making her leave. Certainly, he hesitates, but only to convince himself later that it was for the best. He admits, as a way to solaces himself, that he imagines love only as a struggle, and wonders which is better a cheap happiness or exalted sufferings? Clearly enough, Underground Man shall always choose exalted sufferings over anything.
Sometimes I wished The Underground Man had a name, so I can mention him in my silly conversations, or perhaps idolize it the way I idolize names like Dorian Gray, Kafka, and Hamlet. But thinking about it, maybe it’s for the best to keep this hideous man, a man who was able enough to get to know life and chose isolation over it, as an idea rather than a person. Perhaps The Underground Man is the unnamed soul inside each of us, a rebellious perception of life.
The Underground Man ends his notes daring the readers that he, as isolated and lonely as he may be, has more life in him than any of us;
"there is more life in me than in you"
The Underground itself can be a metaphor. Let alone the men who chose to live in it. Going quite numb toward certain things, having this whole illusion of life and what it should be like. The Underground Man is the soul inside you, the disgusted disgusting part of you that you don't want to talk about, and Dostoevsky isn't afraid to show it.
“ . . . we’ve all grown unaccustomed to life, we’re all lame, each of us more or less. We’ve even grown so unaccustomed that at times we feel a sort of loathing for real “living life,” and therefore cannot bear to be reminded of it. For we’ve reached a point where we regard real “living life” almost as labor, almost as service, and we all agree in ourselves that it’s better from a book. And why do we sometimes fuss about, why these caprices, these demands of ours? We ourselves don’t know why. It would be the worse for us if our capricious demands were fulfilled. Go on, try giving us more independence, for example, unbind the hands of any one of us, broaden our range of activity, relax the tutelage, and we . . . but I assure you: we will immediately beg to be taken back under tutelage. I know you’ll probably get angry with me for that, shout, stamp your feet: “Speak just for yourself and your miseries in the underground, don’t go saying ‘we all.’” Excuse me, gentlemen, but I am not justifying myself with this allishness. As far as I myself am concerned, I have merely carried to an extreme in my life what you have not dared to carry even halfway, and, what’s more, you’ve taken your cowardice for good sense, and found comfort in thus deceiving yourselves. So that I, perhaps, come out even more “living” than you. Take a closer look! We don’t even know where the living lives now, or what it is, or what it’s called! Leave us to ourselves, without a book, and we’ll immediately get confused, lost—we won’t know what to join, what to hold to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect and what to despise. It’s a burden for us even to be of it, we consider it a disgrace, and keep trying to be some unprecedented omni-men. We’re stillborn, and have long ceased to be born of living fathers, and we like this more and more. We’re acquiring a taste for it. Soon we’ll contrive to be born somehow from an idea.”
لم أظن يومًا اني قد استمتع بقراءة سيرة ذاتية كما استمعت بهذه . الرواية اللتي تتحدث عن الراهب المصري هيبا و رحلته و ما احتوته من احداث مهمه جدًا كمقتل ه...moreلم أظن يومًا اني قد استمتع بقراءة سيرة ذاتية كما استمعت بهذه . الرواية اللتي تتحدث عن الراهب المصري هيبا و رحلته و ما احتوته من احداث مهمه جدًا كمقتل هيباتيا عالمة الرياضيات والمنطق (احزنتي طريقة موتها) واتهام الأسقف نسطور بالهرطقة.
قد يكون هذا الكتاب من غير مبالغه واحدًا من آفضل الكتب العربيه المعاصره لغةً و معنئ. يوسف زيدان لا يخيب امل كل قارى محب للغه او التاريخ; شاعرية الكتاب تذكرك دومًا بمدى الجمال اللذي يمكن للغه ان تفعله و الروايه ايضًا تقدم بحثاً عريقًا عن فتره قد تكون من اهم الفترات اللتي صقلت الدين المسيحي اليوم.
اكثر ما اعجبني في الكتاب، هو كم الأنسانيه المتواجده علئ صفحاته؛ فمن علاقات هيبا الغراميه، نظرته الئ الحياه، الئ حوارته مع عزازايل او الشيطان، كلها شائت ان تجتمع في روايةً واحده بآسلوب شعري اظهر كمية الجمال في اللغه العربيه.
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)
Wilde Wilde Wide, what would I have done without your awesome books?
This book has five short -kinda childish stories- all are awesomely written and a...moreWilde Wilde Wide, what would I have done without your awesome books?
This book has five short -kinda childish stories- all are awesomely written and all got a moral or two to learn from.. Despite the fact that these stories were written for children - and by that I mean there're animals and inanimate objects talking-, I couldn't stop myself from not getting too emotional with the characters and the sarcasm each story ended with.
As usual Oscar discuses social-psychological thoughts and that whatever one does, he\she will always get what they truly deserve.
The stories are : The Happy Prince: *spoiler alert* Loved it! It's about a prince, clearly, who used to be happy. He thought the people of his town are living fine for he has been living in his awesome palace and he never actually cared to ask! Once he dies, his people decide to make a statue of him in the middle of the town where he can see what is really going on, see the misery, see the poverty. He meets a traveling Swallow and asks him to help him make his own people happy. The swallow refuses at first, but then he does help the prince, eventually. The prince starts to ask his new friend, the swallow, to take out pieces which he is made of like: the ruby in his sword or the sapphire in his eyes, and the swallow would fly with them and throw them at the poor people. See both the Prince and the Swallow have given up what they want for doing good and for making people happy and yet the Swallow died by a child he was going to help.. and the Prince statute was removed and thrown away in a dust heap along with the Swallow because the statute looks shabby and ugly now :( and I almost cried. ALMOST, but happily that isn't the ending.. They both are sent to heaven now, the place where everything is better.
*End of the spoiler alert*
Moral of the story: 1- There're always things that we can't see, and it's never really the end even if you died :P 2- Never give a damn to what people might think of you.
The nightingale and the rose : it's about love and sacrifices made me sad too. The Selfish Giant : LOVED IT! How sharing is good and blah blah .. good one should be made as a film starting hmm Johnny Depp, maybe?That would be an awesome thing to watch! The devoted Friend : good, not as the two first ones though. The Remarkable Rocket : didn't understand it fully, probably due to the fact that I was half asleep reading. will re-read it.
The thing that made me wonder here, Oscar originally wrote these books for his children Vyvyan and Cyril and they were published as children stories, but I don't remember coming across such sad children stories. I wonder why......
I wanna read these stories for my children, Inshallah.(less)
I wrote a review, I read it, and thought "No! this is not what I think of the novel!", so I wrote another one which couldn't describe my feelings, eit...moreI wrote a review, I read it, and thought "No! this is not what I think of the novel!", so I wrote another one which couldn't describe my feelings, either. And I kept writing one after one.. none of them satisfied me. So far this is the fifth review where I am trying to settle down my ideas and decide whether I like the book or not. In a point of fact, I still don't know how I am feeling towards the book myself! Did I hate it? But why then I kept reading it everywhere I went to? Or how could such an ugly, pervert creature such as Humbert Humbert (Long name! let's call him H.H) drive me to all sorts of pain by every word he writes?
The story is about a middle-aged man and a twelve year old girl and their love affair. When this evilness of lust & desire meet the innocence of a young girl all that written in a way that no one can ever write like, you know that you are reading a great book. A book that will make you wonder what is love? Is it really a pure thing? Or is it an evil passion one which people cannot control, one that drives people crazy and makes them lose their minds, makes them commit things that are totally against their wills?
**Spoiler Alert** When the story first begin, we get to know H.H's motivations, he tells us about his story at a time when he was a teenager and how he has once loved a girl called Annabel and how hard it was for him to deal with her death. Ever since then H.H becomes incapable of resisting nymphets! He's old now, but obviously still having these feeling towards certain kinds of girls. When H.H first meets Lolita. He thinks that he only loves her, because she is like a shadow of his first love. His writing-style is much more than what I would say:
’’There are two kinds of visual memory: one when you skillfully recreate an image in the laboratory of your mind, with your eyes open (and then I see Annabel in such general terms as: “honey-colored skin,” “think arms,” “brown bobbed hair,” “long lashes,” “big bright mouth”); and the other when you instantly evoke, with shut eyes, on the dark inner side of your eyelids, the objective, absolutely optical replica of a beloved face, a little ghost in natural colors (and this is how I see Lolita).’’
So yeah you will expect to hate H.H in the beginning it's always hard to read a book when the protagonist is an evil, selfish guy, but what I found it pretty satisfying is when I realised that H.H was actually in love with Lolita! It's actually more like an obsession, for a better description. It all started with a desire to possesses her carnally, but afterwards and only when H.H meets Lolita again after years, an older Lolita that isn't a nymphet any more, he realises that he is still madly in love with her no matter how old, how pale she is:
’’and I looked and looked at her, and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else. She was only the faint violet whiff and dead leaf echo of the nymphet I had rolled myself upon with such cries in the past; an echo on the brink of a russet ravine, with a far wood under a white sky, and brown leaves choking the brook, and one last cricket in the crisp weeds... but thank God it was not that echo alone that I worshipped. What I used to pamper among the tangled vines of my heart, mon grand pch radieux, had dwindled to its essence: sterile and selfish vice, all that I cancelled and cursed. You may jeer at me, and threaten to clear the court, but until I am gagged and halfthrottled, I will shout my poor truth. I insist the world know how much I loved my Lolita, this Lolita, pale and polluted, and big with another’s child, but still gray-eyed, still sooty-lashed, still auburn and almond, still Carmencita, still mine; Changeons de vie, ma Carmen, allons vivre quelque, part o nous ne serons jamais spars; Ohio? The wilds of Massachusetts? No matter, even if those eyes of hers would fade to myopic fish, and her nipples swell and crack, and her lovely young velvety delicate delta be tainted and torneven then I would go mad with tenderness at the mere sight of your dear wan face, at the mere sound of your raucous young voice, my Lolita.’’
Beautiful, isn't it? And far more shocking to know that the writer is Russian! How could he write in such a perfect way? I was really really amazed by his words and the style was WOW especially when H.H begs the reader to understands him; this all have made me go through all kinds of emotions: disgust, fear, compassion and even LOVE! Only someone with Nabokov’s gift for language could manage to create such a complex combination, right?
I know this is a long review so I'll sum up, the book is about an inside-ugly person he's smart, amusing and somehow even funny! It's the kind of books that will make you feel guilty for loving them, or for having any kind of compassion or sympathy toward its characters and it certainly will leave you out of words just like I am now. At last, I would love to quote Humbert and say: Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I am Malak Alrashed a girl who's trying to keep her self away from every possible sin, have actually read and loved this book with all my soul!
Do I recommend this book? Certainly not! Especially for those who only see the world in black and white.(less)
"Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove...more "Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, That looks on tempests, and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
I am sorry, but I find myself speechless and unable to describe the beauty of Shakespeare. He's certainly my favorite English poet; and it's not only because of his language, but rather for his depth and perspective. The way he sees the world, love, revenge, hatred, is both complex and abstract. When it's a Shakespeare love sonnet, then it's a dynamic compelling kind of love. A sickness, a curse. There's no middle ground. Cold feelings do not exist. Everything is heightened, fresh, sharp, a first experience. In another fair world, Shakespeare would have been my husband.... or maybe my prisoner; there isn't much of a difference, really. I shall have him either way.(less)
As a very big fan of Wilde myself, I have been dying to get my hands on this play which was, for my luck, exactly like what I had in mind: smart and s...moreAs a very big fan of Wilde myself, I have been dying to get my hands on this play which was, for my luck, exactly like what I had in mind: smart and simply hilarious! I finished it in one day and then went back to it and read it all over again. No wonder why it's pretty famous; the characters are just awesome and as usual the dialogue is clever. Loved the muffin's scene and how Jack and Algernon get along with each other. In a few words, it's a very delightful play and it has plenty of witty scenes. Oscar was really funny and you can see that in this play. Probably one of the funniest people who lived. Read it, you won't regret it. :)
When it comes to Wilde I can't stop myself from not quoting him here's my favorite in this play: " ALGERNON All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his. JACK Is that clever? ALGERNON It is perfectly phrased! and quite as true as any observation in civilised life should be. JACK I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays. You can't go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we had a few fools left. ALGERNON We have. JACK I should extremely like to meet them. What do they talk about? ALGERNON The fools? Oh! about the clever people, of course."
And here's another one: " JACK I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly to propose to her. ALGERNON I thought you had come up for pleasure?… I call that business. JACK How utterly unromantic you are! ALGERNON I really don’t see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the fact. JACK I have no doubt about that, dear Algy. The Divorce Court was specially invented for people whose memories are so curiously constituted." (less)
So here's my third reading for Shakespeare and so far this is my favourite for its historical true events. Since the play is named after Julius Caesar...moreSo here's my third reading for Shakespeare and so far this is my favourite for its historical true events. Since the play is named after Julius Caesar I expected lots of him, but I was surprised that he gets assassinated at only the beginning of the third act!
There're some parts that are completely unbelievable and just crazy ;like when Caesar's ghost appears to Brutus and Brutus starts talking with him so normally as if that isn't scary enough! Or the fact that all the characters die at the end, well most of them, but I think this is the magic of literature, the unbelievable crazy things. Right?
Loved that famous line "Et tu, Brute? then fall Caesar" I felt that this hurt Caesar more than being killed, I mean being betrayed by his closest friend.
The play has so many awesome quotes here's what I liked from them;
"Of all the wonders that I yet have heard it seems to me most strange that men should fear seeing that death a necessary end will come when it will come "
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."
"Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once."
I could literally spend hours and hours, if not days, talking about this book, and how much it changed my perspectives on so many levels. But since I...moreI could literally spend hours and hours, if not days, talking about this book, and how much it changed my perspectives on so many levels. But since I am bound by words and not capable of grabbing your neck and slapping you so hard for not reading this one yet, I will try my best to convince you to do so in written words.
Oscar Wilde is not just a brilliant writer, he's a philosopher, a poet, and a very very very interesting human being. He wrote so many works about socialism, children short stories, and hilarious plays. His writing style has some sort of magical profoundness in it. He plays with words, makes music with them and pretty much everything he writes is witty and powerful. He can build layers and layers of beauty in his writing and the world he creates. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, for example, I could swear that there is, at least, a line you can quote and talk about in every.single. page! The dialogues are smart, and extraordinary deep. Now allow me to throw quotes of absolute brilliance below:
“We are punished for our refusals…The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”
“Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different.”
“What of Art? -It is a malady. --Love? -An Illusion. --Religion? -The fashionable substitute for Belief. --You are a sceptic. -Never! Scepticism is the beginning of Faith. --What are you? -To define is to limit.
“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
“Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever. It is a meaningless word, too. The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.”
If you have not fainted by now, I advise you to stop living, really if these quotes did not marvel you, I don't know what will.
Major Themes are Revealed. Read On Your Responsibility! the story has themes of Faustian. Selling one's soul, but this time not for a woman heart, but rather for the beauty and youth Dorian posses. He first becomes a subject in one of Basil's paintings and while that happens, he meets Lord Henry who sort of pulls him into his views of world; telling him that beauty is the most important thing one has:
"To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. . . . Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. . . . A new Hedonism -- that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol"
Dorian, then in-deliberately wishes for eternal youth, and eternal youth he gets. After that we follow Dorian's experiencing his new world. What it means to be forever young, and how Dorian falls in temptations, losing his innocence as well as life's meaning. I think the genius in this novel lies in, along with the beauty of words and philosophy, the idea of the painting being a container of Dorian's sins, it -the painting- being affected and taking the features of Dorian's life decisions is an idea I shall always be haunted by.
Wilde had lived an unhappy life, he was prisoned and exiled from society for his sexual orientation and this book, his only novel, was, according to The Biography of Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellman, used against him in court. As he referred to the relationship b\w Basil and Dorian; "The Love that dare not speak its name".
I think that Wilde is one of the best writers that I will ever come across. He can write in no way I have experienced before, with him I realized how powerful words can be. Dorian Gray is a book you would never regret reading. The prose, the ideas, the wit, and the whole journey of innocence until debauchery is a spiritual and not an easily forgotten story. Do yourself a favor and read it.
Hamlet the sweet prince of Denmark, the revenger, the forgiver, the lover, the hater, the mad man and the wisest of all. What should I write to descri...moreHamlet the sweet prince of Denmark, the revenger, the forgiver, the lover, the hater, the mad man and the wisest of all. What should I write to describe such an extraordinary work? The characters of the play played a very important part in my life to make me understand meanings like love, revenge and self discipline. I think I have never loved a character in any previous book\play I have read like the way I loved Hamlet, the way he sees the world and ponders the purposes and the beauty of it were...... what?? I cannot even find words to describe them, I mean what hasn't already been said of Hamlet? Who am I to talk about a play that survived more than five hundred years and still amazes people? Just think of it..
I loved all the scenes of the play. I think the first scene in act five was the saddest (Ophelia's Burial), and the scene before when Hamlet stays in a distance watching the gravedigger working and Hamlet starts questioning himself about the occupations these dead people had and how all of what they have done won't help them to escape death:
HAMLET That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were Cain's jaw-bone, that did the first murder! It might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'er-reaches; one that would circumvent God, might it not?
HORATIO It might, my lord.
HAMLET Or of a courtier; which could say 'Good morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord?' This might be my lord such-a-one, that praised my lord such-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg it; might it not?
HORATIO Ay, my lord.
HAMLET Why, e'en so: and now my Lady Worm's; chapless, and knocked about the mazzard with a sexton's spade: here's fine revolution, an we had the trick to see't. Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at loggats with 'em? mine ache to think on't.
First Clown [Sings] A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade, For and a shrouding sheet: O, a pit of clay for to be made For such a guest is meet.
*Throws up another skull*
HAMLET There's another: why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be in's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries: is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?
So basically this is my favorite play. One of my dreams is to study it perhaps with a British prof in a very big class, and then go to watch the play on stage.
I know Goodreads is no place for talking about films, but seriously if loved the play as much as I did, go download\rent Hamlet 1996 version it stars Kenneth Branagh who did a great great great job in being Hamlet. I think it's the best adaptation of the play, so far. IT IS A MUST WATCH FOR SHAKESPEARE'S LOVERS. (less)
One of last trip to Paris hunts. I bought it from The Versailles little stores there. I was told it was the best guide book, and indeed it was. Not on...moreOne of last trip to Paris hunts. I bought it from The Versailles little stores there. I was told it was the best guide book, and indeed it was. Not only filled with great pictures, but also historically entraining and well written! The book starts with how and when and who build the great Versailles, and takes you to a detailed information presentation. Great memories, Paris.(less)
To Kill a Mockingbird has been on my bookshelf for a pretty long time, as much as I was excited to start reading it as much as I was afraid that I I w...more To Kill a Mockingbird has been on my bookshelf for a pretty long time, as much as I was excited to start reading it as much as I was afraid that I I would be disappointed since the book is quite popular, and I have never really been a fan of popular books.
However, a month ago I decided to take the risk, and see for myself whether the book is truly good or it's just another overrated book. Clearly, as you can tell from my rating, I found out that it is actually too good!
The story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama. The narrator is a six-old girl called Scout Finch, she has a brother called Jim and lives with her widower father Atticus, a real "awesome" lawyer. Scout is like any other young girl, smarter though, she lives in a typical society where people consider unfamiliar actions as wrong just because they're not familiar with them. As Scout grow up she starts to observe the world around her and learns new things such as: the importance of being humble, respecting people's differences and privacies..etc what I liked about these parts is that Scout learns these values from very simple events, events that happen everyday for everyone. For me, reading or rather taking this educational journey was a complete scream of: "That's right! Why I have never thought of this before?"
The second part of the story (which is my favorite), is the part where Atticus gets appointed to defend a black man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell back where darked-skin people used to be treated badly. Lots of Maycomb's citizen advice Atticus not to defend Tom, and some even try to hurt him with his kids by calling them names like "Negro lovers", despite all of this, Atticus tries his best to prove people wrong and stay fixed for his own principles (that all people should be treated equally no matter what families they've come from or what color of skin they have). Whether Atticus successes or not, that's not the point, the point is that he actually stood for what he believes in.
One thing I would like to point to in the book, is the characters' developments. It has absolutely blown my mind! Especially with Scout, the way we (readers) see how the things she learns, changes her personality through the book is definitely real and quite entertaining! Harber Lee's writing style is simple and yet full of beauty. I highlighted lots of quotes if you may allow me, I'll add some of them:
"We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe- some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they're born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others- some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of men. But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court."
"As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, he is trash."
"Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... There are just some kind of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results."
Sorry! I know that's a lot of quotes, but I couldn't help it! So summing up, the book is awesome and it's a must-read for everyone. The court part was my favorite I kept re-reading it more than once. Loved it and at last I want to say that I have officially added Atticus to my Favorite Fictional Characters list along with Hamlet and Lord Henry from The Picture of Dorian Gray.(less)
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)
The dialogue is witty especially in the III act, I kept going back to it and laugh every time! ✔ checked. the writing? Come on it's Wilde! He invents w...more The dialogue is witty especially in the III act, I kept going back to it and laugh every time! ✔ checked. the writing? Come on it's Wilde! He invents words and amazes you with every line he writes! ✔ checked. Morals? Well, in this play Wilde is kinda mocking of the morals of the Victorian's society back then, and how must of people are judging each other according to their appearance & their reputations. They never actually try to give others a chance to show themselves truly. It also shows a deep relationship between a mother and her daughter, so this one is also ✔ checked.
At the end I'd like to say, Oscar Wilde is the most perfect writer of all the times. True story! (less)