Book story 1.

25Jul09

I suppose I will write more posts about books so to start somehow first I am writing about my relation to books. Not so long ago I’ve given up believing that books are special links among people because they are not more special than a bar of chocolate, a favourite movie or a preferred brand of jeans. I realised that life is not like as it is written in The Unbearable Lightness of Being where Teresa thinks that one of the main things that make Tomas different from the local people is that he is reading a book while waiting at the bar. Teresa thinks it’s a link between them.

It’s important to have common habits – e.g. reading -, common favourite books to make contact easier between two people. You know you have something to talk about. Before I had been like Teresa, I’d been growing up as the only reader in our family and I thought reading is something special. A special activity that makes me better(?). Afterwards came the university where I met a lot of people with the same interests, I mean they read the same books as me and all that they proposed to read was at least good but in most cases very good and interesting. Even the most boring books about yet unknown theories were delectable to me. Or still they are.

So as Teresa I thought if I meet a boy who likes the same (less known) author as me it means ‘something’. For example I met a boy who liked a book of Knut Hamsun titled Hunger. Actually I hadn’t read that novel until he told me it was his favourite but I knew some essays of this author and I’d been studying Norwegian and discovering the Norwegian literature around that time. So I was really really surprised to get know somebody who anyhow knows a Norwegian author. (Knut Hamsun got Nobel prize in 1920 anyway. I read the book, really a masterpiece.)

I didn’t hook up with him. And it has nothing to do with Knut Hamsun. It has nothing to do with my assumption about books as special links.

I’ve been wondering if my faith in this kind of fatal coincidences has already been eroded and life (and books that I read) just confirmed me that there is no fatal coincidence, everything is just about creating narratives. Probably, I shouldn’t have read the book of Elfriede Jelinek (Nobel prize in 2004) titled Women As Lovers? Anyway, I liked it very very much even if it ruined my last hope about that love exists or can be found in my life.

Nowadays I’m really into buying books. I spend most of my money on books. That means I eat less. Sometimes I feel myself as the protagonist of Hunger. Always hungry because of the lack of money. Yeah, weird I know but I try to spend the less I can on food or other things.

As for proposal: I am reading now Kafka on the Shore of Haruki Murakami. It’s a nice run if you like magical realism. I read Norwegian Wood of Murakami before. Gosh! That was something really silky to my soul. The whole story, the persons, and the way he describes the world which surrounds the persons of the book it’s fantastic. And full of Beatles songs, that also must be mentioned.

So I expect a lot from Kafka on the Shore too.

Okay, I know that the Beatles song Norwegian Wood has nothing to do with Norway but it’s a cool fatal (three times) coincidence, don’t you think? 🙂

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2 Responses to “Book story 1.”

  1. Books as special links between people… I must say, that’s an idea I’ve never come across (I probably should have read The Unbearable Lightness of Being through). But I would indeed say that books mean more than a chocolate bar. Not only that they are a better smalltalk topic (indeed I am used to the books I like being pretty bad smalltalk topics since people I only do smalltalk with usually haven’t read them); I frequently find people with a similar literary taste to be congenial. It’s not a guarantee, but if someone says (s)he likes Juli Zeh we’ll most probably have a nice evening.
    Having said that, I am looking forward to read about your literary favorites, even though I must admit I haven’t read a single one of the books you mention. And there’s already a huge pile beneath my bed 😛

  2. 2 K.

    Some thirty-three years ago I told a girl: “You have Lőrinc Szabó’s book printed 3000 copies, and I have it too. So…” She is my wife today, and our younger daughter is reading the second volume of the War and Peace just now.


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