6 journalers for this copy...
The book is magnificent. The appendices detailing the author's notes and her husband's frantic attempts to free her are heartbreaking. The thought that the planned books, the talent and the humanity of Nemirovsky (like so many others) went up the chimney at Auschwitz is maddening.
Reserved for Meg.
Please journal when received, read within 30 days and send out to the next reader as soon as you can. If there is a hold up, please PM me.
Sending out today to JeepACV.
What a moving book! Her writing style is rich. I know that term is often used, but I lack the eloquence to give it another. Each sentence can be savored like my dad’s bread pudding (which starts out with 12 eggs and 2 sticks of butter). Also like his pudding, it’s best consumed in small bites – the better to enjoy and not feel like a glutton afterwards.
One of my favorite sections is a chapter in Storm in June from the viewpoint of a family cat. A family has fled Paris and is staying the night in a farmhouse. The exploits of the city cat, Albert, suddenly confronted with the country life is fascinating. Nemirovsky must have spent time with cats or perhaps even fled Paris herself with a family cat.
** - - - The cat captures and eats a bird for a meal. Afterwards, the cat swipes at a mole. A needless act of violence just because the opportunity presented itself. I’m drawing comparisons between the cat’s indifference to the mole and the refugees indifference to each other’s sufferings.
A little later on, a husband and wife are lamenting on their situation and arguing what to do about it:
“Why are we always the ones who have to suffer? She cried out in indignation. “Us and people like us? Ordinary people, the lower middle classes. If war is declared or the franc devalues, if there’s unemployment or a revolution, or any sort of crisis, the others manage to get through all right. We’re always the ones who are trampled! Why? What did we do? We’re paying for everyone else’s mistakes. Of course they’re not afraid of us. The workers fight back, the rich are powerful. We’re just sheep to the slaughter. I want to know why! What’s happening?”
** - - - I’m struck by how this resonates today and how the more we progress, the more we, as a society, stay the same.
A little later, her husband, commenting on how he gets by:
“My certainty that deep down I’m a free man. It’s a constant, precious possession, and whether I keep it or lose it is up to me and no one else. I desperately want the insanity we’re living through to end. I desperately want what has begun to finish. In a word, I desperately want this tragedy to be over and for us to try to survive it, that’s all. What’s important is to live: Primum vivere. One day at a time. To survive, to wait, to hope.”
** - - - Is this part of the reason for the hoarding, the meanness, and the indifference to the suffering of others? I just want to get through this and survive and when life returns to normal I’ll be a normal person?
What also struck me is how un-monster-like Nemirovsky portrayed the Germans. In Dolce, I couldn’t decide who was more menacing at times, the villagers, the farmers, or the Germans.
Overall, the book deals with violence in a violent time with a humanity that is startling. The good guys aren’t always good and the bad guys aren’t always bad. How realistic, frank, and dark we people really are.
I’m disappointed that this work was never finished. It has such wonderful characters and such a deeply moving feel to it. That her voice – that so many, many voices – were silenced by a mass act of violence and hatred is unimaginable.
I will need to go out and purchase a copy for myself and perhaps another to share with family. There are so many layers to this book that I feel it could be read many times and something new would be discovered with each read.
I have Classicfox’s address and once I finish reading the appendix, I will get this in the mail. Safe travels, Suite Francaise.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
mailed yesterday 10/21
DC# 0306 0320 0000 9917 2529
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Only got to read about 1/2 of this and for reasons that have very little to do with the book itself, I have sent it on today to next on list, WingedMan. It deals with a very sensitive subject in which I am always interested, but I found the author's style of writing difficult to stay focused on--maybe it had to do with the translation. I also found it difficult trying to keep the characters straight. However...I would have finished it as I was actually enjoying it, but do to very stressful doings in my life presently, I was afraid I wouldn't have it read in a month. I do think eventually I'll seek this book out again and finish it. I know it will be worth it. Thanks for including me!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Sending this to bookczuk, enjoy!
Delivery Confirmation # 0306 1070 0003 7982 2163
This arrived in today's mail and I shall be starting it in the next day or so. I have two books going, each half way and another about one third in. My limit is three at a time, so need to polish off one and then will set the other two aside to give this my full and complete attention. Thank you for starting this ring, fsr!
What an elegant and eloquent book. The two separate novellas are magnificent, and, as fsr said, the appendices are heart wrenching-- all the more so because of the real life tale told there. When reading the novel, I had to keep reminding myself that this was contemporary when written, and that the original scope and plan was so much bigger. Then when when I found out the background stories of Nemirovsky's daughters, it really took my breath away.
The writing is superb, rich and astonishing. I will need to try and find some of Irene Nemirovsky's earlier works.
I need to note here that I heard of this book from friends who were in Paris when it came out. They told me that the book took the city by storm, and that everywhere, on subways, street corners, parks and cafes, you could see the people of Paris reading it in total absorption.
Thank you fsr-- I have pm'd the next person and will journal when the book is sent out, once I get their address.
Delivery Confirmation # 0306 2400 0000 3150 5636 www.usps.com
ETA that book was noted as:
Your item was delivered at 1:47 PM on January 3, 2007 in MILWAUKEE, WI 53211.