- Budapest, Hungary
- member since February 10, 2011
I am doing my book give away this week, please feel free to download a copy from my website or my blogsite
Thank you :)
hello :)! i agree, it's been so so long and it's wonderful to hear from you again. sometimes i would visit your facebook page but then be too shy to actually write you a note or say hello. not shy exactly but :) really, i don't know the word for it. as for the novels -- embers was stunning, stunning, stunning. i read it in one go, mostly, and sat transfixed when i was done. it is so powerfully written i've rarely read a novel so tightly plotted, and so wise too, many times authors are good at plot but aren't good at observations, the minute observations that are so universally poignant -- simple things really, but it impressed me very much. i've also gotten hold of marai's "portraits of a marriage".
as for the Kertész book, i remember finding it very physically difficult to read, because the mind of the narrator was dense and confused, though intelligent, brilliantly so. i loved the book, and plan to read more of his, soon. i wonder if you know of any other Hungarian authors who impressed you... i feel that they are somewhat underrepresented, globally, though i might be wrong about that.
i've been well - busy, and well. i have one more semester to go before i graduate...and just thinking about it, and my plans afterwards, is enough to tie my stomach up in painful knots :) how about you? tell me everything that comes to your mind :) are you still working at the toy place?
You have a big total of 61 books in common with myself. Alas ! Many of those on your list are still pending to read, you have so many, many new thoughts and feelings to discover in these books. Alas, it's now many years since I read those books and enjoyed those thoughts and feelings !
I can see why the novel still haunts you. I find that I can only truly evaluate a book, or a movie, after I've let it sit for a few days. And "Never Let Me Go' has not let me go! I love metaphorical novels, and I love writers who seem to think about every word they commit to. Ishiguro's brilliance is in creating Kathy's voice, and in allowing her tale to unfold so tantalizingly and naturally, without any clutter. His ability to write in the first person reminds me of Russell Banks.
I appreciate your recommendation of "A Pale View of Hills." I probably would have read "The Remains of the Day" next, but I'll heed your advice. I don't want to jump right into another Ishiguro, however, because I want to savor "Never Let Me Go" for a while longer!
happy evening, reka.
apologies for the delay in responding to your note, i have to say i've been mulling over it ever since you sent it to me. i love how you write, actually, they say writing reflects the mind and your mind seems labyrinthine yet structured impeccably. as for penelopiad, i received the exact same impression from it, it seemed over simplified and a little tacky somehow, it lacked some of the complexity of her other work. i've never read surfacing, unfortunately i have no access to it, either i believe...do you remember which book it was the got you into reading, which work... was central to you, what obsesses you?
i started learning english around the same time that you did, i don't know if i ever had a thirst to learn many languages, mostly because i was very afraid of that coldness of first entering a language, before any of it makes any sense at all. i admire your being able to learn so many! i had a brief desire to learn german (in order to read rilke in the original) but as much as i admire him i think it doesn't extend that far. learning a language is like learning a place, it's so large, i can't fathom it sometimes. i need to do it slowly, and not to make a gauche example, but like a strip tease, get acclimatized to the language in little bits and pieces over a long period of time rather than the whole thing at once, so it is less daunting. i've been trying to learn french for years now, i know a little of it, but still, the little i know took years to accumulate...
as for america, i agree with you perhaps about the optimism, overt sense of friendliness which can seem a little superficial. i remember having enjoyed this a lot though, as saudi is the exact opposite. it isn't quite gloomy, it's more...hard to explain. more familial and private at the same time, like a society and you need to be initiated and strangers get quite the cold shoulder.. .
i haven't started kaddish for an unborn child, yet... i'm still struggling with moby dick and i'm loathe to start another book until i've finished it..as for your favorite poets, i'm glad to say we share the same favorites! well, besides the hungarian ones who you've so kindly introduced me to. i've enjoyed them all immensely but perhaps the one i've enjoyed the most was "Foamy Sky". it was somehow, playful and deadly serious all at the same time.. and 'Ode' was quite beautiful as well. my favorite poet for a long time was rilke, but i've met a few others i enjoy as well, for example li young lee who wrote
(http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171753 or http://www.indiana.edu/~primate/lee.html)
and it's funny you mention plath, i enjoyed her 'bell jar' but lately i find myself more drawn to her poetry (ariel, for example) and i love ted hughes as well.
you know when you mentioned the meaning of your name to me, my heart leaped :) this is because i've spent years trying to find a name that had this meaning, conveyed the meaning of water without being plainly "water". reka :) my name means 'elevated and lofty' and i think perhaps i am growing into it.. .or i hope that i am.
i'd love to read your writing. i would really love it, and i'm not just saying it. i already know that you are a brilliant writer. i write as well, not as frequently or as well as i would hope for, but i dabble. mostly poetry, and i'm working on a novel.
how do you find university? do your classes inspire you? do you do a lot of the work on your own? do you have a professor who you look up to? a mentor-- or something?
Szia Réka! Tudom, hogy ez nem furcsa, de Amerikában tartják, hogy legyen. Nem érdekel, hogy milyen nyelven szeretnénk beszélni. Én tartom magam egy magyarnak, bár én születem Amerikában. Magyarország igazi otthonom, bár élek Amerikában. Őszintén szólva, nem látta még szép országot? :)
Hogy vagy Réka?
first things first: i was amazed to see you reading 'the penelopiad'! i've been fingering this book in the library for quite a few days now, but decided not to pick it up until i am finished with what i'm currently reading. would you recommend it to me? what do you think of atwood, in general? i'm so puzzled by the negative hype she seems to have surrounding her, everybody who has read her seems to dislike her for some strange reason which i can't quite fathom yet. i find her writing to be like a personable old woman, who lives next door and has such strange habits that you simply cannot stop looking and looking at her.
hungary from your descriptions sounds so comfortable. that has always been my dream, to belong to a country so much that i would gravitate back there no matter what, be intimately familiar with the people and culture and language. how is it that you came to learn english? is this a strange or weird question to ask? do you know any other languages? i ask because i think it's always an interesting story of how someone learns a language so well despite living in a country with another dominant language. it points at some kind of secret life. what did you think of the US when you visited? did you go alone or with friends or family? i spent a year there (and was born there as well and moved to saudi when i was...somewhere from six months to two years, i can't really remember) and to this date i can't really accurately describe how i feel towards it. i think it's like any country in the world, you need to find your own place within it and if you fail to do so then you remain a foreigner. it's so adorable that you know of your ancestors fighting in some battle-- i don't know if i even have ancestors. quite possibly my grandparents were dropped through the clouds in bangladesh at some indeterminate point of time and began to build a livelihood. we have no records of anything, my mother doesn't even know her own birthdate.
i am so glad that you mentioned Imre Kertész! i have a couple of her?his? books at our library (my university library is quite small so i am always surprised to see books that you mention or are reading in it) and i was thinking of reading something of hers but i'm not sure what to start off with. i believe we have 'liquidation' have you read this?
who is your favorite poet? may i read your favorite poem, if you have one? you mention being a Romanticist (or perhaps i am imagining this) do you love 'Wuthering Heights'? if i had to name my all time favorite love story, it would have to be that novel.
how is your name pronounced? what does it mean?
you may call me samiah :)