myreadingexperience

Last week, looking through my books, I randomly chose A thief’s journal by Jean Genet, which surprised me much - I don’t know what I was expecting but certainly not this narrative of immorality, vagabonding, homelessness, dirt and begging - although it can’t keep me reading for long. At the library, I jumped on Out of Africa by Karen Blixen, which kept me busy for a few days with beautiful descriptions and interesting cultural perspectives. 

Read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. An amazing work of a book. Never seen such style, such force. It’s the second or so book that made me think wow, I didn’t know you could do that with literature. It’s really a lesson in writing, a lesson in story-telling. The way the six stories meet & complete one another, together with their all over complexity & symbols make it a book that leaves you satiated. 

Osho is a big voice on the subject of spirituality and I think someone interested in such stuff should try at least one book by him.

I didn’t read “The man who loved seagulls” just because it came to me, but also because it contained stories, myths, and I love those. I can safely say one of my favourites is exactly the last one. It preaches laughter and life, detachment from it, but living. It’s about the Buddha Hotei, who went through villages with only one bag of sweets, giving it to children. He always laughed - he is known as the laughing buddha. Being asked what was zen, he put down his bag. Then, he was asked how do you act on zen, so he took his bag and went on.


The stories are absolutely beautiful and Osho’s view is interesting, sometimes obvious, sometimes surprising and sometimes almost scandalous. He begins by explaining his philosophy as one about life, of living, of truly enjoying, and he doesn’t trust or believe in ascetism. He also explains that faith today is rather a set of beliefs than what is should be, a true feeling of religiousness. He also explains that dealing with life is about balance and consciousness is more of a thing that you have to win again and again. Calmness, detachment and not knowing is best: since all life is a dream, whatever we learn about it does nothing but dip us father into it. All knowledge is truly useless, it’s rather feeding the ego and taking us away from the truth. According to zen, consciousness is something you reach in a moment, a second. There is no preparation for it. To Osho, all you can do is prepare a context good enough. Another story shows that it is important not to be possesive, that all love is free and the desire to posses kills it. Also, whatever you think of, life will give you: this is what Osho explains as a rule of energies, something that is probably more largely detalied defined in The Secret. Conclusion is, embrace life with consciousness, love, be free, laugh and dance to the music.

I’ve been reading stuff for my coursera class, The Fiction of Relationship. Barbtleby by Herman Melville, whose style vaguely reminded me of Kafka, by whom I then read The metamorphosis and A country doctor, both interesting, from eerie to terrifying. Today I finished the first volume from Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, and, although I knew what would happen, it still kept me hooked. I’m a bit down though because I would have liked it much more if I hadn’t seen the TV series first, but I don’t know if or when I’ll have the time to read all the other chunky books.  

Sartre and Beaver’s relationship is quite amazing, one of those that only happen rarely and is the result of unhuman amounts of trust. They have not only loved each other, deeply, but they have BEEN each other, they have referred themselves to each other and understood themselves through each other. They have had other relationships with other people, some solely erotic, others that meant more: for example, when Sartre fell in love with Dolores Vanetti and, consequently, Simone loved Nelson Algern, deeply. This has been probably the biggest adversity they have faced as a couple. Before that, in the war years and in their youth, they have had numerous relationships, with many of their students, Simone being bisexual, they have also exchanged parteners. According to the book, their sexual encounters weren’t very satisfying, but this, however, has not been an obstacle in their life, as they had always found erotic stimulation in other people. They walked through life together, and this is what the book is about. Well written enough, it discusses Simone’s work as a feminist, their influence on each other and even Sartre’s character of traitor, in love and life.

Finished The Epic of Ghilgamesh: It’s a beautiful ancient legend, carrying some of the ideas that humans still have about life, and death, fear, ego and friendship. It’s sad how much of it was lost and amazing how much was found. 

Rushed to the library, brought it back, took “Tinerete fara batranete si viata fara de moarte”, a Romanian fairytale that would translate something along the lines of “Youth without old age and life without death”. In in, a prince is only born if his father promises him youth without old age and life without death. When he grows up, with the help of a magic horse, he travels and fights witches to find it - and eventually does. However, he ends up missing his family and wanting to go back. In the end, when he gets back, hundreds of years had passed and only Death waited for him in the ruined castle. It is, as some say, the only sad fairytale in Romanian culture. I also read “Calin Nebunul” - “Calin The Mad” - to pass some time while waiting in Fischer’s. 

On top of the fairytale book there is “Viata. Amorul. Moartea” (Life. Love. Death) by Schopenhauer, which I started reading long ago and will restart now and finish. 

Ah, and last week I also read “Chirita in provintie”, one of the first Romanian scripts for stage, by Vasile Alecsandri, but I forgot completely to photograph it because I read it during classes.