La 1861, o epidemie care ucide viermii de mătase amenință să aducă ruina în înfloritorul orășel francez Lavilledieu, unde șapte f ...more
The local silkworms catch a disease, so a young merchant is paid by the townsmen to leave his loving wife to go purchase larvae eggs from Japan. He travels across Europe and Siberia by train and horse and then by ship to Japan. Japan is still close ...more
This read was a nice break after reading long books. Silk reads like a gauzy flowing breeze. An almost fairy tale with the exotic as background and with travel and some suspense as some of its most palpable elements, it is a not an easy book to put down, precisely because it is so easy to read. The next short chapter with big print draws you immediately in until you suddenly reach the end. As a tale it also has an element of the oral tradition, with periodic repetitions to help its audience reme ...more
And after a while:
"It is a strange grief."
"To die of nostalgia for something you will never live."
I finished this in a matter of hours. My advice on this book would be: do not let that, nor its slim size, nor the whispering, simple voice that it adopts, fool you into thinking that it is insubstantial in any way. The end got to me even after my short acquaintance with the book. At times, it may feel as if you don't understand the significance of each passing ...more
Very briefly: After seeing the unfortunate, movie tie-in edition’s cover, I had an Oh-No! It’s a Romance moment. So I read, disregarding the cover, defiantly at times. And I read. Read more. And all of the sudden, the airiness of the text, the nice use of iteration and variation, and as much as I hate to say, the plot, began working in my favor. Quotes won’t really do for this one, at least not quotes of the sort I like to liberate. It’s the absence of text, the lightest hint of language, that m...more
I have a tendency to picking up doom and gloom books. But not this time, not this time. Silk evoked images of distant Japan and the girl which eyes did not have an oriental slant ; elicited thoughts about things that couldn't happen and made me ponder over pain of longing and power of patience. Beguiled me with its ephemeral beauty and deceptive simplicity and I’m not even sure what it was. Was it a fable with its repetitive phrases and unreal aura? Was it a parable of human life with all i ...more
It was 1861. Flaubert was writing Salammbo, electric light was still a hypothesis and Abraham Lincoln, on the other side of the ocean, was fighting a war whose end he would not see.
Herve Joncour was thirty-two years old.
He bought and sold.
Whimsical, ethereal, like air between your fingers, shimmering light reflected in the still waters of a lake at the end of the world, the flight path of a blue crane across a cloudless sky : Silk
I don't want to write a long review, scrutinizing the ...more
I read this in almost one seating while waiting at the hairdresser. A much better choice than the gossip magazines that were scattered around the place.
I enjoyed the book but I have a problem with short novels/novellas. I cannot seem to be able to be as moved by shorter stories as by bigger volumes. There are only a few exceptions: Animal Farm, Slaughterhouse 5. I remember that at one point in my life I was only reading books over 500 pages. I prefer them because you have time to know bett ...more
The beauty of the language is undeniable. It was originally written in Italian: I read a French translation, and the delicate rhythm of the sentences is quite lovely. The use of repetition obviously tries to make the narrative poetic and dream-like, and it succeeds... up to a point.
To be honest, I found it a wee bit cliché: in 1860, a French silk worm merchant tr ...more
Silk (Italian: Seta) is a 1996 novel by the Italian writer Alessandro Baricco. It was translated into English in 1997 by Guido Waldman. A new English translation by Ann Goldstein was published in 2006. The novel tells the story of a French silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler named Hervé Joncour in 19th century France who travels to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. His first trip to Japan takes place in th ...more
"He wasn't much cut out for serious conversations. And a goodbye is a serious conversation."
OK, for 125 pages I'm reading this thinking, "three stars, nice little story, fast read; wish more novelists could tell a sweeping romantic adventure tale with such dispatch. Vivid, enjoyable, and even educational, but no great shakes."
And then I get to the end, and realize the power of the wife's desire. What she does. How he realizes what she did, and how she had felt. How she knew about his inner life, ...more
Hervé Joncour bought and sold silkworms for a living. The year was 1861. Flaubert was writing Salammbo, electric light remained hypothetical, and Abraham Lincoln, beyond the Ocean, was fighting a war of which he was not to see ...more
We ache and breathe endlessly, yearning for that love, that love, that tempest of emotions that we cannot fathom nor control within ourselves.
Those words that are etched on paper are not always what they seem from whom they seem.
That same heart that grasped what he thought he felt, has been mistaken; an unspoken misery has befell this man with the demise of what he really wanted.
All She wanted was to be loved.
Phenomenal writing and phenomenal work.
And just sixty paragraphs. Damn.
There is a passage at the end of the book when M. Joncour is read the last letter from the lady...
What an sensual blast... These pages are blazing-hot, and I mean it.
The final twist is to be regarded as a thing of beauty.
Matching soundtrack :
Predator - Front Line Assembly
L'histoire de M. Joncour, éleveur de vers à soie français et de sa relation longue distance ...more
More erotic by implication, Baricco manages to keep our interest in characters that are more impressions than substance. A deft touch.
The problem is that Silk has to be coherent account according to the rules of its own alternate world which it is not. Many people fall in love with an inaccessible person. The writer always has to explain how the deluded lover c ...more
“Perhaps sometimes life shows you a side of itself which leaves you with nothing more to say.”
Wonderful story, exquisitely created atmosphere, amazing writing style. I'll watch the movie, too, some time.
But then I now realise that I lack words to describe my sentiments regarding the novel.
Is it a love story? Is it a story on a desire that is unfulfilled? Is it a story on obsession? Is it a story on silk? The novel might answer positively to everything and still something would be lacking in it.
At times, you look at a person and immediately you fall in love with that person or in a moment you begin to like a perso ...more
Well written about a fascinating subject.
|Goodreads Librari...: please add page #||3||9||Sep 14, 2020 01:09PM|
|Reading 1001: Silk - Alessandro Baricco||2||11||Oct 05, 2019 01:09PM|
|Café Literario: Seda de Alessandro Baricco (Reseña)||2||42||Nov 19, 2016 03:53AM|
|Boxall's 1001 Bo...: Silk||10||272||May 30, 2016 12:11PM|
|Question about Silk||5||131||May 11, 2013 12:39PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publishing date||3||58||Mar 25, 2013 03:39AM|
|صدر حديثا - كتب و...: الحرير - أليساندرو باريكو||1||47||Oct 27, 2012 05:46PM|
He currently lives in Rome with his wife and two sons.