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Silk

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  29,944 ratings  ·  2,281 reviews
When an epidemic threatens to destroy the silk trade in France, the young merchant Herve Joncour leaves his doting wife and his comfortable home in the small town of Lavilledieu and travels across Siberia to the other end of the world, to Japan, to obtain eggs for a fresh breeding of silk worms. It is the 1860s; Japan is closed to foreigners and this has to be a clandestin ...more
Paperback, 91 pages
Published August 25th 1998 by Vintage Books USA (first published 1996)
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Vitaly The protagonist lives the rest of his life in solemn tranquility and tells strangers stories about his travels to Japan

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3.83  · 
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 ·  29,944 ratings  ·  2,281 reviews


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Huda Yahya

أن تموت شوقًا إلى شئ لن تجربه أبدا

دع أناملك تنزلق على خيوط الحرير
دع مشاعرك تنساب نعومة لتختلط بمشاق الحياة
فتخففها حينا
وتبرزها حينا

ولا تنس
هذا الحرير أدمى قلوب يرقات صغيرات
كدّت وتعبت كي تتمتع أنت بهذا الملمس
وهذا الشعور

إنه نزيفهن وذروة كفاحهن
ذلك الكفاح الذي لا يجنين من ورائه شيئا

ولكن تذكر أيضا أن الحرير ذو متانة عالية
فهن لسن منكسرات أو ضعيفات
أنهن ينضحن قوة لا تعرف مداها بعد

::::::::::::::::::

على هذه المفارقة يلعب باريكو لعبته الصغيرة تلك
ويكتب رواية بساطتها لا تقلل من جمالها أو عمقها

تبدو الرواية ك
...more
Nicholas Sparks
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another form of love story, one written in almost poetic form. It was a major world-wide bestseller years ago -- millions of copies -- and if you haven't had the chance to read it, you should do yourself a favor. It's short and poignant and beautiful, in every way.
TK421
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
I never imagined I would like a book where the main character makes a living by buying silkworms. But I did. In fact, I not only liked it, I loved it. SILK is easily one of the top ten books I have read in the past eighteen months or so. It has a sparse writing style, and passages are repeated almost verbatim in no less than three different spots. The characters are there, fully realized, but at the same time, each character is a mystery or a ghost without definite shape. The prose is smooth, dr ...more
Kalliope
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Marita
Did I read that or dream it? No matter, it was beautiful...
Chiara Pagliochini
« Dicevano che era un truffatore. Dicevano che era un santo. Qualcuno diceva: ha qualcosa addosso, come una specie di infelicità. »

Ordine, prego! Silenzio in aula. Silenzio, prego (due colpi col martelletto).
La Corte di Giustizia si riunisce oggi per decretare l’assoluzione o la condanna a pena da stabilirsi per il signor Baricco Alessandro, classe 1958.
Tra i capi d’accusa imputati al signor Baricco, ricordiamo: “faciloneria”, “faccia da ruffiano”, “spocchia”, “ammiccamenti al lettore”, “egoce
...more
Agnieszka

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
Mike Puma
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, italian-author

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
Kelly
"I never even heard her voice."
And after a while:
"It is a strange grief."
Softly:
"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
Dolors
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A tale, but not a tale. A novel, but not a novel. A sad story, but not a sad story. A love story, but not a love story. Silk is everything summed up in a few lines. A masterpiece.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016

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.
Silkworms


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
Federica
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Credo ormai di aver compreso che Baricco sia uno di quegli scrittori privi di vie di mezzo, per quanto riguarda il loro rapporto con il lettore: o piace, o non piace. E credo anche di aver capito che io rientro decisamente nella prima categoria.

Come per gli altri scritti, è difficile per me scrivere una recensione di Seta. Ciò che i libri di Baricco mi lasciano è qualcosa di indefinito e informe, e che tuttavia è in grado di rimanere nel mio cuore per sempre. È come se la narrazione avvenisse so
...more
Ioana
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, romance
Magnífico, espectacular, sublime.

Como el tacto de la seda, esta novela está relatada con una sutileza y una sensualidad que encandilan al lector desde las primeras líneas.

Suave, a ritmo acompasado, con delicadeza pero con soltura, vamos conociendo la historia de nuestro protagonista, Hervé Joncour.



Corría el año 1861 […]
Hervé Joncour tenía treinta y dos años.
Compraba y vendía.
Gusanos de seda.


Y cuanto más nos vamos adentrando en la historia más aspectos de su vida conocemos.

Lavilledieu era el n
...more
Melindam
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The year is 1861. Hervé Joncour is a French merchant of silkworms, who combs the known world for their gemlike eggs. Then circumstances compel him to travel farther, beyond the edge of the known, to a country legendary for the quality of its silk and its hostility to foreigners: Japan.There Joncour meets a woman. They do not touch; they do not even speak. And he cannot read the note she sends him until he has returned to his own country. But in the moment he does, Joncour is possessed."


“And a
...more
Adina
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adina by: Gabriela
3.5*

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
Franco  Santos
Este es mi primer libro que leo de Alessandro Baricco. Seda es una novelette de capítulos muy cortos, minimalista y con una narración que se me hizo directa y, en su mayor parte, superficial, ya que se dejó de lado un recurso que considero muy valioso: la autorreflexión. De todas maneras, es un libro entretenido, que se lee rápido y, a pesar de que ni los personajes ni la historia me terminaron de convencer, lo recomiendo para una tarde aburrida.
Patrizia
Storia di viaggi per mare, di treni a vapore, di un uomo che narra la propria vita come mai prima d'allora. E nelle pagine echeggia la voce di Hélène, mentre nell'aria si diffonde il profumo dei gelsomini. "Questo non è un romanzo. E neppure un racconto. Questa è una storia. Inizia con un uomo che attraversa il mondo, e finisce con un lago che se ne sta lì, in una giornata di vento. L'uomo si chiama Hervé Joncour. Il lago non si sa."Un libro con l'incanto di una fiaba, narrata da uno dei miglior ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Soie = Seta = Silk, Alessandro Baricco
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
Magrat Ajostiernos
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Una historia melancólica, triste, sutil, evocadora.
Se lee de una sentada pero deja un buen poso tras de sí
Evan
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it

"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
Mohamed Al
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات
قراءة هذه الرواية تشبه تمرير راحة اليد على قطعة قماش من الحرير؛ سينتابك شعور لذيذ وأناملك تنزلق على خيوط الحرير، سرعان ما سيختفي عندما تصل سريًعا، وبسبب النعومة الفائقة للحرير ، إلى نهاية القطعة!
Dar vieną puslapį
Kartais mano knygų skaitymas atrodo lyg grandinėlė- vienas kūrinys nuveda į kitą arba susišaukia temos. Tarsi kokia magija! Taip atsitiko ir su “Šilku”. Šis kūrinys jau seniai buvo mano planuojamų perskaityti knygų sąraše, bet vis atidėliojau. Tikriausiai dėl baimės nusivilti, nes tiek pačių gražiausių atsiliepimų girdėjau. Taip nenutiko- šis kūrinys vertas visų liaupsių.

Literatūros pasaulyje apie šią knygą sklando tie patys epitetai: įspūdinga, meistriška, talpi, taupi. Kiekvienas epitetas ties
...more
Lynne King
Although his father had pictured for him a brilliant future in the army, Hervé Joncour had ended up earning his crust in an unusual career which, by a singular piece of irony, was not unconnected with a charming side that bestowed on it a vaguely feminine intonation.

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 the
...more
Moira Macfarlane
Wondermooi! Een teer en verdrietig verhaal over liefde en verlangen. Het is prachtig hoe Rébecca Dautremer dit verhaal van Alessandro Baricco zo zacht en subtiel heeft geïllustreerd, tegelijkertijd haar eigen verhaal vertellend, bijzonder hoe dat elkaar aanvult... Ze heeft een magisch realistische tekenstijl en de Japanse kunst uit die tijd is hier zo ontzettend fraai in verwerkt (het verhaal speelt zich af vanaf 1860, in Frankrijk en Japan).

Voor wie even wil spieken is hier een link naar een pa
...more
بثينة العيسى
هناك قصيدة في بطن كل حكاية. ما يفتننا في الحكاية أصلا هو تلك القصيدة الصغيرة المتكورة في بطنها، القصيدة التي تحتوي العالم كله، داخل بطنها أيضاً، العالم الذي يتشنج ويتكثف ويقذف في قلوبنا بغتة دون أن ننتبه.
رواية «حرير» لأليسندرو باريكو هي واحدة من تلك الأعمال التي تتحرك في جغرافيا وسيطة بين السرد والشعر، حيث الكلمة كائن حر يتأرجح بين العالمين الكتابيين الملتبسين، ثمة بساطة استثنائية ومباشرة في سرد الوقائع وتلاوة الأحداث، مثل قوله «هيلانة هو اسم زوجته، لم ينجبا أطفالاً»، وثمة غنائية واضحة في ترديد
...more
Rebecca
A great example of how much can be achieved in a spare novella. This is only about 100 pages, with not all that many words on each page, yet Baricco covers 35 years and a whole range of experiences and emotional states. The main action is set between 1861 and 1874, as French merchant Hervé Joncour makes four journeys to and from Japan to acquire silkworms. “This place, Japan, where precisely is it?” he asked before his first trip. “Just keep going. Right to the end of the world,” Baldabiou, the ...more
Gabrielle
I had heard so much praise about this little book: after spending a snowy morning in reading it, I have to confess I feel underwhelmed.

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
Pooya Kiani
این کتاب بر اساس فراز و فرودهای یک سمفونی نوشته شده.
من رو از هفتاد درصد به بعد شدیدا جذب کرد. مشکل از من بود که جذبش نشده بودم البته.
وقتی که حوصله ی یک داستان سورئالیستی رمانس دارید بخونیدش، ناامیدتون نمی کنه.
Simona Bartolotta
"E' uno strano dolore, morire di nostalgia per qualcosa che non vivrai mai."

Prima di questo ho letto Oceano mare, libro che, devo ammettere, non ho apprezzato più tanto.
E inizio a pensare che il problema sia mio.
Dopo Seta, continuo imperterrita a non capire Baricco.
Lettura piacevole, per carità, ma non ti lascia nulla. Dicono che nei libri di Baricco non si deve prestare attenzione alla storia, ma a ciò che la storia vuole comunicare. Come la mettiamo se la storia non comunica niente?
Ti sciv
...more
صان
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
سه و نیم ستاره.

فرم قصه، که تیکهتیکه و کوتاه بود باعث میشد کتاب خستهکننده نباشه و به جزئیاتِ نامهم نپردازه.
خود داستان هم خوب بود. گاهی انتظارت رو بالا میبرد و بعد ناامیدت میکرد. میتونست بهتر باشه. گاهی هم خیلی خوب میشد و سفیدی و بیچیزی فضای ژاپن و ساکتیش رو خوب میرسوند. پایان خوبی هم داشت.

در کل خیلی جذاب بود که نویسندهای ایتالیایی از ژاپن بنویسه!
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Café Literario: Seda de Alessandro Baricco (Reseña) 2 38 Nov 19, 2016 03:53AM  
Boxall's 1001 Bo...: Silk 10 266 May 30, 2016 12:11PM  
Question about Silk 5 119 May 11, 2013 12:39PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publishing date 3 57 Mar 25, 2013 03:39AM  
صدر حديثا - كتب و...: الحرير - أليساندرو باريكو 1 44 Oct 27, 2012 05:46PM  
Around the World: Italy: Chel recommends Silk 1 13 Jan 02, 2012 07:20PM  
Question: 2 76 Aug 30, 2008 06:01PM  
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2,057 followers
Alessandro Baricco is a popular Italian writer, director, and performer. His novels have been translated into a wide number of languages, and include Lands of Glass, Silk, Ocean Sea, City, and Without Blood. His theatrical monologue, Novecento, was adapted into film, titled The Legend of 1900.

He currently lives in Rome with his wife and two sons.
“إنه ألمٌ غـريب , أن تموت من الحنين لشـيء.. لم تعشـه أبداً” 193 likes
“It's a strange grief… to die of nostalgia for something you you will never live.” 186 likes
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