Thursday, June 7, 2007

jerzy kosinski

I was thinking of doing a list of the most extreme books I've read. There's plenty I would like to include. Some came immediately to mind: 'The Notebook' (A. Kristof), 'Cement Yard' (I. McEwan), 'A personal Matter' (Oé), 'Still Alive' (R. Kluger), etc... But there's something about this novel, based on Kosinski's experiences during WWII that wanders in your mind for a long time after you read the novel. Kosinski was a highly controversial writer, accused of being a pathological liar, of plagiarism, etc. He ended up killing himself, leaving a bunch of acclaimed novels, such as the NBA winner, 'Steps'. He is basically known for his novel 'Being there' that was a big hit transformed into film (Shirley McLaine).
'The painted bird' is an impressive story with some of the most extreme violent scenes that can possibly be written. This book was tantalizingly recommended to me by a friend who couldn't finished it but said maybe I could! Anyone willing to give it a try?


pao said...

I totally agree, the book, with its unfiltered violence really leaves a mark. How can we forget Ludmila's death in the hands of the town people? or the rabbits, skinned alive! Kosinski really captures the force of cruelty, unleashed and unbound.

nico said...

Stupid Ludmilla! Unforgettable. Yes, it could be said that violence was unfiltered, for the sake of the shock. It's a fascinating and controversial topic, the limits of what can be said, written, described, etc, and what aesthetic or mechanism are chosen to get to the reader. Remember the bottle kicked into her vagina?