If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino

We live in a world in which our perceptibility of reality, its acute awareness, and tireless influence are embraced as if canvassed across the night sky in a spectacle of lights. Marking your own bearings on such a sky takes a lifetime.

Every star, every imprint has a gleaming light of its own; a deep and intense light. This intensity keeps changing for those who are still on earth because they look at it differently. Some look at the stars in hope, some in anguish, some in euphoria. But do we wonder if anybody is looking back at us from above? The effulgence of light manifesting a ‘telluric’ quality of sorts.

And do we then derive our passions, loves, and fervor from the energy of lights? Standing under them, one after another, embracing all its ethereal traits. The multiple voices of a thousand and more lives. The language that resonates most with our inner voice. We hear it in whispers, taste it in nondescript flavors, and see it through the eyes of our soul.

Consider Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller as a trove of those voices. It remedies the ragged edges of reality. It reclaims the unattainable in dreams, the impossibilities in feeling, and the unimaginable in expression.

The path this luminous book takes is idiosyncratic in that it has many truths and many identities. It stations you into a world no one yet knows is. Invading your mind, soul, and whole concrete being. Calvino perfectly describes the uncertainty, the murkiness, the anticipation which compels a reader to read a new book. And how each time you read, you experience the self that is you, the reader.


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Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The truth is that every book, and in it every story, holds in its imagination a dream. The dream demands truthfulness from its reality. Separating, by a thin veil, the person hanging on to reality for clarity and the person relying on the lucidity of dreams for intense, unforeseen love.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores is the exploration of the lacunae between both worlds. It’s moving, crisp, and soul-rendering. The words ignite and wander in the land of nostalgia, love, and mortality. Reclaiming you as its solitudinous voyager, its narrator, and impersonator.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s words aren’t a measure at all. They burst forth into the recesses of a melancholic and lonely life. The book chronicles the fullness and emptiness of such a life. And soaring from its pages is the transparency of what returns to life over and over again. Tightening the threads of time strung together by mortality. The ending is the fulfillment of an unfulfilled life. The beginning of the resurrection of one.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores is about the incomplete and restless relationship of love and time. The depth of the right love met at the wrong time. And the fragility of a love that never returned when it should have. Perhaps love never does fit one like a glove. Love is time’s revenge upon death. And its own extinction.


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For The Public Eye is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising service allows me to receive commissions for the book purchases you make.

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The Search for Lost Things: In Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

Neither reality nor any other form of describable possibility can tell you what this book’s setting free. You can regard it as a parallel to a life, that is birthed and breathed. Nor can I bring to life the intricate and animated lives that bind One Hundred Years of Solitude. The countless possibilities of imagination its literature binds to something that remains unhindered and untouched in a world quite unique to our own. So still are the characters’ lives and so run by the course of time that even One Hundred Years, written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez seemed too short enough to be lived. The quest for an ending, along with time, love, and loss, is almost unending. The end itself forms the premise of an undying destiny bred through what is lived and what is left by people molded by it.

So, are we free of transforming from mud to bricks?

Are we neglected by death even if we don’t make a sound? While these questions have not yet found answers. To me, asking the question is enough to feel privileged for a book this purifying, provocative, and enchanting to the soul.

“…watching the flow of the fire as it glided the persistent woman who neither then nor in any instant of her life seemed to exist completely.”
– Gabriel García Márquez

one hundred years of solitude book review

The ground on which One Hundred Years of Solitude stands on is made of tectonic plates that rattle, constantly, with no discipline to show for. The rattle is demeaning but crucial; bewildering but swift. It’s the unpredictability of intuition and intention we’re so oblivious to. And if such virtuosity exists, it exists in this book. It speaks of solitude with purpose and purpose without the loss of hope. One Hundred Years of Solitude is the absolute ticket to what imagination could bring into this world. It is the precipice that knows no bounds and has no explicit shape or color.

What is recognized is not how the characters live the same lives, but how each character dives deeper into history, repeating its course over and over again so as to be close to it. Like a spell-bound and possessed lover. These dimensions I’ve drawn up are unscathed and undiscoverable to the naked eye. It’s what is undisciplined and pure, quite like the transgressions of the story. The vessel of humanity which runs in spite of the destined lapses of space and time.

“…the search for lost things is hindered by routine habits and that is why it is so difficult to find them.”
– Gabriel García Márquez

What does this vessel do? It protects what is yours. It defends soil without breathing life into it. So when you bury a seed deep into the ground, you’re no longer a part of it. You will never look upon that patch of earth ever again. Why? Because to you, the act of planting the seed and giving it life is an act of never having to exist with it. So, you can live outside the realms of the law. And you give purpose to such indiscretions as you’ve had to survive through it.

Again, the act of diving deep into history just to be intimate with it. To have it give you a purpose and to have you give it a reason. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a magical ode to literature and the muscle it yields to stay close to your soul.

 

one hundred years of solitude book review
Even after you’ve read it, the words continue to enchant the mind, purify the heart. Until there’s nothing left but a sweltering desire to see the day run its end. For the sun to set and the moon to take its place. How can you count days and nights without numbers? How can you control time if not without a clock? Because then, in doing so, time is not passed on but felt. Then, in feeling so, days don’t end with nights. Instead, the passage of time dissolves into an abyss, in the laps of darkness, until we dissolve in it too.

Such is the fusion lives with which we identify so vividly and delicately. We try to believe that the sun and the moon are two opposites. But in this book, you understand that they’re the only laws of the earth we’ve supposed to mark and follow. The only laws that give life and death unerringly by swallowing it whole.

On Life With Consequences: In Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things

The idea around this book, this story that didn’t need practicing or explaining but stemmed from something that was endured. The God of Small Things is a disguise which reveals itself delicately. It’s a vessel constantly overflowing on some days with politics; while love has invariably submerged itself with laws of having emotional and physical consequences. It leaves an impact on life and the thing we call life itself. A body brimming with emotions. A vessel brimming with water it’s not designed to hold. A life with consequences it’s not supposed to have.

“Estha occupied very little space in the world.”
– Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

 

“Ammu said that human beings were creatures of habit, and it was amazing the kind of things one could get used to.”
– Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

There’s a passing of worlds and generations in us that we are the unwavering outcomes of. A missing element. A shadow lurking in corners that were built years before we were born. Those corners feel like boulders we carry on our shoulders. Too heavy to lift without succumbing to the parched ground underneath our feet. Too wide to let go without falling with it. The final weight crushing every part of our body. And everything else that nature conspired to build in us. This weight is pragmatic, no less. It is enslaved with history, desire, regrets, and forced imitations.

The god of small things by arundhati roy- for the public eye review
The cost of living is unbiased to our means of paying for it. How can it be possible to build the simplest beings in the world and enforce on them ideas that remain unchanged for over hundreds of years? So ingrained are our feelings of life and death that what’s left to render in between becomes the only primal test of living.

What about the end of living? Death is certainly not the end of living. The former is not as consequential as we think it is. The stronger dose is the latter with its own poison and own grave. End of living is the only way of leaving without a body.

Of wandering with no cause.

“Small Things were said. The Big Things lurked unsaid inside.”
– Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

When the little things are as indifferent in this world as the big things. Because you see yourself in neither. The little things have a world of their own. Following the course of life in the things humans leave behind. A habit too habitual to have you in it. Too constant. Too committed to the way of living that a slight step in the wrong direction and you have nowhere to belong.

The big things so encompassing that finding yourself in such a convoluted maze would be impossible and destructive. The big things are what dreams are made of. They are what constitutes to hopes and life worth living. Nothing about the big things feel discoverable because you’re still unaffected, untouched, and invisible. Rummaging through the haystacks to find the needle is unthinkable when it’s you who is the needle in the haystack.

When it’s your wounds that still remain irreparable.

What of the Small Things then?

Who’s the Savior?

Consequences arise out of misery, but are only counted, measured, and treasured when felt. Otherwise, they pass on like the air we breathe over generations.

On Finding Strength in Simplicity and Simplicity in Strength: In Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood

The only way to love is to give to a kind of lif that brings bliss, melancholy, and a longing for the light at the end of a tunnel.

We’re happier set free than we are caged. Figurative, of course, is the enclosure of our feelings and experiences that we become so intimate with. And in considering why that is, I’ve observed, the present starts to look much more forgiving and profound than when observed by looking back at our memories. Reading Murakami’s Norwegian Wood for the second time put me in a haze so vivid and satisfying that I never wanted to put the book down.

A verse from the book:

“I didn’t have much to say to anybody but kept to myself and my books. With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy.”

After all, the simplest things in life are enough to keep us happy. As Murakami writes, “We all just keep doing the same things.” Some may not perceive it this way, but passages like these are so imaginative and profound that they draw a parallel. A parallel into the pursuit of another life in which we’re seen mirroring the same inwardness and openness to our existence. Only here, in this world, we’re creatures devoid of possibilities and coincidences.

I want to believe that there are no coincidences in life. That the beauty in existing is in appreciating our own reflections in everything around us. In accepting life the way it serves the bitter or sweet or tasteless flavors. And that saying everything we do has meaning is a less painful way of believing that we care too deeply.

“We all just keep doing the same things.”

Maybe that’s the only way one musters strength in life and death. Reliving any moment in words is revivifying but reliving them still brings with it a kind of soreness in the want to feeling something. Simple verses, like the ones you read in Norwegian Wood, are unexampled pillars by which the pains of others are understood. And in doing so, I am healed of the piercing twinge in my soul.

I imagine a meadow at the cusp of bearing sunshine and warmth. With a kind of simple strangeness that envelopes an open field. As I take a closer look, life begins its journey feeling a little simpler and much less convoluted.

Maybe that’s all Norwegian Wood does. The book wants us to unravel in the celebration of simplicity within simplicity. Of loving and being without conditions and of letting go of the hurtful aspects of life only to embrace it on a more fundamental level. The book wants us to live. Each day, getting closer to the open field, and slightly transformed into a meadow with an essence of its own.

There is longing, delicate and infinite in each word, sentence, and chapter. With a hint of acceptance, innocence, and compassion. So, what happens and when it happens are only the natural courses of life. It is our natural course. And embracing the extraordinary workings of the world around us makes our own lives so strange and beautiful.

So, in entertaining such a thought, the boundaries of the meadow expand and answer to our most mechanical question: What is life? The answer is a speck of dust on a clean, spotless surface. And this governs the law of our place in the world.