Franz Kafka, letter to Felice Bauer.
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Just a retweet from Thomas Horn. I’m counting on Asa Butterfield next. Oh yes, that would be sweet.
Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris
My recently discovered gem; Asa Butterfield
So I just finished reading Leo Tolstoy’s novel called Anna Karenina and assuming a position of a critic, here’s what I think.
First, it’s brimming with psychological shiznit such as cognitive dissonance (which, by the way, I just happened to understand through research) that only then when I understood what that means did I start becoming less surprised at how Tolstoy describes an emotion so precisely and perfectly put on words! That’s when I gave psychology more credit than pedantic Mr. Tolstoy here.
Meticulous when it comes to minute details that it frustrates me to continue reading without fully grasping what the former phrases mean! I’m a firm believer of allegory and analytical whatnots contained in literary pieces that somehow, failing to understand one part makes me agitated and confused that already it makes me want to give up reading…! However, sometimes, you only begin to understand a portion when you’ve finish the whole sentence, or, say, paragraph. It completes the whole set-up.
Inception. That’s how I describe how he writes. Kind of actually feels like he writes what he thinks, or how he thinks; basing on his paragraph, (which is somehow sometimes consisting only of a sentence with rather multiple clauses, (as with classic writers)) lol see I just did a rough imitation of how he writes! Only he doesn’t use parentheses. Ah, you’ll see! Kidding aside, reading him is a kind of reading one’s mind because you could see how he puts all what one can think about in a single blow of a sentence! Am I making sense?
After a day’s reading of Tolstoy, I can’t imagine how tired I always felt. Simply put, it’s one hell of a mental stretch chapter by chapter. To go with this, I actually felt like he’s changing the way I think day by day.
Tolstoy makes one heck of a boring life interesting by the way he writes and describes. So lush and explicit! This is one of the reasons why I was so engaged, albeit its being an 800-paged novel.
There’s, however, this, I think, unnecessary and dragging discussions about farming and politics but just as it is not wholly a love story or a personal story, so shall I accept that maybe he’s just trying to relay something which was then probably intriguing and applicable. I mean you have to understand, my mind is pretty much accustomed to 21st century issues. I have right to admit that 19th century topics bore me, right?
There’s this bit from the Internet I’ve read that “Anna Karenina is an example of literary fiction because it focuses more on style and psychological depth than on plot.” True enough, it’s not some page-turner sort of novel that fulfills the diversion of a reader - say, some ninja or vampiric scenes come up for the reader’s entertainment appetite. That’s not how Tolstoy rolls. But after all, look at how high the pedestal is where the book and Tolstoy soars!
I got a bit panicky in the end, thanks to my sluggish mental capacity, when Tolstoy has gotten a bit too spiritual and too symbolic for me that I cannot quite fathom anymore what he’s trying to say! Not to mention that there were only a couple of pages left and I’m starting to doubt if it’s enough to explain the complete confusion that my mind was presently in. There was a point, really, in those fidgety minutes when I started asking myself quite desperately if I’ve really understood the whole book (the lengthy that it was!) but nonsense rubbish, if I didn’t comprehend one part at first, doesn’t necessarily mean i don’t the whole.
I have first gotten hold of a copy of this book during one of my slaphappy strolls in my school library. From then on, I couldn’t stop reading it and I soon made a point to buy my own copy. Can’t deny though, that one of my motivations was that it’s a Tolstoy. I mean, I’m reading THE Tolstoy.
(I linked an analysis of the book in the picture if reading more about it suits your fancy.)