After one scorching Sarraute book, this is the second one that I could not digest at all. I tried three times, but each time I failed to get engaged.After one scorching Sarraute book, this is the second one that I could not digest at all. I tried three times, but each time I failed to get engaged.
And now I'm eating a box of "Cocos" (cevizli) made by Elvan from Istanbul....more
5 stars for the first 30 pages, but then I don't know, feels like I'm in part cartoon, part American movie. None of the characterizations, conflicts,5 stars for the first 30 pages, but then I don't know, feels like I'm in part cartoon, part American movie. None of the characterizations, conflicts, banter, and absurd predicaments got to me like the A and B vignettes early on. Vian has his moments of wicked irony, but its tough to sustain given the singular, snappy tone spread across the set up and wide cast of characters on Exopotamie.
Certainly the possession does not last the entire way through, but even in the less interesting or repetitive poemsThis is a step towards possession.
Certainly the possession does not last the entire way through, but even in the less interesting or repetitive poems there are some jarring lines, amplified by a soul in Heat.
Like any elevated piece of literature, Flowers of Evil consumed me to such an extent that at times I forgot I was reading words on a page, its intensity moving my mind into some unknown zone where images, thoughts, and recollections screamed by, colliding with each other. So, too, did I feel at times that even the writer himself was "not all there," taken away by a demon, merely the vehicle for some phantasm. Yes, Baudelaire sold me on his deal, not merely because of content or form, but because of the legitimacy and authenticity of his spirit that comes through them. At its best I lost the idea that Baudelaire was “writing,” or “constructing thoughts and ideas.” More often I felt like I was seeing a living reality and the spirit behind it, the dreams he “knows.”
We can look at a whore and see nothing poetic just as we can look at the sun and see nothing poetic. But the poetic is everywhere and, for me, the more I can tap into, the better life is. Is it more and more rare to find a person who sees anything poetic in the sun? Is the modern mind still trying to convince itself that myth doesn’t work? Whatever one's answer to those questions, most will agree that it’s even rarer to find someone who sees anything POETIC in the heist, the hell, the holey handbag. And then even rarer yet again to find someone who can see the poetic in such things and communicate it to others on a convincing level. And then perhaps it’s only a very singular visionary who can not only see the poetic in such things, but communicate it in such a way that it creates its own inspiring beauty while remaining true to the original inspiration. Sure we have heists, whores, and holey handbags a dime a dozen, but do they even recognize their own beauty much? Are they as tuned in to their own spirit as Baudelaire was?
I hate cars, but I love to watch the rare person who is passionate and soulful about them. I don't read books on toe-picking, but show me someone passionate about their toe-picking and I'll gladly sit down beside them to observe and ask engaging questions, join in a little. Baudelaire. Hate his whoring if you will, but there is a passion, a depth, a profound nature to it that would have me in rapid pursuit to follow him anywhere. And the guy never seems disappointed! That is what twists the knife in me time and time again!
But he’s not just writing of whore houses and opium dens, telling us of their ugly and vile colors. No! He’s not just heading out on a heartless, gutless, mindless hedonistic romp. No! This is the debased as Ideal, wrapping the demon up in lovely meter, rhyme, and high metaphor, carrying the gutter into the heavens! The Saint of Whores! The Divinity of Syphilis! The God of Pooping your Pants! I love it. He loves! Not foul for a moment! There is goodness in it all!!!! I can’t even crystalize Baudelaire without sounding silly! To find Beauty in the Gutter! This is the Man! Far too much of it to originate from mere constructs and ideas. No, there are demons and gods at work.
Baudelaire wouldn’t even spit on a Renoir painting. He’d just undress it and fly. The Corpse on the lip, a taste from God. Possessed. I can not get so close to It, except through Baudelaire. Beautiful Ugliness. Goodness. When literature helps you live a new life, or at least revitalize it. ...more
Let's give this 4 stars because I love the guy. He's got some great lines and a few great poems, and that was enough for me since a lot of the othersLet's give this 4 stars because I love the guy. He's got some great lines and a few great poems, and that was enough for me since a lot of the others are talk about wind and death and rats.
Favorite poems included Cartesian Driver, Dance Night.
The translation seems looser than my sweat pants in the back. ...more
In places, these six stories contain some of Camus' more literary writing. Unfortunately, I find that most do not develop much tension or suspense, anIn places, these six stories contain some of Camus' more literary writing. Unfortunately, I find that most do not develop much tension or suspense, and even the stories that begin with promise seem to drown in flatness shortly thereafter. The lone exception for me was "The Guest" which does succeed at hammering in some emotional nails into the reader.
It's also interesting to see how various forms of "tribalism" and "paganism" take center stage in several different stories as characters search for life in the face of Camus' world view of absurdism (modern loneliness, mortality, and alienation). At the same time these parts could be critiqued for being somewhat superficial and lacking in knowledge of the more traditional forms of religious experience.
The Dram Shop began with great promise. Probably my favorite scene is near the beginning when the cast of characters have some time to waste and visitThe Dram Shop began with great promise. Probably my favorite scene is near the beginning when the cast of characters have some time to waste and visit the art museum. As things progressed, I never found myself disliking the story, but it did seem to be rather one-dimensional. With many other books calling, the 400+ pages dragged on for over four months. Overall it is similar to a Dickens tale of character-based squalor, but without any happy endings. Lovers of social realism might rightfully take umbrage with that comparison, but it gives some idea of what to expect for a casual reader....more