Wednesday, May 2, 2007


This is Cynthia Ozick's last novel. She takes her time between her collaborations in the New York Times and her fiction work. A collection of essays came out last semester ('The din in the head'), but this novel is worth stressing. Here we have Ozick at her best: spectacular display of metaphors and insightful remarks on contemporary trends, through Rosa Meadows, a fanatic reader of Jane Austen and secretary to a German emigree family whose 'pater familia' happens to be a member of tha Karaits, a jewish misterious sect. Give it a try!


The KK Kueen said...

And did I not recommend this book to you? Or you to me? Hmmm. Either way, you comments are valid. I concur.

nico said...

Great, I am a fan of Ozick and have read almost everything. I'm missing some stories from 'The pagan Rabbi' volume, but I'm alert to her essays and fiction. She did something amazing with 'The Messiah of Stockholm", were she fantasizes with the alleged novel written by Bruno Schulz and lost during WWII. And 'The Puttermesser Papers', what an incredible novel, with that feminine Golem! Thanks for your post!

KK Kueen said...

Every book has the potential to touch the human soul deeply, arousing patterns of thought that might otherwise have lain dormant. The pleasure we derive from the written word is unique in that we must labor for it. Other forms of art provide us with stimulus and ask nothing more than our emotional response. Reading is an active pastime that requires an investment of emotion as well as our concentration and imagination. The words we read are merely a starting point for a process that takes place largely within our minds and hearts.

There are few activities as comforting, relaxing, and healthy as perusing the pages of a good piece of fiction or nonfiction. Curling up with a book and a cup of tea is one of the simplest ways we can remove ourselves from the confines of reality in order to immerse ourselves in the drama and intrigue of the unfamiliar. The pleasure of transcending reality is only one aspect of the reading experience, however. Each time we read for enjoyment, whether we prefer the fantastic nature of fiction, the empathy awakened within us by memoir, or the instructive passion of nonfiction, we create entire landscapes in our mind's eye. The books we choose provide us with the inspiration we need to accomplish such a feat, but it is our own creative reserves that empower us to use our imaginations for this unique and beautiful purpose.

The tales you lose yourself in can lead you on paths of discovery that take you out of your own life and help you see that existence can unfold in an infinite number of ways. You can learn so much from the characters and mentors who guide you from page to page. Your emotions are awakened each time you read, allowing you to become vessels of the passion that pours forth from line after line of print. Ultimately, the books you absorb-those that touch you deeply-will become a part of who you are, providing you with a rich and thrilling world within that you can revisit anytime you wish by simply closing your eyes. If you haven't read a book for pleasure lately, try and allow yourself the time-you deserve it.

nico said...

thank you very much for your insightful response, i agree completely on your views on reading and researching through books,