Only done with the first story in this book, so I will come back to write more later. This is the first book I've tried to read in Russian ( I tried BOnly done with the first story in this book, so I will come back to write more later. This is the first book I've tried to read in Russian ( I tried Bulgakov's Морфин first, but that was too hard to start--I think I did 1 chapter), and lord, it has been slow going. But that turns out to be a good thing. See,when I read it in English, I practically skimmed over whole scenes and ideas that did not give me a taste of its deeper layers. (It was something like reading Lolita --you can read the surface of that book, or you can plunge in deeper. ) I just went too fast, with too much of the movies in my head, because in English it's a pretty easy read.
In Russian, well. Forced to go slow, to match words with my English copy, ideas jumped out at me in three-dee. Like the final scene of part one--the first time I suppose I just thought Anton was being thoughtful, childlike, wanting to catch snowflakes with less responsibility . A sweet ending--but not quite everything--no.
He wants to be frozen, which is like being free from fate. Most importantly, free from feelings, period. Human feelings. In that scene I now feel the weight of his future--more than just existential, it carries heavy, moral weight, the anticipation of sadness in love, family, loss. I suppose part of this comes from my having read most of the next two books in the series --gives much more than the movies, which sometimes to me seems hardly the same story.
Да--да I have finished my first book in Russian. I actually understood it much more deeply this way, only because I was forced to read so slowly. The book ends on the opposite note of CASABLANCA. Apparently the love lives of people do add up to more than a hill of beans.
It's Better in Russian (.Лучше на русском...)...more
Of course Morrissey is a great writer: he is a great songwriter, and the types of songs he writes lend themselves into expansion into prose.He is greaOf course Morrissey is a great writer: he is a great songwriter, and the types of songs he writes lend themselves into expansion into prose.He is great on multiple levels: clarity of thought, complexity of idea, and fun play with words. Perspective? More on that later. He becomes a great writer in the same conventional way most writers become good: by being well-read and emulating the saints of literature. Moz's favorite is quite obviously Oscar Wilde, as he practically imitates him to illness, plus admiring other people of wit. Using his clever rhyme time word chords. He quotes himself rather liberally as well, and quotes other people quoting him. He also quotes from good movies, artists, and other musicians --he was a student of all arts it appears. But exceptionally so, music--too bad we couldn't have reached across the water to share our record collections while growing up in isolation. It would have been so fun. Rubber ring, rubber ring, rubber ring, rubber ring....
So fun. Like a rain-soaked car hiding under a dark underpass near Reading Gaol.
Okay, the boy's got a little ego, but who that is interesting doesn't? I enjoy calling him a boy, and think he would enjoy it as well--being as he is as self-conscious of aging, as he was earlier of being young and powerless as a schoolboy. I enjoy the tag for selfish reasons as well, as I am two weeks younger , and if he is still a boy, well. He seems to have never changed, really, which is another thing I admire in him--still trodding the death boards, brooding against the rotting wrought-iron cemetery fences, posing in languishing ecstasy over an imagined incompetence at being loved, playing dry word games.
I have to share a few favorite quotes, but I don't want to do this too much, since it will detract from reading the ebony black sparkle of the words in context when you read it. This one is attributed to his neighbor who heard him singing through the windows in Manchester:
"If you must sing every night, could you please sing something we know?"
Now this one rides right down the center line of everything I love about my boy. Creativity self-deprecated and unappreciated. You can hear the snap and crackle of missed synapses with those around him in a way that I can relate. It makes his grande finales, wallowing in the love festas of young, tattooed Mexico and blue-eyed Sweden, quite, quite understandable and sympathetic. The story lags here a little as he lists show after explosive, worshipful -to- the- point- of- near- violence show. And of course he throws in that ...oh. well, I am not going to give away all.
"A beach at nighttime is silent with secrets--finally given a rest from those dreaded day-people" . And fully dressed.
Don't miss the great story of Arthur Kane, from the New York Dolls--$45.00 is all I'm gonna say.
And HERE is everything I meant to say--I don't GET the people that don't GET Morrissey. If you are one of those folks who find him whiney, depressing, morbid and pale,--c'mere--we need to have a long chat about perspective on life. You must be one of those who imagines the world always to be a sun-filled, smiley faced place. How many pieces of flair do you wear? Just ignoring death, tragedy, sadness, longing, tosca: does not make it go away. Not to mention, can you put your head in the oven for a minute and let me turn up the gas--for just a minute--no?--okay--20 seconds--until I can explain to you the concept of black humor and self-deprecating humor? It is so much more interesting and witty than the usual slap-stick pratfalls of Fail-blog or running the dozens of "Your mama" or braggadocio macho humor. He is so goddammed funny, endlessly, in almost every word. Just don't take it all so seriously!! It's called STYLE. It is a stylized perspective--trading heavily on the use of hyperbole and litote. Like his great hero, O.W., who is on his side. And he is not nearly as mean-spirited or illogical (quite the contrary) as you might imagine, and in the rare moments he is guilty of being human, his insipid targets deserve it and more--IMHO.
Oh, yeah, I promised earlier to give my dish on the great Moz celebrity/celibate love-life mystery.
It's all true. Steven was, in my estimation, omnisexual--which is not bisexual. The peak of his love life came in the midst of thousands or tens of thousands, depending on the venue, and has never been fully consummated or satisfied. He really does love us all, wants us ALL, old, young, famous, obscure, the boys, the girls, the stylish, the sadly ugly,the thin-waisted, the big bosomed, the room-bound, the fatties, but refrains in sensitivity for our touching, eroticized emotions that HE stirred. ...more
We kiss with our words. They are the lips of our minds Which have become one.
Of course he stole it tI stole this from Ian, because I like it so much.
We kiss with our words. They are the lips of our minds Which have become one.
Of course he stole it too, and it has something to do with the whole MANUSCRIPTS DON'T BURN, which of course works best on a literal level if the story Ian mentions is true..that Bulgakov was able to rewrite the whole thing from memory.
I originally just didn't want to write a review about this book, simply because I liked it too much--it was in that sacred place. And now, having said this, I go back to the temple....more
This book is to be put on my favorites list. When I love a book, I wish I had written it. I wish all the characters were real, that I could meet them,This book is to be put on my favorites list. When I love a book, I wish I had written it. I wish all the characters were real, that I could meet them, and go to dinner with them, and have long, ridiculously deep conversations about why they do the things they do.
I haven't seen anyone say this in a review, but I'm not all into this interpretation that Myshkin represents Christ and his ideal of love. Platonic love, I suppose, which would be the only one that would make sense. I think Dostoyevsky is actually attempting something more difficult, more sublime, more inexpressible.
I think he is trying to define---through his incredible array of rough-cut diamond characters and their actions, thoughts, and explanations of why they do what they do--- the full galaxy that comprises the nature of love. Not an easy task, my friends. I think the various characters sort of embody different aspects of how humans love--I do NOT want to say they are symbols of various kinds of love--that is too analytic, too anal, for a writer of Dostoyevsky's emotional depth and perception. His novels, this novel in particular, remind me of a Tarkovsky film in some ways--there is almost no way to verbally articulate the emotions that are aroused in the encounter.
One of my favorite quotes from this book:"Don't Let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them. And these can rarely be distinctly defined."
Of course, it is tragic---but it doesn't leave you with the same pure sense of tragedy that HAMLET does, that OEDIPUS does, that STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE does. Those are button-pushers that make you want to weep for the people involved. But I got left with a unique sensation. Yes, it's too bad none of the very intimate, strong love ties in this story worked out to a fairy-tale, happily ever after ending. But, I got left with the strong sense that the fates really did smile on these characters. They were given the supreme gift of a moment of love. And it defined them. They were all worthy of it, even the idiots....more
Well of course, I still love this book. The upbeat ending of Molly, reminiscing about the good moments of her life, when she was a flower, is still aWell of course, I still love this book. The upbeat ending of Molly, reminiscing about the good moments of her life, when she was a flower, is still a flower. It's just a happy book, in spite of being set in gloomy dirty Dublin.
I almost forgot, that in the middle of reading this time, I got inspired enough to write almost a whole album's worth of song titles based on ULYSSES. Titles, not songs, but I did write one with lyrics based on visiting churches, and some other dumb stuff.
This is from my old review, and I haven't changed my mind much, so just reposting to a more convenient spot:
This book claims to record the thoughts of a man for a 24 hour period, June 16, so-called Bloomsday, but having reread some of the first chapter, I can't see how it totally sticks to that--maybe I am misremembering. Two major characters: Stephen Daedalus from Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, usually described as a rather gloomy, artistic cat, and Leopold Bloom. Leo's wife Molly is regularly featured. She has a rather famous squawk at the end that runs on for several pages without punctuation. Probably where the book gets the rep for having weird (it does) or no punctuation. Think Monty Python's old lady pepper-pots, but with more substance. And way more sex.
It loosely follows the plot of The Odyssey (hence the name), but also has a lot of connections to Hamlet, and his lack of action. "Childe" or "Sir" Leopold has all sorts of weird fantasies, like wearing a knight's helmet while drinking at the bar "with his beaver up", and thinking he's Don Quixote or some other knight errant. I goes perfect with the stupid shit drunken people babble on about at Irish bars.
Because it's 24 hours we get to accompany characters taking a crap, having pissing contests, and a few other uncivilized bodily function behaviors the literary world of the 1920's wasn't yet ready for...the infamous, onanistic beach scene was probably the most obvious reason for it being banned. However, I remember this book, although weighty in literary ideas, as hilarious. There's a scene in a Dublin tavern where various half-drunk sots run outside to fart so that no one can here them (or whatever else) . Plus, just the word play is often funny--I'll try to find a good example to quote here: it can be verrry silly. Here's a very short example --of some newsboys trying to sneak into an office to steal the racing results: "--Hush, Lenahan said. I hear feetstoops."
Or, "Davy Byrne smiledyawnednodded all in one"
I just like the sound of this part:
"She dances in the foul gloom where gum burns with garlic. A sailor-man, rust bearded, sips from a beaker rum and eyes her. A long and seafed silent rut. She dances, capers, wagging her sowish haunches and her hips, on her gross belly flapping a ruby egg.
Old Russell with a smeared shammy rag burnishes again his gem, turned it and held it at the point of his Moses' beard. Grandfather ape gloating on a stolen hoard."
This is good conversation(? or interior monologue--hard to tell in this book, but doesn't matter): thoughts at a funeral, cemetery--on life and death:
"Broken heart. A pump after all, pumping thousands of gallons of blood every day. One fine day it gets bunged up and there you are. Lots of them lying around here: lungs, hearts, livers.Old rust pumps: damn the thing else. The resurrection and the life. Once you are dead, you are dead. That last day idea. Knocking them all up out of their graves. Come forth, Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job. Get up! Last day! Then every fellow mousing around for his liver and his lights and the rest of his traps...." heheheheheh
Leopold Bloom spends several moments in the book walking beside curbs, knocking them. That's the main joke, ol' Leo knocking about an ordinary day in Dublin on a hero's quest.
Rereading sections of this book, I have come to accept that I have a drunkard's soul---the optimal place for me to be is a a bar---or a virtual bar, if that works--talking nonsensical smack to another person talking nonsensical smack, and feeling like we just saw the Virgin Mary screw the end of the Universe, together. Whatever that means, but it's what I want. Perhaps with the addition of guitar playing. learning? Maybe! I'm trying to decide if sexual tension is necessary to the ultimate mix....perhaps, perhaps perhaps. But not required. Yes....more