Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Herman Hesse, "Demian"

 – translated by W.J. Strachan – A London Panther 1969

Read from March 11th to 29th 2016

My Rating:

I will try not to be emotional and write an “objective” review, even though Hermann Hesse’s Demian moved me beyond words and explanations. Maybe because its serene tone and unaggressive intellectualism have a mesmerizing quality, or maybe because, just like Siddhartha some years later, it does not try to challenge or convince you. Or maybe because of the open-minded way in which it sees the world, it tells its story, it reveals its truth. And last but not least maybe because of the beautiful image of a perfect friendship the book leaves us with.

It has been said that Demian is an indispensable reading in order to begin to understand Herman Hesse’s prose, and I can see why. Like the above-mentioned Siddhartha, it follows the same route towards the inner self. But while Siddhartha chooses the path of the Buddhist serenity and separation from the world, Demian searches the path towards the world as a whole in which the contraries, even though they can’t be harmonized, neither can be separated.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

John Barth, "The Floating Opera"

– Anchor Books, New York 1988; ISBN 0-385-24089-9

Read from February 22nd till March 13th 2016

My Rating:

I was eighteen, I think, when I first read Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus and I remember even now the long debate I had with my friends around the allegation (that I loosely translate as follows) “To commit suicide is to acknowledge that life is not worth living.” Well, it was weird in a nostalgic way to hear some of our arguments (especially the question whether there is really a meaning of life) rephrased by Todd Andrews, the main character of John Barth’s Floating Opera. Although not-so-weird considering that the author was only 24 when he wrote his novel, so he was not likely to have already been cured of that same enthusiastic nihilism and same fascination with the dark side of the existentialism me and my friends (together with many a enough-read young adult) were suffering from.

Friday, March 11, 2016

K.J. Mecklenfeld, "Planeta de Aur"


– ediţia a II-a, Olanda 2014-2015 ISBN 978-9082184402

Durata lecturii: 18 februarie – 10 martie 2016

Votul meu:

Pe strada Coada Şoricelului numărul nouă, din orăşelul Siepelstad, Olanda, acolo unde se află de altfel şi Muzeul Jucăriilor, locuieşte familia de Mol, formată (deocamdată) din Hendrik, un băieţel de vreo zece ani şi bunicul său Martinus. Sau locuia, pînă cînd unchiul cel rău şi-a transformat nepotul în cîrtiţă de pluş şi fratele în spărgător de nuci şi i-a dat pe mîna unor malefice jucării de lemn.

Aşa încep extraordinarele aventuri ale lui Hendrik, care, împreună cu prietena lui Hildegard, devenită ea însăşi o raţă de pluş, cu ursul său Berend, dovedit a fi un erou neînfricat în lumea jucăriilor, cu auto-intitulatul psiholog personal Peştele-Banană şi cu mulţi alţi prieteni curajosi pleacă într-o dublă misiune: de eliberare a bunicului, căzut în mîna sinistrului schelet Calavera Mariachi şi de salvare a celui mai preţios lucru din Universul Cunoscut, Planeta de Aur.