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review 2018-12-11 15:00
Ruthless Pursuit: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald



(Original review, 1981-04-30)



“The Great Gatsby” is essentially a love story. Daisy turns out to be as unattainable to Jay as Beatrice was to Dante but this being the US, the hero doesn't elevate his idol to muse status; instead he embarks on a ruthless pursuit that ends up destroying him.

It's difficult in the present era of throwaway relationships to comprehend the extent of Gatsby's romantic obsession. The questions are: 1) would he have taken to crime had Daisy returned his love and told her wealthy family to go to hell and 2) did he love Daisy precisely because she was a romantic chimera, a glamorous woman who represented a rarefied world he wished to conquer?

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-12-09 19:49
Fiction Without Fiction: "The Impostor" by Javier Cercas
El Impostor - Javier Cercas


(Original Review, 2014-11-24)



“The Impostor” is the story of Enric Marco, a fake holocaust survivor from the Flossenbürg concentration camp and one time chairman of the French association Amicale de Mauthausen. Cercas labels it a "novel without fiction", presumably because literary awards for fiction are sexier than those for non-fiction. It’s been done before, as Cercas points out, referencing Truman Capote and Emmanuel Carrère (but not poor Norman Mailer). To be fair, it’s been done before by Cercas as well. Ever since the success of "Soldier of Salamis" rescued his faltering literary career back in 2002, Cercas has been grafting fiction to varying degrees onto real life characters and events.
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

 

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review 2018-12-09 12:41
Performing in Silence: “The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea” by Yukio Mishima
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea - John Nathan,Yukio Mishima



(Original Review, 1981-04-24)





“They performed in silence. He trembled a little out of vanity, as when he had first scaled the mast. The woman’s lower body, like a hibernating animal half asleep, moved lethargically under the quilts; he sensed the stars of night tilting dangerously at the top of the mast. The stars slanted into the south, swung to the north, wheeled, whirled into the east, and seemed finally to be impaled on the tip of the mast. By the time he realized this was a woman, it was done...”

In “The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea” by Yukio Mishima.



I've read many scary books with frightening stories before and since, but they don't disturbed me the way this book did. The book was disturbing in a completely different way - it felt as if it was talking about me, saying something that's scary yet true about me.

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-12-09 11:50
The Abyss of Horror: "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy
The Road - Cormac McCarthy


(Original Review, 2006-09-30)




“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”

In “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy
 
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.
 
 

 

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review 2018-12-09 11:29
Growing Inward: "The Blind Owl" by by Sadegh Hedayat
The blind owl - Sadegh Hedayat



(Original Review, 1981-04-20)


“I was growing inward incessantly; like an animal that hibernates during the wintertime, I could hear other peoples' voices with my ears; my own voice, however, I could hear only in my throat. The loneliness and the solitude that lurked behind me were like a condensed, thick, eternal night, like one of those nights with a dense, persistent, sticky darkness which waits to pounce on unpopulated cities filled with lustful and vengeful dreams.”

In “The Blind Owl” by Sadegh Hedayat



“My one fear is that tomorrow I may die without having come to know myself.”


In “The Blind Owl” by Sadegh Hedayat

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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