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Gut Symmetries (BOOKRAY)
by Jeanette Winterson | Literature & Fiction
Registered by DYI-991976 on 8/29/2004
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by affinity4books): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

17 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by DYI-991976 on Sunday, August 29, 2004

8 out of 10

Quote:
"This is a story of time, universe, love affair and New York. The ship of Fools, a Jew, a diamond, a dream. A working class boy, a baby, a river. The sub-atomic joke of unstable matter... "

Summary:
Alice is a British physicist on her way to a research job at The Institute for Advanced Studies, New Jersey, USA. She makes her passage on the QE2 as a guest lecturer. On board she meets Jove, short for Giovanni, one of the most respected quantum physicists in the world ("Does time wear a watch?"). He is a confirmed Lothario, and the two soon begin an affair. In New York, Alice meets Jove's wife Stella, and they become lovers. Alongside this triangle are the stories of Stella's parents, who fled Nazi Germany, a decision made all the more difficult when one was a German and the other a Jew. Parallel to their lives are the lives of Alice's parents - her father a working class boy made good from the dockyards of Liverpool, her mother, an Irish beauty. Then there is Alice's grandmother, Bible-fearing, tough, still going out to work in her nineties, a kind of mythological creature, a worker of small miracles.

This is a miracle sort of a book - the miracles of the universe, revealed through science, and human miracles made possible through love. There are two extraordinary miracles, outside of commonsense and gravity, but if you want to find out what they are, you'll have to find out for yourself. Sorry, but with miracles, that's the only way. 


Journal Entry 2 by DYI-991976 on Friday, September 17, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Book Ring Rules (Adapted from psychjo and kleptokitty)

1) Everybody should leave a journal entry when receiving the book and after the read! Please let us all know what you think about it...
2) Also PM the next person on the list for a mailing address and when that person doesn't answer within 7 days MAX! please PM the one after...
3) Everybody should also try to read the book soon (max - one month?)- but in a joyful speed. It's not about how many books someone can read within a certain amount of time - it's about enjoying it...
4) You can send the book via surface mail or airmail - that is completely up to you.
5) If you find you don't have the time to read it when it's your turn please PM and I'll move you to a later slot.
6) Enjoy :-)


Participants

Wilmar (Netherlands)
Wandering (Netherlands)
Brujula (France)
Molyneux (UK)
Myopicmeringue (UK)
UrbanSpaceman (UK)
Brookeworm (Canada)
Ann32 (US)
ldpaulson (US)
BooksnBeer (US)
c-a-m (Australia)
Miss-Gonewest (Australia)
al3xa (Wales)
lottiotta (Wales)
jherusalem (US)
affinity4books (US)



If you want to join this ring, PM me. 


Journal Entry 3 by DYI-991976 at book ring in Mailed to fellow bookcrosser, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases on Monday, September 20, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Released 14 yrs ago (9/20/2004 UTC) at book ring in Mailed to fellow bookcrosser, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

On its way. 


Journal Entry 4 by Wilmar from Leiden, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Sunday, September 26, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Caught!

I discovered the book in my mailbox on Friday, when I was just leaving for an appointment. So that's the reason for this delayed journal entry.

I'm looking forward to read this book. I read two other Winterson-books before (Oranges are not the only fruit and The Passion), and since then I've wanted to read more by this author.

Thanks daemonwolf for sending me this book (By the way, I loved discovering your hidden quote), I am starting this one as soon as I've finished the book I'm currently reading. I think that will be someday this coming week. 


Journal Entry 5 by Wilmar from Leiden, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, October 07, 2004

8 out of 10

A great read!
I think this is the sort of book that you should read a couple of times: now I have the feeling that I did not yet discover and comprehend all the different layers of it.
It’s the story of the triangular (is that the correct word in English? – I’m not sure) relationship between Stella, Alice and Jove, but it’s also about history, philosophy, physics and metaphysics, astrology and tarot, religion, science, parent-child relations and lots more.
This book by Winterson resembles a fantastic book by a Dutch author that I recently read: In Babylon by Marcel Möring. That story also has surrealistic elements, and it also describes the history of a (Jewish) family that leaves Europe to go to America. (Anybody interested? – I think it’s probably translated too.)

What I loved most about Gut Symmetries is the way Winterson describes feelings and situations: exactly right to me. I also very much like her style: she writes a story that’s sometimes saddening, but she ads a certain amount of humor in it so that the story is always a bit sweeter than it is bitter.
Not to mention al the crazy details: Beatles, a diamond in a spine, and more.

Conclusion of all of this: I’m very happy that I have three other Winterson BookRings yet to come! (two of them actually also hosted by daemonwolf).

A few passages that I marked to remember:

I tried to copy my parents, as monkeys do, but they were trying to copy me, looking to the child for the energy and hope they had long since lost.

***

HE: Are you married?
ME: No.
ME: Are you married?
HE: Yes.
There was a long pause.
HE: My wife and I live on different planets.
ME: Are you separated?
HE: We have our own bathrooms.

***

It was then that I began to cry. I knelt down, my head against the basin, filling it up like an offering with no one to whom I could offer it. A salty sea and no boat on it.
Blood and tears and crumbled words and words not fit for human use. Without love what does humanness mean?

***

No one will doubt that my father had wanted a boy. He had assumed he would have a boy. Right up to a week after my birth he continued to say, ‘How is he?’ My grandmother told me that he had turned me upside down in his huge hands and held me V-legged to the light, just to be sure that my genitals weren’t caught inside.

***

So complicated. My first serious emotion was for a married man. My first experience of authentic desire was with a married woman.

***

Don’t lie. You know you like to view but not to buy. I have found that I’m not a space where people want to live. At least not without decorating first. And that’s the stubbornness in me: I do not want to be someone’s neat little home.

***

I do not want to declare love on you as of midnight yesterday. I do not want to be captured nor to hold a honeyed gun at your head. I do not want to spend the rest of my life as a volunteer member of the FBI. Where did you go, who did you see, what did you do today dear? I would love you as a bird loves flight, as meat loves salt, as a dog loves chase, as water finds its own level. Or I would not love you at all.

***

Whatever it is that pulls the pin, that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a brief and total beauty, even for a moment, it is enough.

Thank you, thank you for this BookRing daemonwolf, the book will start travelling to wandering later on today.

Just added a few links to reviews etc.:
http://www.jeanettewinterson.com/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=11
http://math.cofc.edu/faculty/kasman/MATHFICT/mfview.php?callnumber=mf261
http://www.unomas.com/reviews/book/reviews/item013.html
http://www.bonster.com/gut.html
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FQP/is_n4316_v126/ai_19223620
http://w1.181.telia.com/~u18114424/main/novels/guts.htm


 


Journal Entry 6 by wandering from Breda, Noord-Brabant Netherlands on Sunday, October 10, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Found the book in my mailbox yesterday. I will read it as soon as I can!

 


Journal Entry 7 by wandering from Breda, Noord-Brabant Netherlands on Monday, November 01, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Well, a lot of this book just went by me. When I read the summary in the first journal entry, I can only remember having read half of it. Maybe it's because there are so little names mentioned in the book, maybe it's because I just didn't give it my full attention. I honestly don't know. I didn't rate this book because I suspect the latter and then, I can't give a good rating, can I? I do have some nice quotes that caught my attention, though.

"I cannot assume you will understand me. It is just as likely that as I invent what I want to say, you will invent what you want to hear. Some story we must have."

"Pull yourself together.
Yes. Just pass me my leg will you? It's on top of the wardrobe where he threw it, and I think my right arm is leaning over by the wall. My head is in the gas oven but it will probably be all right, I'm told that green colour wears off. Unfortunately I threw my heart to the dogs. Never mind. No one will notice how much is missing from the inside, will they?
You look better.
Thank you. I dumped the broken bits and varnished the surface. Not bad is it? And now I can be released back into the community, encouraged to join a dating agency, and invited to speak about my experiences at a Transcendental Self-Lobotomy seminar for the prematurely smashed."

Overall, I did like the way the sentences are built. You can clearly see the author loves playing around with words and formulates exactly what she wants to say. Maybe this book will cross my path again someday and maybe then I can fully appreciate it.

Thanks for sharing this book daemonwolf! I will send it along as soon as I get Brujula's address.

PS for Wilmar: I have no idea if this book is anything like "In Babylon", because I haven't read that book (yet). 


Journal Entry 8 by Brujula from Valenciennes, Nord-Pas-de-Calais France on Wednesday, November 17, 2004

This book has not been rated.

received today, along with two other books.
I have a few to read before this one, but I'll try not to keep it for too long! 


Journal Entry 9 by DYI-991976 on Sunday, December 12, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Hi, just an update. I'm not posting any books out between now and January 5th for fear of losing them in the Yule deluge of post. I'd like to request that this book is held back till the 5th too. Happy holidays, all. :)

 


Journal Entry 10 by Brujula from Valenciennes, Nord-Pas-de-Calais France on Monday, December 13, 2004

7 out of 10

this book was a litle confusing for me at the beginning. I wasn't sure I was getting everything. But the writing just flows easily, and I let it carry me through the book, not trying to understand everything. And it the end it all made sense, the lights across the ocean, stories, past and present mixing up together, like the tide coming and going.

Thank you for letting me read this book!

I finished reading this book Saturday and intended to mail it today, but since Daemonwolf has asked not to mail it before january 5th, the book will spend the holidays here in Belfort! Sorry about that, Molyneux! 


Journal Entry 11 by Brujula from Valenciennes, Nord-Pas-de-Calais France on Wednesday, January 05, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Mailing this today! 


Journal Entry 12 by wingMolyneuxwing from Oxford, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 19, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safely from France a couple of days ago, thank you Brujulla! 


Journal Entry 13 by wingMolyneuxwing from Oxford, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Sunday, February 06, 2005

7 out of 10

A very unusual book! I haven't read anything by Jeanette WInterson before but now I will look out for more of her work. Thank you Daemonwolf for sharing this.

Off to Myopicmeringue when I have her address. 


Journal Entry 14 by MyopicMeringue on Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Thanks, molyneux - and thanks for the very tasty chocolate too! :-)

I'm looking forward to reading this. I like Jeanette Winterson's novels. Funny, I thought this was going to be a reread, but looking at it now, I think this is one that I haven't read. 


Journal Entry 15 by MyopicMeringue on Saturday, June 18, 2005

This book has not been rated.

An interesting and clever novel - as are all Jeanette Winterson's novels. Funny, I'd thought I'd read this one before and that this would be a reread, but I quickly realised I'd never read it, so it was great to read it for the first time. I liked the idea of applying the theories of quantum physics to life - not that I really understand quantum physics, but then I think the not understanding is part of what the novel is conveying - the idea of the impossibility of quantifying things into definites. I wish I'd remembered some passages from the novel to quote here - there were some brilliant ones - Jeanette Winterson writes in a very unusual way but at the same time expresses things in a way that make perfect sense. The novel is humorous in parts, but also deeply felt - with a touch of bizarreness. The theme of storytelling pops up continuously, so we are always being made aware that we are being told a story, and that the distinction between fact and fiction is an elusive one. Reminded me a little of The Passion, which had the constant refrain of 'I'm telling you stories. Trust me.'

Thanks, daemonwolf, for sharing this book. I posted it to UrbanSpaceman this afternoon. 


Journal Entry 16 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 21, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Arrived this morning from MyopicMeringue (simultaneously with another ring book - how do they do that?) plus a nice postcard of Surrey cottages. Thanks! Will get on it asap. 


Journal Entry 17 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, June 24, 2005

9 out of 10

This is the first Jeanette Winterson novel that I have read - I will obviously have to seek out her other works.

For me this book was beautifully narcotic, playing the siren to my Odysseus, luring me onwards across its deep lyrical waters to wreck on the glittering rocks of its prose, hinting all the while at deep esoteric truths.

Others BCers have quoted passages from it. I won't repeat those, but will close with one that resonates with my own noctigavant tendencies.

Walk with me, hand in hand through the neon and styrofoam.
Walk the razor blades and the broken hearts.
Walk the fortune and the fortune hunted.
Walk the chop suey bars and the tract of stars.


Thanks, Nia, for sharing this.

(Posted to Brookeworm on 25 June.) 


Journal Entry 18 by UrbanSpaceman from Kingston upon Thames, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, July 07, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Well this book has just bounced back from Ontario as Brookeworm warned me it might. Apparently Post Canada don't believe that she exists. I'll send it off again to her tomorrow and hope she has managed to convince PC of her reality in the meantime! 


Journal Entry 19 by Brookeworm from Etobicoke, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, July 12, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Yay! I love getting books in the mail! Thanks Urban Spaceman! Going into my reading queue. 


Journal Entry 20 by Brookeworm from Etobicoke, Ontario Canada on Sunday, August 14, 2005

6 out of 10

I quite liked this book, although not as much as I enjoyed Written on the Body. Winterson has an insightful was of likening intangible things like love and human interaction with things based in the physical world. In this case, she makes the connection with physics, a subject I don't know a lot about but didn't feel that that hindered my understanding in any serious way. She has a very deep, sensual writing style which is unique to her.

I'll mail this along on Monday. Thanks everyone for your patience! 


Journal Entry 21 by Brookeworm at -- Controlled Release in Toronto, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, August 17, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Released 13 yrs ago (8/17/2005 UTC) at -- Controlled Release in Toronto, Ontario Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Being mailed out to Ann32. Sorry for the wait, I've had a hard time getting out to the post office. : ) Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 22 by Ann32 from Juneau, Alaska USA on Wednesday, September 07, 2005

This book has not been rated.

This book arrived safely today. Thanks!

I signed up for this book ray because of the excellent entries for the book so far... and, since then, I've read two other Jeanette Winterson's books (which I loved). I'm looking forward to reading this one. 


Journal Entry 23 by ldpaulson from Ventura, California USA on Thursday, December 01, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Received yesterday via post. Am looking forward to reading this as I recently enjoyed Jeanette Winterson's LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING immensely.

 


Journal Entry 24 by ldpaulson from Ventura, California USA on Thursday, December 08, 2005

8 out of 10

A most perplexing and lyrically dense book that I shall have to read again some day. Stunning.

Have contacted the next in line. 


Journal Entry 25 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Wednesday, January 04, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Got this in today's mail. Did my book dance and find this looks to be an interesting read. I will start this tomorrow. I am a former NewYorker, I wonder if it will bring back memories. 


Journal Entry 26 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Saturday, January 14, 2006

7 out of 10

A very interesting book. A great book for a discussion group that is willing to discuss controversial topics. I would really like to discuss the jealousy aspect and how this couple choose to live with it and/or overlook it. The ending was surprising - sort of. The boat scene I definitely would like to discuss and get some different points of view. Love to the point of consumption. Overall a very thought provoking book.

I have the next person's address and I'll mail this as soon as possible. 


Journal Entry 27 by ATM-325045 on Thursday, January 26, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Rec'd in the mail today. Can't see my name on the list.
I wonder if there were any other unknown additions not updated??

thanks for sending on :)

C-a-m 


Journal Entry 28 by ATM-325045 on Friday, February 24, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Sent to miss-gonewest 23/2/06 


Journal Entry 29 by miss-gonewest from Perth, Western Australia Australia on Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received this book 2 days ago, snugly wrapped and waiting in my mailbox and I was so pleased. I've been fascinated by the sound of this book since I first signed up and I am really excited about reading it.

This will be my first Winterson book so that is also exciting.

I managed a few pages on the bus this morning and already it seems to be captivating - not what I expected, but a diversion from my usual reading nonetheless.

I will continue on with it and pop back with my thoughts once done.

Many thanks to daemonwolf for allowing me to share in this ring.

Update 2nd May - I have been trying in vain to get hold of Lerita. I have just sent a third and final PM (I'd hate to appear as a stalker) to them. If I don't hear back, I will revert to the ring owner for next steps.

Update - finally heard from Lerita who has requested she be skipped due to a reading backlog. I've PM'd the next ringer for their details so will hopefully be able to get this off in the mail soon!

Update 7th May - still waiting to hear from al3xa for their details... have sent 2 PM's. 


Journal Entry 30 by miss-gonewest at BookRing in Book Ring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Monday, May 15, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 12 yrs ago (5/15/2006 UTC) at BookRing in Book Ring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

This book has now been posted (via airmail) to the next reader… it should arrive just before the end of the month.
I hope it travels safely!
 


Journal Entry 31 by miss-gonewest at BookRing in Book Ring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Monday, May 15, 2006

This book has not been rated.

RELEASE NOTES:

This book has now been posted (via airmail) to the next reader… it should arrive just before the end of the month.
I hope it travels safely!
 


Journal Entry 32 by miss-gonewest at BookRing in Book Ring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Monday, May 15, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 12 yrs ago (5/15/2006 UTC) at BookRing in Book Ring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

This book has now been posted (via airmail) to the next reader… it should arrive just before the end of the month.
I hope it travels safely!
 


Journal Entry 33 by al3xa from Swansea, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, May 22, 2006

This book has not been rated.

*bookdance*. wow. perfect timing. arived the morning of my last Lit exam to pull me out of my exam gloom :) am v. looking forward to reading it now that i have sooo much free time. thank you! 


Journal Entry 34 by al3xa from Swansea, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 24, 2006

7 out of 10

a beautifully bizarre, divinely lyrical, see deep/deep sea vision with such vast watery/airy layers i am looking forward to diving into it again one day to feel its full force.

i briefly studied gender/self in 'Written on the Body' last year and am continuously amazed by Winterson's sketching of the (gendered) self as 'perpetual Becoming' as opposed to 'unalterable Being' so the following quotes jumped out of her purple pages:

‘what should be stable shifts. What I am told is solid slips. The sensible strong ordinary world of fixity is folklore.’

‘What or who? I cannot name myself…The hall of mirrors set around me has been angles to distort…. Is that me in the broken bottles on the street? Everywhere I go, reflection. Everywhere a caught image of who I am . In all of that who am I?... I could not find myself in the looking glasses offered.’

‘We are what we know. We are what we are. We reflect our reality. Our reality reflects us. What would happen if the image smashed the glass?’

‘Knowledge, not as accumulation but as charge and discharge. A release of energy from one site to another… [I] invite myself to the dance: the patterns, rhythms, multiplicities, paradoxes, shifts, currents, cross-currents, irregularities, irrationalities…’

thank you so much for sharing this beautiful food-for-thought novel. Oooh i am going to see Winterson talk on Sunday @ the Hay Literature Festival. Sooo excited!

*hand-delivery to Lottiotta*
 


Journal Entry 35 by Lottiotta from Aberdovey, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Ooo I had to go to so much trouble to get this book!

Al3xa: Here, have a book. You're next. Journal it!
Lottiotta: OK!

23rd June 2006
Thank you for sharing. :) I never do feel a particular connection to Jeanette Winterson's style (kinda like swimming through syrup, yum!), but I was attracted to this one by the blurb and the way it ties in with the science - and the physics very much reconnected me with the emotions, which was great. I really enjoyed this, because it kept bringing the story back to science.

PMed the next person (jherusalem) for her address...

July 24th 2006
Posted by surface mail to jherusalem. :) 


Journal Entry 36 by jherusalem from Richmond, Virginia USA on Saturday, July 22, 2006

2 out of 10

I can't get into this story, and that saddens me because I've enjoyed Jeanette Winterson's other books. Ah well. Life's too short to force myself to finish it. Sending home again shortly ... 


Journal Entry 37 by affinity4books from Bryan, Texas USA on Thursday, September 28, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received yesterday on my birthday~ how fun! I really enjoyed Lighthousekeeping, the only other Winterson novel I have read, and am looking forward to this one. Thanks for sharing! 


Journal Entry 38 by affinity4books from Bryan, Texas USA on Sunday, October 29, 2006

8 out of 10

This was a very different read from Lighthousekeeping, which I read in a couple sittings. This one was more complex,and at times I wasn't sure I was grasping all she had to say. At the beginning I had trouble figuring out who was narrating. I got much more interested once Alice and Stella met. The words and ideas were beautiful and clever...

I was suprised by many aspects of the ending... Some revelations were fitting (about their parents) and others were infuriating (about who sent the letter to Stella) but overall I was pleased with how it turned out. I hope to read more Winterson and I would like to re-read this one again someday. Thanks for including me!

Some favorite passages:
The years fold up neatly into single images, single words, and what went between was like a glue or a resin that held the important things in place, until now, later, when they stand alone, the rest decayed, leaving certain moments as time's souvenirs.

My self-esteem is a jigsaw I cannot complete. I get one part of the picture and the rest lies in pieces. I suspect that there is no picture, only fragments. Other people seem to glue it together somehow and not to worry that they have been using pieces form several different boxes... Is there a coherence, perhaps a beauty, if it were possible to find it?... I said I suspect there is no picture. I should have said that whatever the picture is, it will not be the one on the box. 


Journal Entry 39 by affinity4books at Dominican Joe, Congress/Riverside in Austin, Texas USA on Sunday, November 12, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 11 yrs ago (11/12/2006 UTC) at Dominican Joe, Congress/Riverside in Austin, Texas USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

left on shelf (to left of coffee bar) with other Bookcrossing books in hopes that its journey will continue 


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