duminică, 28 august 2011

“Nunta in cer”/ (Marriage in Heaven)

Eliade’s novel continues a theme that I’ve encountered in “Intoarcerea din rai”, which is the theme of love without limits, which can only solve itself through acts of sacrifice and is ultimately an all or nothing game. A young writer that is cynical and full of himself to the point that his attitude is one in which he firmly believes he can decipher any woman or man within seconds or minutes, finds himself in love with a woman (Ileana), but unable to truly commit and live his love earthly, as opposed to what he thinks is the ultimate love, one that can be lived/felt only in an ethereal place (heavens).

This idea stops him and blinds him, as he cannot understand the woman he loves, nor how she feels about their love. He thinks that writer can/must only create art during times in which something is missing from their lives, in a sense that the urgency to create some imaginary world compensates for whichever lacks in one’s live. It is a very selfish point of view, from my opinion. As the action continues he separates himself from his love, to the point that he asks her to only love him, that their love may be sterile, without a child. The obvious happens, and after an abortion of which the main character is unaware of, he finds himself left, abandoned, as the girl could not live in his fantasy of how his perfect love should look like.

To add a mystery to the story, the author introduces another friend to whom the young writer confides his lost love. This elder man confides as well of a love he felt 8-9 years in the past and the story this love, which he thinks represents the love of his life. After finding out that the heroine has a similar name (Lena), the reader is left with a feeling that the book is more about a woman than two men telling their regrets of a one true love that escaped without them noticing it. We find out that after the First World War a teenage girl is separated from her aunt while traveling in a train and a young man helps her to the nearest train stop. This teenage girl is then seen as a young woman that falls in love with the man that helped her, years after. Their love ignites during a trip through Europe, during which they get married and start a life of their own. Due to their age difference their ideas of love are different: she wishes to live their love by themselves, he starts wishing for a baby, and because neither explains to the other their idea of love, they argue and ultimately they divorce, and decide not to see each other again.
The story is about love, and a woman through different times in her life, and with different men. It made me think about the damage an unspoken idea of love might due to a pair of lovers. Just imagine two lovers which are in love, but feel as if their love should be in some way, a way which is incongruent to the how the other feels. It indeed can destroy a relationship if there is no communication, or so I think anyway.

An interesting novel to read.

sâmbătă, 20 august 2011

The Steve Jobs way: iLeadership for a new generation

For a book which claims to give an insight into the way in which Jobs leads his company I find it very brief and short of introductory. Granted, I don't have a serious knowledge in management, mainly just heard of it and read some books on the management of creative ideas and people, but it seems rather to skim the surface and to portray some autobiographical memories as source to increment and to provide an argument to ideas. It did indeed brought me a new perspective into the history of Apple and the way in which Jobs managed it alongside with Next and Pixar.

At times I found the book to be inspiring, in that it tells one to believe in an idea that motivates oneself and to be honest with ourself about the products of our work. Nonetheless it gave me an impression that Jobs is merely an exception, that his way might work in some fields and in others he might have been just another great guy which is tormented by the idea of greatness. The good thing for him is that he picked his field of work right and stand by his choices and was his own prophet and agent of his prophecies.

Do I feel like I've enriched myself be reading this? Surely. Any book provides a way to perceive the world differently and this one put great emphasis on being dedicated to your ideas, knowing when you need to take the idea from the beginning or when you just need to discard it.

miercuri, 3 august 2011


Many people I know claim to have been inspired by this book. I decided to read now and I must confess that because I read it as an adult woman I’m a little amazed at how greatly the author describes male characters, Old Shatterhand and Winnetou, compared to how poorly the women are viewed. I must say it is probably due to the conception of the late XVIII and beginning of XIX century, but nevertheless it felt wrong. I mean how can you say that any society can be made on the “courage and force” of men? It applies only at war, and again the context in North America at that time was one of intense colonization and the Civil War.

I was disappointed. I enjoyed the reading but was disappointed in how some characters seem to possess out of normality traits and at times it felt a bit farfetched. I kept telling to myself that the author wanted to describe the tale of two great warriors and it wasn’t the place for me to start analyzing the social implications of the stories. How can one not think of human condition in that time? I was amazed to see how little respect the great Indian warriors got from the “white skins” and that afro-american people were even less respected. I’m glad that at least the two main characters had their moral integrity and seemed to respect all people, irrespective of their skin color, and I say seemed, because women weren’t given any chance at being equal to man, not even one. Old Shatterhand even admits that a union with an Indian woman would ruin his life, a clear indicator that interracial marriages where seen as something to be feared because you would lose respect from society (?!? Those were the times), and that a good marriage might be one where social status meets and educated woman, that is not Indian or afro-american.

To be able to read about past times is like taking leaps into the unknown, only to be taken back and realize that progress isn’t a step you can take, it’s rather a slow process, which only through changing of moral attitudes can achieve it’s purpose. In that respect, May’s book is like a far cry for change, for human rights and for considering that is he choose to believe in something supernatural than we must take into account that others might believe in something else, and respect that belief and treasure the core idea, that is life is only a fraction and being good to others and yourself might help you enjoy more your time in the sun.

Considering that it is a sort of manifest of human rights with the aid of literature I am pleased with the book, and more pleased to see that the perspective of human rights has changed for the better, and even women get more and more opportunities to prove(although proving seems irrelevant) that they are equal.

In retrospect thinking of other books I’ve read that dealt with the problem of human rights, To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the most prominent that come to my mind (where the innocence of a girl is shaped by the experiences that her community have). Because it addressed a different time we can see the woman condition changing for the better, and the afro-american people condition taking turns in order to reach equity(although the change is not present in the book yet). Another great book which uses fiction to draw attention to how we can change our moral attitudes sometimes without knowing is Cloud Atlas (and I must direct to the story of Somni, which is relevant for the point I’m making). Of course that there might be other great books that I’ve omitted, due to ignorance or because I haven’t read them yet, which could have made a great point in how literature can awaken the thought and provide a reflexive means of change. After all, isn’t this the reason we read? To gain knowledge and reflect of the various implications of things read?