Moominpappa at Sea

„It’s strange,” Moominmamma thought. “Strange that people can be sad, and even angry because life is too easy. But that’s the way it is, I suppose. The only thing to do is to start life afresh.“ 

Tove Jansson,  Moominpappa at Sea

Change was incessant, and change perhaps would never cease

Virginia Woolf Orlando

Change was incessant, and change perhaps would never cease. High battlements of thought, habits that had seemed as durable as stone, went down like shadows at the touch of another mind and left a naked sky and fresh stars twinkling in it.” 

Virginia Woolf Orlando

I’m not sure if I liked this book but it was definitely an intriguing, beautiful and challenging lecture. Enjoy my favourite quote from this book!

rereading Killing Commendatore by Murakami

Since I’m rereading Killing Commendatore by Murakami, I decided to share some random thoughts on the topic with you. Who knows, maybe there are some fans of this Japanese author out there?

So I have to confess that I am mesmerized by Murakami and his reappearing universal story which lurks from some of his novels. I always look for THAT tale in his works, although it is hard for me to describe it precisely. There are themes, motives and symbols. Someone is looking for something or someone. It is for me at least unprecise, but I know it is there. So I read his works with similar attention to the hero of Killing Commendatore who stared and the theme picture. Admiring, looking for something, or just trying to understand?

I came back to Killing Commendatore because it seems like a right time for it. I read it first time around two years ago, and I even remember reading it on my comfy sofa, discovering the mysterious world that Murakami decided to present us this time. In a dim light of reading lamp, while night was slowly taking over the sky. And I had this feeling that he wanted to show us that time should be on our side. Not the other way around. But after some time, I lost this certainty that he was and stil is quite right. I just wander if rereading Killing Commendatore by Murakami will help me gain it again.

My difficult relationship with Mrs Dalloway

difficult relationship with Mrs Dalloway

My difficult relationship with Mrs Dalloway had few stages.

Few years ago I bought myself a copy of Mrs Dalloway (in English) and I got stuck. I honestly I couldn’t go further than dozen pages because I had to translate so many of the words. Because I somehow knew that in this book every word matters.

Unfortunately I took me few years to get myself a polish copy of the book. I wanted to read it. But I wasn’t crazy about it. I’ve seen the movies based on Woolf’s life ad Woolf’s art and to be true I wanted to read it because it seems like I should. Only that. But then, I read “Room’s of its own” and my affair with Virginia Woolf got a bit more serious. I got intrigued not only by the “fame” of the books but by the author. By what she wanted to say.

I remember doing some research and listening a podcast about her. There was this story told by her nephew. He was little boy when he knew Virginia and he was talking about how curious she was about every detail of his life. Every second. When he was coming to visit, she was asking how he spent the morning and the asking more. And more. And even more…

I don’t remember the title of the podcast, but this story told by the old voice of Virginia’s nephew made a lasting impression. Because I could see it in Mrs. Dalloway. The gracious and beautiful attention. Because every word matters. This is why I couldn’t go further than dozen words while reading the original version.

I’m really happy that I finally read Mrs Dalloway. Mostly because it has so much in it. Even though, book is limited by the number of pages, there are no limitations in discovering and rediscovering the beauty and nostalgia of it. And of this passionate need to discover life…

The Mysteries of Udolpho tiny review

I love Jane Austen’s books and I think it’s quite a good opening sentence for this Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho tiny review. Because lets face the truth, I don’t think that someone else is reading her books these days. I do hope I’m wrong. And beside the small groups of fanatics of Austen’s works there is other group of admirers of Gothic horror/romance novels who reads them in winter evenings, surrounded by light of candles and howling wind.

But back to the Mysteries of Udolpho. I bought it few years ago (after watching some Jane Austen’s fan movie) and I left it on bookshelf for those long years. Because it’s a Gothic romance. Probably very exalted and “romantic” to the core. And funny thing is that it is all that but in the same way it has quite interesting plot. Main heroine faints from time to time, and she is taken by horros and strange fears even more, but in the same time she tries to actually restrain her vivid imagination and rest calm. She is again righteous to the core but this didn’t interrupt her to be quite nosy about all strange things.

I was afraid that this book will be long and not very intriguing, but I did read it with great interest just because I was honestly curious how Emilia, the main character will end (and be sure that I often can guess what will happen in this types of books). Add to it this nice feeling that you are reading something that Jane Austen read, and bunch of others women in her times. Think about beautiful landscapes and pleases too (and strange gloomy castles!) which were so vividly present in the book. And you will come with quite a nice and interesting book which is not only entertaining but gives quite inside into those strange but so romantic times.

I wander if you’ve hear about The Mysteries of Udolpho?:-)

about One Hundred Years of Solitude

about One Hundred Years of Solitude

I have to admit that writing about One Hundred Years of Solitude was difficult. For the first time I read it years ago, in polish. And when I think about it now, all I can remember is the feeling of richness of the writing. Thickness of descriptions. There is a reminiscence of beauty too. But the story itself was lost completely.

Some time ago I got it as a birthday gift, so the right time came for the second reading. More careful and attentive one, that was my plan. I’m not sure if I managed to do that, but I definitely tried.
While reading, all the thoughts and ideas that were there with me the first time came back. There was also a new thing. A feeling of timelessness. All the sons in the Buendía family were named the same. There were additional surnames, nicknames and so on, but oh my! I was lost many times wondering about who exactly I’m reading about. It was as the loneliness of each of the generation, each of Aureliano and José Arcadio was merged in one. In one endless solitary existence.

This time I also decided to read something about author and about the book itself. And I was surprised to hear that it is a story of the country. This made me realize that there is a lot I’m not noticing. Nuances and details of the history itself. And If I’m missing that, the question is what else?

The answer to this question seems pretty simple. I have the impression that in the year or so only the small reminiscence will stay with me. Details, emotions. Nothing more. And maybe in few years, the story will return to its beginnings and I will start to read the book again, trying to remember and rediscover why I felt this utter solitude breaking out from the book…

something by Virginia Woolf

somethig by Virginia Woolf

I wanted to read something by Virginia Woolf for a long time but till recently I haven’t had such chance. I tried once to read Mrs. Dalloway in English (and not  in Polish) but I failed tremendously. This gave me a  valuable lesson.  So I guessl learned from my own mistakes.  I bought myself a polish copy of “A Room of One’s Own” which was next on my list.

Reading this essay was quite surprising experience. Mostely because of the way it was written. I was expecting anger and yet, it is in some moments almost serene. The injustuice is pointed out so is inequality. But yet again, everything is written without this expected anger… There is this, almost preverbial, message that money and peace is necessary for artist to make art. But for me, this essay was about something more. It almost worn us, that anger can lead to bitterness. That even women are injust to each other. And that living the world fully and truthfully is the most important thing for an artist. Because it is world around us , which teaches and shapes up. And pretending someone else is just not an option. For those who wants to have a good life. Who wants to create a good art.

My polish version had a wonderful addition. There are 5 short stories about well known women: artists, writers or reporters. I was a bit sceptic in the beginning. Mostly because half of them I haven’t known. Those who I know, I haven’t liked. Yet those short stories shown the path of these women to the place were they are right now. To the place where they are free, independent, and I think, happy. Those stories shown that some things have changed, some have not. But still, they give hope. Even if overcoming stereotypse is still dificult, there is hope for the better

                                                                                                                   **** Something by Virginia Woolf in polish:)****

Od dawna chciałam przeczytać coś Virgini Woolf. Na początku sięgnęłam po Panią Dalloway – niestety po angielsku i to był mój błąd. Poległam całkowicie! Ale dało mi to do myślenia, i następną pozycję, esej “Mój własny pokój” zakupiłam już po polsku.

Oczekiwałam złości , jednak styl Virginii jest prawie pogodny i słoneczny. Niesprawiedliwości, nierówności były wytknięte, jednak cały ton jest spokojny, stonowany, przenikliwy. Dla mnie najważniejszym przekazem eseju nie był jednak przysłowiowy pokój, i pieniądze na utrzymanie a to, że gniew może prowadzić do zgorzknienia. Że kobiety same dla siebie nie są często sprawiedliwe. A także to, że najważniejsze jest przeżyć jak najwięcej, doświadczyć świata, być uczciwym i szczerym w stosunku do siebie jak i innych. Myślę, że to rady dobre nie tylko dla artystek i feministek.

Polska edycja książki ma cudowny dodatek jakim są historię znanych i lubianych polek. Artystek, pisarek, podróżniczek… Przyznam, że na początku byłam sceptyczna. Połowę z nich nie lubiłam, a drugą połowę znałam jedynie ze słyszenia. Jednak te historie pokazały jak znane kobiety poradziły sobie z przeciwnościami i trudnościami. By dotrzeć tam gdzie są. Pokazały że pewne rzeczy się zmieniły, część kompletnie nie. Jednak wydaje mi się, że te historie pokazały, że jest nadzieja. Na lepsze. W całkiem niedalekiej przyszłości.


Is Sanditon by Jane Austen worth reading?

Sanditon by Jane Austen

Is Sanditon by Jane Austen worth reading? Answer is quite simple if you are a fan. Definitely Yes. But then, what if you are not a big admirer?

There are 3 pieces in my copy of the book so I guess the questions itself isn’t accurate. You can read Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon. First one, is a short epistpolary novel and my favorite by the way. There are also those two unfinished stories. I’m a big fun of Jane Austen so I read all her novels. It took me some time since by the time I was in my Jane Austen faze not all of them were popular or even available in polish. I never had a possibility to read “the rest”. But it happened lately that I finally laid my hands on the Sanditon

                                                                                                            So Is Sandtion by Jane Austen worth reading if you are not JA Fan?

I would say no. I’m and will be a great admirer of her works. But reading unfinished novels leaves you with a strange feeling on incompleteness. I though: the beginning is nice. Maybe not perfect, but still nice. It starts looking like Jane Austen story. Her style and atmosphere. Her type of heroines (maybe except from Lady Susan who is quite different) and her type of humor. And then it all stops before it can take a whole polished shape. If you are a fan, you will enjoy those little things in her writing. But however you would look at it, it still stays unfinished and you have only the beginning.

There is and will be the issue of publishing works of famous authors who weren’t meant to be. It’s a tricky case nevertheless I’m happy to have a bit more insight into the world of Jane Austen. I know also that I won’t go back to these pieces. But, I’m highly curious about the tv show based on Sanditon which was released lately. I wander what they made from the Jane Austen idea. 

Sanditon by Jane Austen

Czy warto jest sięgnąć po Sanditon napisane przez Jane Austen? Odpowiedź jest całkiem prosta. Tak, jeżeli jesteś jej fanem. Jest jednak jedno ale…

W mojej kopii książki mam tak naprawdę trzy prace. Lady Susan, mój faworyt przy okazji, Watsonowie i oczywiscie Sanditon. Pierwsza praca to powieść epistolarna z początków działaności autorki, nigdy nie opublikowana. Watsonowie i Sanditon to dwie nieukończone powieści. Jestem wielką fanką jane Austen, czego nie da się ukryć. Przeczytałam wszystkie jej powieści chociaż zajeło mi to trochę czasu. Jednak na Sanditon natrafiłam dopiero w wersji angielskiej i to całkiem nie dawno.

                    A więc, czy warto jest przeczytać te prace jeżeli nie jest się fanem pisarki?

Powiedziałabym, że niekoniecznie. Czytanie nieukończonych powieści zazwyczaj nie jest dobrym pomyslem. Uwielbiam prozę Jane Austen więc z ciekawością przeczytałam to co napisała. Żeby ponownie zanurzyć się w jej stylu, w atmosferze którą tworzy. Żeby spotakać ponownie jej humor i ten typowy austenowski typ bohaterki. Nie zmienia to jednak sytuacji. Sanditon i Watsonowie to tylko poczatki powieści. Zaczątki fabuły. Wręcz boleśnie brak jest dalszej części. Dlatego też jest to lektura obowiązkowa tylko i wyłącznie dla fanów Jane Austen.

Short story about Kafka and The Metamorphosis

Kafka and the Metamorphosis

So here are few things about Kafka and The Metamorphosis. To be honest I was a bit afraid of his works. There is this gloomy dark aura around his writings and what’s more, around Kafka himself. But as I’m living now in his city and his country I thought I would just give it a try.

So, I’ve started with some of his short stories. The book I got was a compilation of all his works published when he was alive. The stories were the ones which the author really wanted to show to the world. As you know or not, his most famous books were published postmortem, by his friend, who was asked by Kafka to burn all unpublished stories.

But back to the topic, reading slowly through my book, I was heading slowly but surely to the Metamorphosis. I was curious. In a bad way. It’s not normal being curious about the story of the man who turns into a big insect. And yet, I think it provokes such strange uneasiness and well, curiosity in each and every person that it becomes normal in some wayBecause we are human. We are curious by nature about wired things. So after all, Kafka got a plus from me. Just by reminding me that I’m like everyone. In every way.

And then the story came. And again I think it is about us. Humans. About our nature. But not the idealized one, or the demonized one. The true nature of human which is mixture of goodness and badness, selfishness and empathy. Cowardliness and bravery. And all what is between. And I have to admit, that Kafka presented it in unique beautiful and a bit creepy way. By telling a story about a big bug…

Even though 
Kafka and The Metamorphosis will make you sad, it is definitely worth reading. I still feel sad when I think about it, yet I want to read it again. Just to take deep dive in, into all the facets of the human nature. Maybe I will understand it better next time…