In Praise of Stacking Books

Notes, Dec 22

BOOKS FOR REINVENTING YOURSELF


A small list of books that will help you to reinvent your life in the new 2019 




1.

The Mandarins

by Simone de Beuvoir
    Reading this book is like having a personal conversation with Beauvoir about the ever relevant topics in life, both philosophical and emotional. She is entering the Parisian jazz bars, the work studio of a distant husband, the home of a fallen woman, the small american house of a american lover, the mind of a woman trying to make a decision. The characters are confronted with their existential fear of getting older, fear of being doomed by society and fear of a wasted life. While observing the everyday life of a small group of intellectuals in Paris, Beauvoir is asking, what is next? Can the left-wing intellectuals really make a change?



2.

Maurice

by E.M Forster


    When does speaking about love become old fashioned, a thing of kitsch, bad taste, boredom? This is my all time favourite book on the theme of love, and needless to say, Maurice is one of my favourite characters. Maurice feels estranged, lonely and he thinks of himself as a pervert because he fell in love with a man. His sexual awakening is slow and awkward, and is the very process of liberating himself from the homophobic British society in the early 20th-century. You will reinvent your thoughts about love, sexuality, friendship and relationships in the Hellenic quotes and the queer life of Maurice. Upon the request by the author, the book was published after his death. Forster  was afraid that the book could end his career.  Opposite of Kafka, who asked for his work to be burnt after his death, for E.M. Forster the life of Maurice depended on his death.




3.


South of the Border,
West of the Sun

by Haruki Murakami
    In one of his most famous novels, Murakami writes about the concept of nostalgia as seen from the main character Hajime. Hajime is nostalgic for something he feels that he missed in his life. He often evokes the moments when he, as a teenager, was listening to music on a gramophone with Shimamoto, and this memory is returning as obsessive images of the lost daydreams as a teenager. As an adult, Hajime has everything: a wife and two children, good financial support, and he is the owner of two very successful  jazz bars… But that is not enough for him. He craves more. Or maybe he craves less? What he needs is hiding west of the sun in some different, mystic chronotope hidden away from the busy everyday life of modern Japan. And isn’t this what we need all?



4.


The End of Eddy

by Édouard Louis

    The End of Eddy is a semi-autobiographical book that tells the story of the life of the character Eddy, growing up in a small french village. Eddy is a lonely outsider who is trying to deny or hide the fact that he is gay. It’s impossible for him to achieve the macho ideal of the village, which is based on destructive behaviour, alcoholism, violence and poor life choices. The book follows the story about the character’s struggle to run away from the poisoned claws of the small town mentality.






Mark


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