Do you have that one friend that keeps more than one collection or when he or she is fed up with one, his or her mind has already irrevocably settledDo you have that one friend that keeps more than one collection or when he or she is fed up with one, his or her mind has already irrevocably settled itself on another project? They might not even notice it, but… it’s happened again, he or she is keeping another one, just like one maintains air in its lungs. If that case applies to you… well, I wouldn’t advise you to read this, because you can get a seed for an idea for yet another “collection” and this one isn’t exactly legal. On the other hand, if you do have a friend like I’ve just described… this story will make you look differently towards that same person, it could be good or bad, but definitely different. An appallingly banal butterfly collector wins a lottery and sees himself freed from the constraint of his familiar bonds. Afterwards, he kidnaps a young neighbor he’s been observing for most of his life, an art student – Miranda. This book was hard to put down, it describes the imprisonment period in such a delicate way from the kidnaper’s point of view and then Miranda’s desperation tells a completely different story. The young woman dwelves into his mind and purposes deeper and deeper in order to regain her freedom, but solitude and stimuli deprivation take their toll on her, mesmerizing her into an abyss of hours, minutes, seconds. The beautiful way Fowles has of portraying each character and the polarizing way they deal with their emotions throughout their confinement together makes this a very peculiar (perhaps frightening for some other readers) read. I found Caliban a very interesting character, it was quite challenging to find “the human” in his distorted perception of life (and yet not so strange at times) and to see it through the eyes of a snob-ish full-of-life dreamer, whose wings are paralyzed by fear (and something more?). ...more
The original publish date of this book was circa 500 BCE and that amazes me. How come humanity hasn’t essentially evolved that much since then? You coThe original publish date of this book was circa 500 BCE and that amazes me. How come humanity hasn’t essentially evolved that much since then? You could conclude that after reading any History book but… it still amazes me every single time. After a small discussion about reading History books in my blog, reading The Art of War makes me need to add a final idea – each one teaches you a lesson you can directly apply to your life. This book is the result of a compilation about strategy made by a mysterious warrior-philosopher. It dissects organizations in conflict on every single level, in such a thorough way that it easily became a bible for politicians, executives, military leaders and, why not, for the common citizen of the world in his own little battles of ordinary life. "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." Sun Tzu ...more
Two young sisters are separated and one is given the choice of living a life of sin and luxury, the other chooses to obey God and remain chaste. EveryTwo young sisters are separated and one is given the choice of living a life of sin and luxury, the other chooses to obey God and remain chaste. Everything bad that can happen happens to Justine, the pious sister and everything good that can happen happens to the sister who forsook God and embraced premarital sex, murder and sin. Well, so much for wondering about the origin of the term “sadism”. Sade certainly has such a way of describing sexual scenes that sometime made me look forward to the philosophical interludes he presents us; he was such a good writer that he made the reader linger on every juicy detail… until some get nauseous. It’s his peculiar way to give moral lessons… ok, this might sound contradictory, but it isn’t, not at all. Justine's attempts at reason towards her captors and their rebuttals and explanations were philosophical and demanding. This fascinated me at times, for it questioned concepts such as ‘virtue’ and ‘purpose’. I must say Sade was certainly a visionary, ironic, smart man and… probably the founder of pornography. Many people will disagree with me, but this novel is based too much on highly unlikely scenes that end up with highly predictable outcomes. Does that ring a bell to you? Well, that’s just why I couldn’t rate this novel with more than three stars. Moreover, the edition I own is embellished with some nice illustrations, accompanying the narrative. ...more
"Oh, Mrs Dalloway... always giving parties to cover the silence"
I've been meaning to read this book for a while. If you've watched "The Hours" film, y"Oh, Mrs Dalloway... always giving parties to cover the silence"
I've been meaning to read this book for a while. If you've watched "The Hours" film, you recall the references to this (wonderful) piece of literature. That's probably my most re-watched film, and I barely re-watch any. I've already reviewed here another one of Virginia's books and I always marvel at her sensitivity, her ability to swiftly change thoughts between characters and make it feel natural, her beautiful painting of such delicate matters, of deep feelings, suffered existences, much like her own. I can't say much about this one... except that it did live to its expectations, and Julianne Moore does a great job in acting as the main character. This is the story of a woman and her beloved friends and the (not so much expected) choices she made in life. But most of all, this is a story of how two diametrically different people, that have never met and shall never meet, can completely share a vision in life, as if they shared the same skin, of how 'unoriginal' and superficial we can all be. ...more
Why would a Portuguese girl on the 21st century be interested in the bourgeois living of a German family two centuries ago? Because it’s got Thomas MaWhy would a Portuguese girl on the 21st century be interested in the bourgeois living of a German family two centuries ago? Because it’s got Thomas Mann’s stamp on it and because he wrote when he was about my age. This last fact can be a bit shameful, because I cannot imagine a contemporary author with this age depicting so vividly so many lives, a culture, a niche of society, and yet being so detached and critical about it. This ruthless family and its charismatic members are the sole stage of this work, taking us through their abundant dilemmas, such as the one between mundaneity and spiritual growth. Every character brings about different questions and their choices (or absence of them) will sketch the fall the title warns us about. "Life was harsh: and business, with its ruthless unsentimentality, was an epitome of life."