duminică, 8 mai 2011

Frenchman's Creek/ "Golful francezului"

When you see the title you immediately seem to expect pirate story and it’s… exactly what you get! Well, not the pirate from Pirates of The Caribbean, but a more elaborate, bourgeoisie kind of pirate (the one which is rich enough and has the middle life crisis just in time to pillage some English coastal villages). I must admit it was a bit far fetched to empathize with the sorrows of being rich and not understood in your ideals to be free but I understood the general idea.

Most of us think their free, we were set to think this in order to want more stuff and to motivate ourselves into doing, achieving more. Are we really free? Could we all be pirates or just wander around in nature and find food and piece of mind for ourselves? Why are we not all tramps? What keeps us from experiencing total freedom?
All these questions made me look for answers and because I commute by train I’m immerse in the real flow of many human lives so the answer comes quickly: Most of us don’t have the luxury of being bored by our life, position, friends or a limited social circle, most of us are concentrated on living, on having the necessities we think are necessary.

But are we all not happy with what we do or how we make a living? I’m sure that’s not the case as it’s not the case with the idea of freedom. One can be free even subdued to all this necessary but arduous day to day work. What’s important is the conviction that you chose what is to happen in your life (on a general level).

I’m beginning to think that free will isn’t as free as we make ourselves think. For instance, if we were to really chose what to become in life and be sure that it is a completely free decision than we must be sure to choose from all the things we like to do and commit to some decision process before proceeding. We don’t do that, we often find the path that is more attractive and seems in a way tailored for us. Is this free will or destiny one might argue? I would have to say neither. I assume it is part of our genetic predisposition to do what we are good at, even though sometimes we might found later in life that we were good at something (and I attribute this setback to the environment, stimuli or however you may call it). It might be the influence of other books and of a comment made by aproapealb that I’m questioning the existence or the influence, if any, of free will. What do you think?

The book was ok, two characters bored by their rich life finding love and freedom in a more rustic environment near the sea. Their adventure marks the need for exploration of one’s limits and for understanding our life and the important things, people that are in it.

duminică, 1 mai 2011

The lottery ticket / The Lighthouse at the end of the world

Jules Verne account of two different fictional stories was a delightful way to take a journey into different times and places.

The first, The lottery ticket is set in Norway and it has as characters a family who owns a bed and breakfast and is struck by a tragedy: their beloved cousin Ole Kamp has delayed his return from a fishing expedition in Newfoundland, America. His cousins, Joel and Hulda(future bride) are deeply saddened by this and with the help of Sylvius Hog, whom they rescued from falling into a waterfall, they manage to reunite with Ole. Sylvius Hog manages to help the family in many ways, as he offers material and spiritual support and guidance. In the end all turns out fine and the joys of life seem to enter into the story like the ending of a fairy tale.

The lighthouse at the end of the world is more adventurous as it has pirates and brave shipmen as main characters. The tale is entrapping and provides good reading and entertainment and of course is set to have a somehow happy, or should I say, morally and socially correct ending: the evil is being punished for its bad deeds.

I really enjoyed reading these stories and I believe that many more will follow. I haven’t read Jules Verne when I was little or when growing up so in a way I’m helping with the formation of my fictional sense of traveling.