לא בטוחה איך להסביר את התגבוה שלי לספר הזה מלבד לומר שהוא נורא, נורא, נורא ישראלי. ותאמינו לי – זו לא מחמאה.
יש משהו בסופרים היקרים שלנו שכולם מאוד מנסלא בטוחה איך להסביר את התגבוה שלי לספר הזה מלבד לומר שהוא נורא, נורא, נורא ישראלי. ותאמינו לי – זו לא מחמאה.
יש משהו בסופרים היקרים שלנו שכולם מאוד מנסים לכתוב כמו עמוס עוז – במחשבה שגם הם יכולים להוציא נובל, סביר להניח – כאשר ראש החוטאים, כדברי חברתי, הוא עמוס עוז. סגנון כתיבה כזה של זרם תודעה מפרך שרוב העולם או אף פעם א אימץ, או אימץ וכבר נטש. וכל מה שבא לי לעשות אתו זה לתת לסופר מכה על הראש עם פרי עטו המכובד, ולהגיד לו: "תסיים משפט למען ה'!"
אז אביגור-רותם היא ישראלית טיפוסית במובן הזה. הספר שלה מלא בפסקאות בלתי-נגמרות עם מיליוני שלוש-נקודות, וקטעים קצרים שלא מסתדרים בזמן. כמו בכל ספר ישראלי כל מה שהגיבורה עושה בשני שליש ממנו הוא לשכב על הספה ולשפוך לקורא-פסיכולוג מקטעים שבטח קשה אפילו היה לה להבין. עוד נטייה ספרותית ישראלית טיפוסית שאין לי כוח אליה.
הסיבה שהספר לא קיבל ממני אחר כבוד כוכב אחד, וזהו זה, הוא השליש האחרון, שבו סוף סוף דברים מתחילים לקרות, ופתאום בום! קורים וקורים וקראים (לא, זאת לא שגיאת כתיב). אף על פי שהסופרת מבלה שני עמודים בלצטט לנו מסרט שכולנו בטח ראינו לפחות פעם אחת ("שואה" אם נורא בא לכם לדעת) שזה כמעט בלתי נסלח, פתאום אנחנו מקבלים קטעי יומן וסיפור חיים שלם בשלושים עמודים, וזה מרתק וסוף-סוף המשפטים שלה מסתיימים בנקודה כמו בני אדם ו... בקיצור, ספר שונה. אז השליש הזה מקבל ממני צל"ש, ובשבילו אולי אפילו שווה לדשדש בביצה הסגנונית המקומית....more
**spoiler alert** This is the story of a young boy who, born under an unlucky star, goes through great trials and tribulations with his star-crossed l**spoiler alert** This is the story of a young boy who, born under an unlucky star, goes through great trials and tribulations with his star-crossed love, becomes blind during childhood and, after a period of maladjustment, gains zen superpowers and becomes a celebrity lawyer.
If it sounds like I may be mistakenly writing a review for a Daredevil comic, that's not an accident. Because this appalling book, if summarised for, say, Twitter, would be exactly that. Sadly, this story, while being about Daredevil, isn't nearly as cool. It would be tremendously improved if the protagonist started running around beating people up with amazing martial arts moves using his cane. Sadly, that's not what it does. Instead, it explains how blind people, in order to gain competence and freedom in their lives, must through the rejection of fear and anger (because disabled people must not feel human emotions, or they cease to function) gain superpowers, and why it will make them inspiring. Buckle in and let's go for a ride.
I may choose to be lenient, and blame its choppy, awkward, writing, and the horrifyingly overwrought dialogue in the first-person narrator parts, on the translator, rather than the author, but the rest of it is definitively the author's fault. So let's begin at the beginning, and take a closer look.
This is the story of young Tin Win, whom, the astrologer prophesies, will bring much suffering to his family. We never see him do this, perhaps because his father dies in an accident, and his mother ditches him. That very week, while he is sitting for days on end squatting and waiting for her, the vision loss begins to settle in. Rather on the coincidental side, I suppose, but tolerable so far.
Then Tin Win goes entirely blind. And, after a great deal of doing nothing and bumping into things, becomes inspiring through the power of zen and calm, which allows him, after the proper revelationary enlightenment, to hear everything, and I do mean everything, including, for example, birds growing in the egg, and people's heartbeats (that also serves him as a lie detector later on in life - Daredevil says hi again). Being, myself, visually impaired from birth, I can tell you that disability is not inspirational, it ain't magical, and it sure as heck doesn't give you superpowers.
Then Tin Win meets Mi Mi, who is also disabled and cannot walk, and who is also inspirational and magical, possessed of the most wonderful voice that is rumoured to preserve and prolong life, and a completely unnatural dignity and dirt-repelling charms, while she crawls (in a dignified way, f course) on all fours on the floor.
Thanks, author! First you give us the blind guy who can't do anything with himself and never gains confidence until he gains superpowers and becomes able to "see" the world by radar, then you give us the girl who, instead of illustrating for us the genuine troubles and trials of a person who cannot walk, and who can't get a wheelchair, and remain dignified despite that, magically avoids all these very real issues.
Then the unfortunate implications get even worse, as Tin Win Becomes mobile and independent carrying Mi Mi on his back - not, in any way, recalling that parable about the blind man and the lame man who have to get out of the forest, oh no - and having her see and interpret the world for him, aptly demonstrating to us how a blind person needs to have "eyes" in order to make sense of his surroundings and see for him. When, later on in the book, they are (inevitably) separated, Tin Win, even with his awesome superpowers, completely loses his ability to do much of anything, because all these years of being blind obviously didn't teach him to test his environment in a cautious and independent manner.
In fact, the two are so much in love that, whenever they are separated for any period of time, Tin Win becomes terminally ill. Because this is precisely the kind of romantic attachment that one should wish to promote, and carries with it no connotations whatsoever of sick obsession, but rather is indicative of an exceptional ability to love, and is a culmination of zen teachings. From now on, every time my husband is out of the house without my knowledge, I have the perfect excuse to play dead. I'm just so much in love, you know!
Tin Win's evil uncle restores his sight by removing his cataracts, an act which may or may not in and of itself be evil, and decides to keep him around as a good luck charm, for which purpose he purloins Tin Win's letters to Mi Mi, and vise versa. For years.
And for years Tin Win, who is supposed to be quite brilliant, and possess an almost eidetic memory, as well as be a living lie detector, never thinks to ask himself whether his uncle may have been tampering with his mail! Not once! He just accepts the lack of response knowing that his Mi Mi loves him. Holy hell. Then, when the uncle sends him to America, instead of trying to run away, or contact her behind his back, he just goes, never seeing her again for fifty years. If that is not a contrived plot device intended to lend the story its proper dramatic tone, I honestly don't know what is - get a damn envelope and mail it without your uncle's knowledge boy!
In America he marries (for some reason), has children, only in order to, without ever telling them a word about his past, disappear thirty years later to find the love of his life. how this makes sense is utterly beyond me, but I'll give the moral implications involved a pass for now, because otherwise I'll run out of room.
Finally, to top off this comedy of the absurd, Tin Win arrives in Burma (it's called Myanmar now, by the way) and finds Mi Mi, in order to spend a night of amazing passion and all that other good stuff, right in time. That night, with no rhyme or reason, they both die in each other's arms.
That's it. In this case, the less said, the more illustrated, and so I leave you. If you want a good portrayal of a disabled protagonist, seriously, read Lois McMaster Bujold. It's a better story, too. In space....more