Up to the last chapter I kept thinking that this have to be the most depressing book I ever read. Everything seems to be going south for Yunior and it...moreUp to the last chapter I kept thinking that this have to be the most depressing book I ever read. Everything seems to be going south for Yunior and it wasn't like he hadn't had his hand in it. He was a cheating fucker, but he just couldn't catch a break to the point you almost had to feel sorry for him. The writing was superb, raw and to the point. Each chapter revolved around a particular aspect of the break up. The narrative is different to deliver the most of that emotional scenery. And it does! The last chapter is a cherry on the top, has possibly the best writing of the whole book. During it Yunior seemed to be getting a grasp of what the love is about ... in his own way :) I liked how he just took a breath ...(less)
If you were going to search for a paradise in a present world, where would you go? And if you found it, you have to be doubting whether it still would...moreIf you were going to search for a paradise in a present world, where would you go? And if you found it, you have to be doubting whether it still would be one. A paradise, a place in past, how it meets the present, how people are more and more drawn to it is the theme of this mesmerizing book. Nooteboom is a master of travelogue, he makes vivid not only the scenery, but also the scent of the place. Here he uses it to intensify character contemplation. The themes themselves are utterly European and Nooteboom seems to be the right author for them.(less)
Enchanting little novella about almost ethereal Anabelle, a newly found muse for a group of young artists. Tatarka magically captures spirit of their...moreEnchanting little novella about almost ethereal Anabelle, a newly found muse for a group of young artists. Tatarka magically captures spirit of their creative burst, dooms to be short-lived, accompanied by fellow jealousy. Almost as lovely are sporadic tears in narrative where the surrounding historical reality of early 40s is allowed to leak in tiny droplets. That said, above all this rears Tatarka's commandment of slovak language like none other before or after him. This allows him to creative unique narrative landscapes and fast paced imagery, which combines to create this astonishing book.(less)
How come this isn't one of the most influential books of 20th century is a mystery to me. It deals with two major political events of modern time and...moreHow come this isn't one of the most influential books of 20th century is a mystery to me. It deals with two major political events of modern time and tries to put them in modern perspective. Every political issue of our time can be traced back to those as Arendt diligently describes. For the beginning is thought to be more than half of the whole, as old adage quoted by Aristotle says. This is no small feat and this work should be very important for society movements that awaits us.
Style is very thorough, this is a broad subject and she describes it to the fullest. But her ideas are still crystal clear, which distinguishes her from her fellow philosophers. Naturally, she backs her claims with quotations from works and correspondence of major figures of both american and french revolutions, so readers can make better picture of their thoughts and motives.
Arendt's major theme, authority and its origins is in full display here and we can see how it was revolutionized in 18th and 19th century.
Readers are left to ponder what it means for our society ...(less)
Brutally intimate poetry. Its jazzy wordplays clouds dagger which will pierce your longing, while warm embrace is already awaiting. Astonishing achiev...moreBrutally intimate poetry. Its jazzy wordplays clouds dagger which will pierce your longing, while warm embrace is already awaiting. Astonishing achievement.(less)
Absolutely brilliant and precise analysis of the post-totalitarian system. It is amazing how much of these thoughts are universal and could be applied...moreAbsolutely brilliant and precise analysis of the post-totalitarian system. It is amazing how much of these thoughts are universal and could be applied even now. The immense power of humble living in truth could not be explained better. Furthermore, last three chapters are pretty much ahead of its own time, and ahead of today's time, as is true with lot of good 20th century philosophy. (less)
Reading this book feels like Sunday afternoon, sitting in the armchair with a glass of nice wine, looking to the cracking fireplace, recalling strange...moreReading this book feels like Sunday afternoon, sitting in the armchair with a glass of nice wine, looking to the cracking fireplace, recalling strange episodes from your past, very warm and gentle, all the humor, irony, even misgivings and wrongdoings you remember charms warm smile on your face. If I would to select book to take with me to Desert Island, this would be my second choice (first being “How to build a raft and navigate the seas for dummies”). One author after finishing it have been heard to say: “There’s nothing left to write…”, which is absolutely true. On the outside it feels like gentle cradling, but on the inside it is boiling with ideas. Brutally honest ones. When Proust makes fun of townsman/aristocracy hypocrisy, it cuts to the bone. When he speaks of love, ups and downs alike, he could be almost cynical, and few pages later a true romantic. Writing is marvelously exquisite. It is what makes this book able to achieve all the above. Higher your artistic goal is, higher your writing skills have to be. Proust aims for the sky and his writing is up to the task. It is a pleasure on its own and in my opinion this is the ultimate platonic book, you can almost feel and sense the beauty or the truth ideals. On the other hand it also discuss how the individual standpoint affects ones perception of events, making it the combining of art philosophy of past and present like I thought is nowhere near possible. The level of detail he is able to capture is astounding. His level of genius is capable of capturing the sight of light reflection on church tower(4 pages long), or even sound of the music which makes your blood boil, the famous little phrase of Vinteuill’s symphony. Unbelievable Masterpiece. If this is to be the only book you read in your life, don’t even start, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy it ;) (less)
From the beginning mirroring opening sequence of Satan's fall in Milton's Paradise Lost, to the end which eerily references apostles staring into empt...moreFrom the beginning mirroring opening sequence of Satan's fall in Milton's Paradise Lost, to the end which eerily references apostles staring into empty crypt after the resurrection, it is apparent Cormac McCarthy didn't wan't to write an ordinary book. He took upon himself a heavy task of writing a new Bible and he even says so on several occasions in the text when he mentions The Good Book (referencing both The Bible and this book itself).
His chosen form is the bildungsroman of the classical western on a background of a gore of the USA-Mexican war of 19th century. He describes it almost punctually; to so much detail, it is impossible to finish the book the first time you start it. However make no mistake, it's use is not frivolous. The Violence serves as an exposure aid of the book's main character, the Judge. Now Judge technically is only a supporting character, so you can focus on his relationship to the supposed main character, the Kid.
This relationship is central to the book, and when I say relationship to the Kid, I mean Judge's relationship to you. Because the book develops not only on its pages, but directly inside you as you ponder whether it is really worth it to continue ... One of the roles of violence in the book is to suffer and make you earn next Judge's monologue, all of which are grand;
“This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification. Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one's will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence.War is god.” (think about why he felt the need to write the bible about war and violence)
it challenges you to come to terms with this desire to see unraveling dark character on the expense of more (really disgusting) violence. I can guarantee that after you read this book you will never look upon any 80's flick with Stallone or Arnie the same.
Harold Bloom called this book the ultimate western (and the best american book of the latter half of 20th century). Not in the sense that it is the best, rather it is the last, it sums everything up, there is nothing left to write. Also, McCarthy went surprisingly far to be historically accurate; almost everything he writes is taken directly from a historical source. Even the book climax Judge exposure scene is a precise description of a picture he found in Texas library (of a 19th century contemporary). Why would he do so? Why is it so important? I won't elaborate on this subject too much, as how you deal with it is part of the reading experience of the book. However one of it's functions is to bring the sense of immediacy, even legitimacy to the text. We live in an era where majority of us never experienced the war and its violence firsthand. Although it can't be a real deal, it is surprising how close this book can bring you to it. And it needs this in order to achieve what Mr. McCarthy sets for himself to do.(less)