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    7. Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner

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  8. SUBSCRIBERS' AREA

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  • Posts

    • Chasing Homer, László Krasznahorkai 
    • Riccardo and Emilia Molteni have been married for two years. They were very much in love to begin with but now, with a new home to pay for, and a job he doesn't enjoy (working for a film producer named Battista), in order to pay for it, he finds that she is becoming quite distant from him. At first he doesn't think much of it but gradually comes to believe that she no longer loves him. Initially, she denies this but then, after a heated argument, confesses that it's true but more than that -- she not only doesn't love him but in fact despises him. Understandably, Riccardo demands an explanation for her contempt but she doesn't have one or refuses to give it. Then Battista suggests a trip to his villa in Capri to prepare for a movie of the Odyssey and things come to a head. As with 'Boredom' the writing is wonderful and Moravia speaks to me in a way that few other writers do; there's just something about his style that I find immensely easy to read and so fluid that each page melts away. Even when the subject matter is ultimately quite mundane (the breakdown of a marriage) it is utterly compelling, and dare I say it, even nourishing. The whole narrative is fresh and flowing like a cool breeze by the sea, never jarring or stunted, always lyrical and clear (and least to me). *spoilers* The story is straight-forward but for one aspect that confused me; namely, the reason why Emilia has suddenly stopped loving her husband and claims to despise him. Moravia leaves confusing clues regarding her affair with Battista such as when Riccardo encourages Emilia and Battista to share a car and she shows obvious discomfort at this, almost as if she is trying to tell her husband that Battista is sexually harassing her. Then later, in a similar fashion, Battista suggests that she come in his car while Riccardo goes with the German director, and once again she is hesitant, clearly demonstrating that she does not want to be left alone with Battista. All of this suggests she is an unwilling (even potentially coerced) participant but at the end of the book, she decides to leave with him (admitting that she may even become his mistress claiming she is "not made of iron"). I'm not entirely sure if it was Moravia's intention, but I was as bewildered as Riccardo. It didn't fascinate me quite as much as 'Boredom' but it came very close. I've already ordered 'The Conformist.'   9/10
    • LEONTES Apollo, pardon My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle! I'll reconcile me to Polixenes, New woo my queen, recall the good Camillo, Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy; For, being transported by my jealousies To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose Camillo for the minister to poison My friend Polixenes: which had been done, But that the good mind of Camillo tardied My swift command, though I with death and with Reward did threaten and encourage him, Not doing 't and being done: he, most humane And fill'd with honour, to my kingly guest Unclasp'd my practise, quit his fortunes here, Which you knew great, and to the hazard Of all encertainties himself commended, No richer than his honour: how he glisters Thorough my rust! and how his pity Does my deeds make the blacker!   Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale III/ii
    • The cauld licht glimmers on the sand And glisters on the faem: And the sailor-lad has fund the land Afore his boat is hame.   The lift looks doun wi' glitterin e'en: The wave swurls owre the rock: And the cauld sea comes rowin in; And the cauld sea gangs back.   William Soutar - 'Poem'    
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