Being 20, I enjoyed the adolescent tone and nature of this prose poeWell wasn't that a ride, boys and girls?
Maldoror is a trip, and what a trip it is.
Being 20, I enjoyed the adolescent tone and nature of this prose poem, however I can see how other readers may view it as nothing more than grotesque random scenes with at times almost incoherent babbling.
The lack of central plot, and disjointed style of the story often led me to be confused, but I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. I appreciate when others try to take a step out of the contemporary novel of the time and experiment, sometimes it just comes out better than others. The late 1800's must have been an amazing time for emerging writers, so many 'new' concepts and writing styles were created then.
This is my first real taste at surrealism, and I don't mind what I just tasted. Mixed in with rebellion against man and God, I can see why this may suit those of a younger audience, mixed with similar feelings.
Sure, at times he may have gone too far, but if you look through that, there is some quite memorable scenes in this gem.
Or you could always just check it out for the reading cred, it'll at least be an interested read!...more
Definitely Soseki`s most serious book. His only autobiographical novel (excluding perhaps fragments of Botchan in which he used his own experiences asDefinitely Soseki`s most serious book. His only autobiographical novel (excluding perhaps fragments of Botchan in which he used his own experiences as a teacher to drive the story), and the last novel he completed prior to his relatively early death. And yet, given all of this, it is considerably lesser known than some of his earlier works like Botchan, Kokoro, and I am a Cat.
This is not an easy book to read, even though it falls in less than 200 pages. Similar to I am a Cat, it is fragments of the life of Soseki`s alter-ego, Kenzo, who, like Soseki was put up for adoption only later to be return to his birth family, with his past adoptive life and parents creeping up on him for their own material gain (the reason they took him up for adoption in the first place, adoption in the Meiji Era in Japan is quite different to the Western style and you may want to look up on it prior to reading this)
As shown in the Grass on the Wayside, Soseki never really forgave his parents for their dis-ownership of him, nor his adoptive parents for only using him as an object, like a share, which may offer future dividends. This may be one of the reasons why it is evident in this, and quite a few other of his books that isolation, loneliness, and the fear to love others is so prevalent.
Notably the fore-founder of modern Japanese literature, Soseki didn`t always have it well off, even though prior to the Meiji Restoration his family was what you may call in the bourgeois. A lot of readers tend to appreciate reading about struggling writers/people in general, almost every well supported and developed character in this story is in that position.
This story does not move fast, and I strongly recommend you reading some of Soseki`s lighter books, or at least Kokoro prior to checking this out. I think, sometimes to really appreciate an author you have to read past his books, and be able to grasp an understanding of the person behind the books too. Grass on the Wayside is a prime example of this, and it sheds light on aspects in previous novels by Soseki that I have read that I was unbeknownst to. ...more
Will we ever go through a novel of yours without someone being murdered, attempted to be murdered, or at least plotted to be? No, I amZola Zola Zola.
Will we ever go through a novel of yours without someone being murdered, attempted to be murdered, or at least plotted to be? No, I am not complaining, it does not feel repetitive at all, at least not in a negative way.
What we see here is typical gritty and savage prose by Zola. Two lovers find themselves in a sticky situation. Forbidden love with a married lady, spouse to your own friend. You can easily see how this sets it up for a great psychological suspense novel with an increasingly escalating calamity.
I won't spoil anything, but I appreciated Zola's approach that even if you are not physically incarcerated/imprisoned by your actions; your own conscious which sparks on guilt and fear will create your own prison, one in which you can never escape from until you are either caught or confess.
A comparison to this is when I was in Japan I saw on the news a man that had been a fugitive for over a decade for his participation in the Tokyo subway gas incident eventually went from Osaka to Tokyo to hand himself in to authorities. Some may say that the harsh life of living in the streets was the cause, but I know people who work in the prison system in Japan; friends who have been imprisoned there themselves and it's probably worse than being homeless. Just a thought I believed kind of related to the book....more
You see this title, and you look up the book: "Oh, a novel about women and shopping, thisHoly Mother of God...
I do not know where to begin with this.
You see this title, and you look up the book: "Oh, a novel about women and shopping, this is going to be a bore..." Even I had my doubts, and I am an avid reader of Zola, he has yet to disappoint me. And yet, I believe that this may be the best work of his that I have yet to read, perhaps Germinal is slipping through, just...
It's still so relevant to today in so many ways, the birth of the super stores and the effect they had and still do on small business. The ethical problems of big business muscling out the small guys unable to adapt, whether it be from financial limitations or due to stubbornness. Female employees being coerced to act on the whim of their male employers; the manipulation of pretty much every possible stakeholder in business only to drive up profits; marrying for money, this book has everything.
Readers of Zola will be aware of how gritty and raw he his; he does not hold back on the disastrous effects and ramifications that a world driven by capital and materiality has on his well built (with a strong emphasis on psychological aspects) characters which are more than believable, they come to life. Plenty of ups and downs in this one, you finally get some reprieve, a glimmer of hope, and then the door is slammed in your face. You cannot even make out who is the 'bad' guys are half the time, but I think that was purposeful since we are all human and acting in what we perceive to be our best interests, especially in a dog eat dog world that was Paris in the 1880's with new wealth being generated creating different class interactions.
There's so many characters that all have their own story. You feel pity, anger, sorrow, relief, all varying emotions for them as they progress along this story, certainly far from being one-dimensional. The ending seemed a bit too rushed for my liking, however the imagery leading up to it was some of the best I have read in a long time.
Business is a machine, and if you get in its' way, you will be dealt with relentlessly. Funnily enough Futurama is on TV now, the episode being where the robots try to take over Earth....more
This is an amazing little gem, and its applicability for today is amazing! If you can find this, please spare the twenty or so minutes it would take fThis is an amazing little gem, and its applicability for today is amazing! If you can find this, please spare the twenty or so minutes it would take for reading this, it truly is something to help put you back into reality....more
It's such a pity that Forbidden Colours will always be foreshadowed by Mishima's other works that had closer ties to his eventual death, because if heIt's such a pity that Forbidden Colours will always be foreshadowed by Mishima's other works that had closer ties to his eventual death, because if he talked about suicide and actually did it it must mean that that work is suddenly more DEEP&EDGY, right guys?
I love Mishima's ability to depict internal thought-processing and reasoning across a wide array of characters in quite unique positions for a reader like myself. His views on Japan's shift to a more materialist and individualistic culture for reasons like the attempt to appear beautiful actually come at the cost of the loss actual beauty make a compelling case.
Mishima was a bad-ass. He belonged to a certain group at a certain time and was not afraid to say things how they were. Japan is still considerably repressive towards homosexuality, especially in men and I found that the behaviours and beliefs of many homosexuals could genuinely end up despising women as a result which was evident throughout the novel.
This is not a quick read, Mishima took his time to ensure that all the characters throughout the story were crafted beautifully which allowed him to create some considerably memorable scenes that he managed to pull off without appearing far-fetched.
There is so much you can pick up in the novel. If you think this is going to be some homo erotic fiction, it is not.
Despite the subject matter and foreign nature of the work which may repulse or encourage some to not read it (homosexuality, misogyny etc.), I cannot emphasise the importance of at least giving it a try. An author like no other, writing a story like no other in a time like no other. Don't read him because he is the 'Japanese Hemingway', read him for what he was and what he has given us all, this certainly was not reminiscent of anything I had read by Hemingway, which shows that Mishima was so far from being a one trick pony. ...more
Hands down one of the most influential reads I have had in quite some time, I am so thankful that I had 'Life and Fate' and 'The Road' read previouslyHands down one of the most influential reads I have had in quite some time, I am so thankful that I had 'Life and Fate' and 'The Road' read previously so that I could better understand the arguments and beliefs of the author and who Grossman as a person.
I loved the sifting between the fictional elements of the story and the additions Grossman had put throughout the book about the cycle of Russia's dependency of slavery from serfdom, to the revolution, back to Stalin's USSR. The details of Kolyma and other camps and atrocities that millions of innocents were subjected to throughout those decades are also worth praising in its' believability and conciseness. The other issues of what is freedom and the development of states through violence and fear were also well worth endeavouring upon.
I will definitely be revisiting this, and the aforementioned works of Grossman that I have read. Also looking forward to checking out more by this under-appreciated and less commonly discussed/critiqued author, who has had such an impression on me over the past three months.
I will leave the literary analysis to the others who know what they are talking about, thought I'd just post my thoughts on something I appreciate....more
Don't know why I took so long to get around to this, very different depiction of the Cossack's from Gogol's in 'Taras Bulba', which I had recently reaDon't know why I took so long to get around to this, very different depiction of the Cossack's from Gogol's in 'Taras Bulba', which I had recently read.
However, as per usual, quality from Leo Tolstoy. I'm running out of his shorter works to read, will have to start his longer masterpieces soon!...more
Chekhov seems to be the master of portraying the mentally ill in short story (The Black Monk a prime example), but in this case it makes you ponder asChekhov seems to be the master of portraying the mentally ill in short story (The Black Monk a prime example), but in this case it makes you ponder as to who really is the insane in our society. Typical depressing, and yet beautiful Russian literature....more