A.S. Byatt · Alexander Pushkin


Since I’m still unable to properly concentrate on thinking and writing about what I’ve read these past two months (not much, really) I feel the urge to at least note down some of the thoughts I would be interested in exploring further when the time and circumstances find it kind to permit:

  • There’s an exceptionally powerful story in Byatt’s Little Black Book of Stories titled “The Thing in the Forest”. What intrigued me the most is this sentence: “I think there are things that are real – more real than we are – but mostly we don’t cross their paths, or they don’t cross ours.” I’ve encountered the same idea a few weeks earlier in The Last Unicorn. So, what do these two writers have in mind when declaring something “more real”? Exciting.
  • Rereading Pushkin’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan made me aware of the important role the water plays in this poem. Four aspects of its power are accentuated very clearly – to give and take life, to transform and to connect.
  • I found several chapters in Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser very interesting (on temporal passage, logical lessons, induction..) but there were others.. well, there was one in particular – “Unruly Alice: A Feminist View of Some Adventures in Wonderland” written by Megan S. Lloyd – which serves as a perfect example of “anything goes philosophy”. Quite embarrassing.
  • The excellence of Andrić’s Bosnian Chronicle gives a lot to think about. To understand how he makes the scenes, the landscapes and characters so vivid I would have to dissect every sentence in the novel. I am sure I will never get to it, but I’ll leave the note as a reminder just in case…
  • One of the first impressions I had reading Maupassant’s Yvette was that it is unquestionably, categorically French. Which made me wonder about my preconceptions.
  • I failed to enjoy Dandelion Wine. Why?

7 thoughts on “Notes

    1. “Yvette” was my first Maupassant, but from what I saw in it – he’s best in short forms. I would definitely head for some of his short story collections. “The Ball of Fat” is widely spoken of as a masterpiece..

  1. a fine list of ponderences there. I do like the line from The Thing in the Forest, it implies something so utterly remarkable as to be a challenge to try and qualify it in any such meaningful way possibly.

    The problem with feminism is that attracts, like an movement idiots, those people that rally to something they don’t understand the complexities of and then use it to make uninformed judgements.

    As for your other thoughts, I am not familiar with the stories but it is great to have a ton more to add to my list, I do like to accumulate suggestions.. Have you ever read any of Nikolai Leskov’s writings, I keep seeing his books but haven’t had chance to have a proper look at them of yet.

    1. A fine list of thoughts I will never get back to, it seems..
      Perhaps I should push myself to write about “The Thing in the Forest” since I was, I still am! so intrigued.. I wonder what you would make of it..

      As for what you said about feminism – unfortunately, it is the same with any movement, any idea.. Sad, indeed..

      I am sorry to say I haven’t read a word of Nikolai Leskov’s, although I’ve heard only good things about his writing.. Someday maybe, who is to know..

      1. Perhaps between us we can cover all the great books, it is a challenge to write sometimes, be it because of work or just not being to bothered when we do have the time. If you are intrigued with The Thing in the Forest, then I almost certainly will as well.

        1. You are absolutely right.. Sometimes I need 8-10 hours to write a 300-word post, which is very aggravating.
          Often, one is simply not in a mood to produce but to consume. I know I would rather read than write at any given moment, but I also know that writing is a not so insignificant part of reading process.. So..

          1. It’s most certainly a lot easier to read than write but like you say as they are symbiotic and always worth it once the posts are completed I can’t complain to loudly.

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