Thursday, November 19, 2009

Short Stories, Never Let me Go

This comes after a while. Lots of things happening, was under the weather for a while, so no significant reading. Finished stuff started earlier - Selected Short Stories by Balzac (unkindled) and kindled The Wife and other stories by Chekhov. And also kindled Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. So three books on kindle so far :). Started the Bluest eye on kindle and Fever off the kindle.

I like the kindle, the fondness increases day by day. It allows one to read faster and this whole thing about adjusting font size to suit the mood and light, thumbs up to that. Simple, uncomplicated, not too many things you can do implies that you don't waste time changing settings...and one can just curl up and get down to reading. And battery...after the iphone, I have stated treasuring anything whose battery doesn't run out in a day...and this one is good to go for almost two weeks. Great, ain't it?

The Wife and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov

I have read other stories by Chekhov but never a collection. He writes about different people from different vantage points and that makes the stories colorful and interesting. Chekhov's stories are not like Saki or Maupassant or O Henry with a twist hidden somewhere. But these are reminiscences, a capturing of those moments when the life turns a corner or a recital of the way things were and the way things are. I liked his old man story...these are way different from Pushkin's...and have a much modern element and a much human element attached to them. And they deal with human issues - old age, lost love, betrayal, unnamed feelings but feelings and emotions all the same.

I started reading this on the iphone, finished it on the kindle :)

Selected Short Stories by Balzac

Where Chekhov wrote about people, farms, sometimes education but at more times communist stuff, Balzac was the other end...its about art, collectors, the artists and the bourgeois and its about the French, the way they lived, their societies. From Chekhov's stories people did travel to France but the color that Balzac has in his color-palette is quite distinct. His stories - most of them had a sad end to them. And again, like Chekhov these stories capture certain people at certain point in time or they form good coffee table conversations when people relate to others what they once saw or knew or met. These had some otherworld or the extreme of this world element attached to them. I look forward to reading more Balzac - his novels. This was the first book I read by Balzac, not many short stories he wrote anyway.

Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Quick read.Nice read. Quite an emotional read.

Spoiler alert. Its about clones... the only question I had throughout the novel was why don't these guys run away somewhere, why don't these guys just go away. Why do they go through their destiny knowingly? Why do they accept their lives as is.

I guess that must be the reason Mr. Ishiguro wrote the novel - to let people ask themselves this question. It was emotional, senti, I cried at times on certain pages...it may have to do with other things, but the people in the novel are just so vulnerable! And being a mother, reading while your kid is sleeping next to you and when you read about the vulnerabilities of those Hailsham kids ...even though its an alternate universe...you just want to hold the kid closer to you and make him realise that life is to be lived to the fullest no matter what destiny holds in store and never to give in to the pressure of conforming to the world.

I don't know where I got that but the book must have triggered it.

I am mixing of lot of issues right now and it may not have to do with what the story is about but as Ms Woolf said, a memorable book is the one which triggers other thoughts in your mind...allows your mind to think and make its own connections.

Hope I am able to convey the thought to the kid.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting description of Never Let Me Go - makes me want to read it! Just speaks volumes about the power of books to evoke certain emotions in oneself! It's fascinating!

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