A well known recommendation from poet Rainer Maria Rilke. It fell out of circulation for a while because Jacobsen’s prose was difficult to translate. This translation, however, by Tiina Nunnally has won awards and so far it’s been an enjoyable read and so incredibly deep. This was Jacobsen’s masterpiece written after he was diagnosed with chronic tuberculosis which he knew would eventually kill him. So it is a story of a soul really, a soul’s journey from childhood into adulthood pondering questions of immortality.
I tried reading this the other night and it terrified me! Can someone please tell me if it’s worth it? I read at night, so I have to be very careful about what I read lest I take scary stuff to bed with me and have nightmares, haha. Any advice or thoughts would be great!!!
Currently reading! I searched for this book in every bookshop for years—it was probably the only book of Maugham’s I didn’t own. He is a favorite of mine. I eventually found it in @johnkingbooksdetroit , a surprising find since I had looked multiple times before this with no luck. King’s always has a good supply of Maugham’s work, I suspect a deceased lover of his work donated their entire collection, of which most belongs to me now. 😄
.Although literal ‘cake’ and ‘ale’ is probably not what Maugham meant, here it is anyway with some Screamin’ Pumpkin ale from @griffinclaw and a piece of my mother’s delicious cake. 😋
You can’t go into this novel expecting it to read chronologically. It is a dream, a vignette where the edges have been chipped away, washed away by what is lost to Nathaniel. The brilliance of the novel is its complexity and the connections of maps and people, the same way the author constructs a map for the reader of places and strangers. Also the story itself is just as cloudy and muddled as the protagonist’s mother who is a mystery he is trying to discover throughout the story.
I don’t read Ondaatje’s work because I want to be entertained as much as I want to experience life through the eyes of someone new, and because his prose is delicious. It is like reading Dinesen’s Out of Africa—it all came out of the memory of her experience, as the book drew me in for the words alone and the experience of a life I’ll never know. However, even though I enjoyed the book I didn’t like it as much as The English Patient.
I first heard about this book from the film Sister Act 2 when I was younger, but I was reminded about it when I watched both Sister Act 1 &2 the other night with my kids to show them the great musical performances. Don’t make fun! These movies are great! 😄 Anyway now my son and I go around singing all the songs, and he loves them as much as I did. But I was determined afterward to read this book, a book Whoopi Goldberg gives to Lauryn Hill and encourages her to keep singing. She quotes from the book saying, “If the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning is writing, then you’re a writer and if the same is for singing you’re a singer.” Something like that. Both films encouraged me to join my church choir and get involved in church at a young age eventually inspiring me to go to summer church camp three years in a row—a wonderful place I’ll never forget.
Great films and sure to be an inspiring read!
Currently reading…Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, something I had to read in school but have forgotten much of it. I realize a city scene picture would be more appropriate but i was on the beach so…
His writing is fantastic. Everything moves in chaos in the first chapter like he intended, as if the words jump off the page and dance and fight and play—marvelous stuff!! This work actually launched a federal investigation of the working conditions for the poor!
Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge is the story of unrequited love and disappointment, but it is also filled with the lesson to be satisfied no matter what end of the stick you received out of absolute necessity. It took me a long time to get through and it didn’t really get good until the end. I enjoyed it most of the time however, and I’m told it was a popular read when it came out in 1944. It was even adapted to film in 1947. I do think it’s worth giving it a read, even if you must get through the first 300 pages to get to the meat of it. 😬
I slipped a copy into the free library at our park last night for anyone needing an escape. It takes place in the Civil War. A couple people I know have decided to read my book during quarantine and told me it was the perfect story to calm their nerves. Don’t need a better compliment than that! My book is sold on both amazon and Barnes and Noble. If you do read it, please consider writing a review as this helps it get into new hands. Thank you. Enjoy!!
Funny thing… both these books are the same but they have completely different translations for their endings. Makes me wish I would have read the top one instead. What do you think?
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