What I have read : in bulk

Cervantes: Don Quixote (pre-loved book, 5 pounds sterling). I loved the one hundred and fifty pages that I read, that I stopped there because I felt that I did not get to grasp the beauty of the language in English (I do not understand the subtleties Of the language in English) and I made the decision to wait to be able to read it in French. I found among other things a passage on beauty that has not aged in any way and could be used wisely in the classes of philosophy today and would arouse interesting debates.

Elena Ferrante: I read two books (from the library, but forgot the titles),  of this Italian woman who has known  worldwide success without revealing her true identity. In a society where the cult of personality reaches heights, I find her statement interesting. However, she recently offered evidence of her origins (daughter of a Neapolitan seamstress), whereas her true identity, which was subsequently discovered, does not correspond to what she insinuated in interviews. It takes away, in my eye, a little of her credibility. Anyway, I did not succeed in liking  the two books about the life of Neapolitan women that I read (I read the second by telling myself that the first was perhaps not the best). But her books read easily and quickly and so I brought back  L’amica genial from  my trip to Napoli in order to practice my Italian. Who knows ? Reading the story in the original language will perhaps change my mind, and  being in Napoli will make me see things differently.

Michel Houellebecq: I  found a bilingual edition of his poetry, Unreconciled, and I prefer his poetry, which seems more authentic,  to his prose.  There are some moments of quasi serenity, but it is overall, very  dark, so it should not be on the list of depressed people.  Houellebecq is indeed unreconciled with himself, the world and the universe. This book reminded me that  I read Submission (bought in a bookstore) published in 2015,  shortly  after its release. I  loved the first thirty pages, and then it did  not do it for me anymore. Yet I loved Atomised, despite its extreme pessimism. But I did not find the following books,  as sharp. However, I must admit that with a little more distance, the theme of Submission,  which dwells on  the propensity of the political class and the elites to compromise,  strikes a bell in the current climate. He is accused of being  misogynistic, but he answers that his description of men is certainly no more flattering. Seen from this angle …. quite true.


2 thoughts on “What I have read : in bulk”

  1. I think you are right to read the Cervantes in a language where all the subtleties come through. It is such a lovely, funny cruel book with so much to say. I did not like the Ferrante I tried to read. Life is too short to keep reading a book that does not promise much. I started but never finished My Brilliant Friend. And your thoughts on Mr. Houellebecq are interesting. I have not read him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope to access a copy in French around October, and I am looking forward to it. My Brilliant Friend will be an interesting linguistic exercise, if nothing else, I think it may be the right level of linguistic difficulty I can tackle. As for Houellebecq, he is probably the best known French writer outside France, and possibly the most hated writer in France. Definitely not for everybody !

      Liked by 1 person

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