Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Ileana Vulpescu, "Arta conversaţiei"


 – Editura Univers, 1980. 520 p.





Perioada lecturii 1-26 martie 2017



Votul meu: 






Era în 1985, aveam vreo 15 ani, tocmai intrasem la secţia de filologie-istorie a unui liceu de prestigiu din oraşul meu natal, cînd proful de română ne-a vorbit într-o zi, în treacăt, despre romanul Ilenei Vulpescu, încă în mare vogă pe atunci, în termeni mai curînd condescendenţi, subliniindu-i însă o calitate pe care nu ştiu de ce mi-o amintesc şi acum: puternica relaţie mamă-fiică aşa cum se desprinde ea din evocarea fiicei.

Bineînţeles că la mai puţin de o săptămînă de la discuţia cu pricina eram cu Arta conversaţiei în mînă (nici nu mai ştiu de unde am luat-o, că mama, deşi avea ceva „relaţii” la librărie, nu reuşise să facă rost de ea) şi, deşi de regulă mă-nchinam la proful meu ca la un zeu (era unul dintre monştrii sacri ai liceului), de data aia n-a reuşit să-mi zdruncine convingerea că am dat peste o comoară. Cum putea fi o carte mediocră una care oferea citate atît de profunde ca:

„Pe orizontală, se uită multe lucruri. Dar oamenii mai stau şi vertical.”

Sau

„Un bărbat nu-nşeală o femeie cu o altă femeie pentru că cea de-a doua ar fi mai tânără, mai frumoasă ori mai deşteaptă decât prima, ci pentru că e alta.”

Sau (aici citez din memorie, deci se poate să fie o redare aproximativă) :

„Ïn viaţă nu reuşesc fetele cu 10 la literatură.”

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Herman Hesse, "Steppenwolf


– Translated from German by Basil Creighton. Revised by Walter Sorrel. Penguin Books 2011, 254 p. ISBN  978-0-241-95152-1


Read from January 31st to March 24th 2017

My rating: 
s

In a note of the 1961 edition of Steppenwolf, Herman Hesse, feeling that his novel was wrongly or at least insufficiently perceived by some readers, suggests a reading key that would cover not only “Steppenwolf’s world of suffering”, but also that “positive, serene, superpersonal and timeless world of faith” represented by art and its “immortal” creators. Simply put, he encourages us to always keep in mind, while reading, the dichotomy between the material and spiritual world, dichotomy familiar to those who had already read Damien or Siddhartha.

This reading key will be elaborated by the first narrative voice in a Preface that not only makes a first portrait of the main character, Harry Haller, but also presents some of the themes of the book, such as the insignificant but suffocating bourgeois life, the call of eternity through art, the suicide solution and so on.

The Preface, written by what many a critic named the Editor, introduces also a well-known structural motive: the found manuscript (which, as we’ll see, encloses a second one). This first narrator, the nephew of Harry’s landlady, was left a copybook with a short note that gave him permission to do with it whatever he wanted to. His decision to publish it is sustained by his belief that it is a document of the time, that Harry Haller’s journey through hell is not a solitary one but represents the struggle of a generation,

“…for Haller’s sickness of the soul, as I now know, is not the eccentricity of a single individual, but the sickness of the times themselves, the neurosis of that generation to which Haller belongs, a sickness, it seems, that by no means attacks the weak and worthless only but rather those who are strongest in spirit and richest in gifts.”

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Jean-Marc Léger, Jacques Nantel et Pierre Duhamel – "Le code Québec. Les sept différences qui font de nous un peuple unique au monde"

 – Les Éditions de l’Homme, 2016 ; 240 p. ISBN 978-2-7619-4641-4



Lu du 8 au 28 février 2017
Mon vote:




De ce livre, mes amis Francine et Claude m’avaient parlé avec enthousiasme un soir, devant une tasse de thé au Centre-Ville de Montréal, pendant qu’on attendait voir un film… roumain, auquel c’étaient eux qui m’avaient invitée, car il y a toujours un désir d’échange culturel entre nous – eux, ils veulent apprendre plus sur mon pays d’origine, moi sur le leur, qui peu à peu est devenu aussi le mien. Le lendemain, quand on s’est rencontrés de nouveau, cette fois chez eux,  ils me l’ont prêté volontiers et, malgré le grand nombre de statistiques, la lecture n’a pas du tout été ennuyeuse, au contraire, grâce à l’approche facile que les auteurs ont su donner à leur sujet.

D’ailleurs, le premier d’entre eux, Jean-Marc Léger, est le créateur de la plus grande firme de sondage canadienne, tandis que Jacques Nantel est professeur émérite dans le domaine de marketing à HEC (École des hautes études commerciales de Montréal) et quant à Pierre Duhamel, il est un journaliste spécialisé en économie et en affaires. Avec un tel trio, les résultats ne pouvaient être que les meilleurs.