miercuri, 4 decembrie 2013


Au trecut, acum citeva saptamini, 4 ani de la primul cuvint scris pe blog. Au trecut incet, pe muteste si nestingheriti de nimeni. Nici macar de mine.

luni, 26 august 2013

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

     Sa ne intelegem de la inceput. Nu sint o cinefila impatimita. Imi plac fie peliculele cu adevarat amuzante, fie cele de la care am ce invata. Si cum nu cunosc prea multe titluri care sa se inscrie in oricare dintre aceste doua categorii, nu ma uit la prea multe filme. Insa cele care ma intriga cel mai mult sint acelea pe care eu le consider slabe, dar care se bucura de aprecierea multora. 
    Un astfel de exemplu este Shakespeare in Love, aparut in 1998, in regia lui John Madden, un regizor al carui palmares recunosc ca nu imi spune foarte mult. Shakespeare in Love este un film care se bucura de multe aprecieri pozitive, inclusiv de 7 premii Oscar, poate cel mai important fiind cel pentru cea mai buna actrita in rol principal (Gwyneth Paltrow), desi si Judi Dench a cistigat un premiu important, pentru cea mai buna actrita in rol secundar.
    Daca ii eliminam pe William Shakespeare (interpretat de Joseph Fiennes) si pe Cristopher Marlowe (Rupert Everett) din intreaga ecuatie, ne ramine o poveste de dragoste ca oricare alta, cu destule scene de nuditate si cu inevitabilul sfirsit fericit. Ma asteptam, ca de obicei, la mai mult. William Shakespeare si Cristopher Marlowe meritau mai mult. Meritau sa fie personaje mai complexe. M-ar fi interesat, de pilda, o reprezentare mai amanuntita a relatiei dintre cei doi scriitori, desi inteleg ca nu acesta a fost scopul filmului. Chiar si asa, consider ca filmul ar fi avut mai mult succes printre cinefilii ca mine daca ar fi neglijat povestea de dragoste si s-ar fi concentrat pe relatia dintre Marlowe si Shakespeare. Relatie competitiva, cu influente reciproce, frustari si final tragic.
     Astfel, as fi vrut ca istoria sa fie urmarita mai indeaproape. Desigur, unele fapte reale exista in pelicula. De pilda, Marlowe a fost intr-adevar injunghiat de un oarecare Ingram Frizer (considerat nevinovat, aflindu-se in legitima aparare) in urma unui conflict. Aparent, la ancheta s-a declarat ca  cei doi ar fi chefuit toata ziua, iar disputa a pornit in momentul calcularii costului.
     De asemenea, un alt fapt adevarat este acela ca Marlowe l-a influentat cu adevarat pe Shakespeare, insa in film Marlowe ii ofera ideea piesei Romeo si Julieta unui Shakespeare parasit de muza si de inspiratie. In fapt, Shakespeare a gasit povestea celor doi tineri (care au existat si au trait in Verona, la inceputul secolului al XIV-lea) in poemul lui Arthur Brooke, "The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Juliet" (1562).
     Asadar, Shakespeare in Love este povestea banala a unuia dintre cei mai importanti scriitori ai lumii, care isi rezolva o criza de inspiratie printr-o idila. Povestea comuna a unui scriitor care traieste o dragoste pasionala, pe care o transpune, in timp ce o traieste, in opera. Nimic mai banal! 


sâmbătă, 24 august 2013

broken words

I always long for something else. Another colour, another wine, scarf, book. Another city, another story... Teach me to value what I already have. Teach me how to take joy in who I am. To stop this endless search for something else. I am tired. I just want to be.

joi, 1 august 2013


Most books offer escape tunnels. They enclose microcosms; little worlds designed to give us the happy endings we so desperately seek in our lives. Perfect stories with perfect endings. Characters that are free to do everything we cannot do. Characters that embody our wondering and idyllic spirit. But what can we do when reality invades our most private and intimate spaces? How can we cope with sadness, disillusionment and tragedy when present even in literature, our escape tunnel? 

All these being considered, I believe Daddy Love is a disturbing novel. A disturbing novel written by a very good author. Disturbing due to its theme and technique. Disturbing because it is real and does not hide anything. Because it is harsh and does not take care of our feelings.

Joyce Carol Oates wrote the story of thousands of families throughout the world, since, unfortunately, kidnapping rates are quite high nowadays. The phenomenon of abduction is still present in our modern societies. It still destroys children and decimates families. It is part of our reality. And what Oates did was to include it in our most idyllic fantasies, intriguing adventures and happy endings; in literature. But she did not simply narrate the story of a five-year-old boy who was kidnapped in a parking lot, while he was with his mother. She voiced all the four characters directly involved in the story: the mother, the father, the child and the abductor. All victims. All aggressors. All with multiple personalities; multiple masks and roles they have to act out perfectly. 

Dinah. The mother. The wife. The character who welcomes us into the novel. The first perspective. We see a young mother and wife. A wife loving and admiring her husband, In such ways you are bounded with another. The connection with the man was so deep, and the connection through the child, she could not ever separate herself from them. (24)

But we also see a mother feeling guilty and fighting with her own womanhood. A typical woman who stopped carrying about herself after she became a mother. A typical woman trying to silence her self, her womanhood: Now, there was never a time when she was only Dinah. Now, she was Mommy whose name happened to be ‘Dinah’ ‒ but this wasn’t the most important part of her identity. Does a woman go a little crazy, having a baby? Do you get used to the baby? Do you want to get used to it? (34) Motherhood and womanhood. How do these coexist after giving birth? It is obvious which one becomes important and which one is neglected. Unfortunately, the societies we live in expect women not to complain about their lost femininity. They expect women to cherish their babies the minute they start breathing. No matter of the fears, the doubts, the solitude and all the inner conflicts. 

Eventually, Dinah, the woman and the wife, is silenced. She completely becomes the mother from the moment her femininity is destroyed in the accident. She becomes a pitiful broken thing with half a face scraped off (31) but also a wounded lioness, whose rage turns against everyone and everything, including her womanhood. 

However, towards the end of the novel she becomes an aggressor because she desires too much to reunite the family, to erase all those years of sufferance and pain, and to start reliving their family life, as it was before being hunted down by the abductor. She so badly wants to recover her family that she does not seem to understand how much they have changed and how impossible and tiring it is to try to return to their previous life. 

Wit. The father. The husband. The man whose family is destroyed in an instant; whose child is abducted and whose wife is severely injured. A man whose stability is shattered by another male figure: His sexual being, the very essence of his soul, had been obliterated at the time of his son’s abduction. His sense of himself as an individual with some degree of control over his life had vanished utterly. His fatherhood, his manhood, his dignity. Another man, a predator, had taken his son (239) and his wife.  

A man with a wounded ego who has not only to find his son and take care of his wife, but also to regain his masculinity. And he does so but in the arms of another woman. He needs her femininity (since Dinah has lost hers), her freshness, her not being connected to this ugly and shameful part of his existence. He needs all these to re-become Wit, the man. 

Robbie. Gideon. Son. Both victim and aggressor. He started out as Robbie, a bright five-year-old boy who lived a happy life with his parents. Then one day his Mommy let go of his hand in that parking lot and another man took him. He was abducted. Taken away from his mother’s side, put into a casket, humiliated, continuously punished, abused ‒ physically, emotionally and sexually. Yet he survived. At the cost of his rebirth and his accepting the new identity imposed on him: 

After about twenty minutes, Daddy Love had a glimpse of something moving beneath the shed. The sun had shifted in the sky to afternoon. It was a humid-hot August day in New Jersey. Daddy Love smiled to see the boy’s little head appear from beneath the shed like the head of a baby being born. There was magic in this! Daddy Love had summoned the child to return to him, to obey him, and the child was complying.
With difficulty the child dragged himself out from beneath the shed. He was covered in dirt. Seeing Daddy Love in the lawn chair about twelve feet away, he began to crawl toward him like a broken little animal.
It was the most beautiful sight. (132)

A new day, a new beginning. Robbie’s muddy rebirth. The moment when he completely let go of his Mommy’s hands and became the Son. Daddy Love’s Son but also Gideon. His escape mask. As Son he was obedient, he was the victim of his Daddy’s authoritative love. As Gideon he was changing places. He was now the aggressor and he liked to feel all that power in his hands. He began to vandalize houses, to set them on fire only to run away from Son: Son had survived. But as a worm survives making itself small, twisted, flat. Son was not Gideon. Son said to Daddy Love ‘Yes, Daddy. I love you Daddy’. Gideon said to Daddy Love ‘Yes Daddy’. But thinking his own (mutinous) thoughts (164). 

Chester Cash. The Preacher. Daddy Love. The abductor. The hunter, yet the victim of his intricate and baffled mind. The man with a special mission. The only one to see the truth; to face the unfaceable: For we dare not gaze into the sun. For the sun will blind us. It is the Preacher who gazes into the sun, and risks harm for the sake of the faithful (39). 

He easily disguises himself in Chester Cash (the handsome man who is adored by women) and the Preacher, embarked upon a (secret, thrilling) pilgrimage, utterly unguessed at by others (51). Yet, he prefers to be Daddy Love and to share his passionate, pure and divine love with all the children that need to be rescued: You’re safe with me now, son. God has sent me to you. Not a moment too soon! She was an impure woman, the female you were entrusted to. She was your way in. But only in. Daddy Love is your destiny. Daddy Love will be both daddy and mommy to you. From this first day and forever. Amen. (63)

His oath. His promise. His vision. His destruction of other people’s lives. Or salvation, depending on the glasses with which one interprets reality. 

Joyce Carol Oates

[The Mysterious Press, an imprint of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. New York, 2013, ISBN: 978-0-8021-2099-1, NetGalley]

miercuri, 10 iulie 2013

I worship you!

Mother, I worship you! I owe you my life, my personality, my happiness, my safety...

"But my mother's hair, my mother's hair, like little rosettes, like little candy circles all curly and pretty because she pinned it in pincurls all day, sweet to put your nose into when she is holding you, holding you and you feel safe, is the warm smell of bread before you bake it, is the smell when she makes room for you on her side of the bed still warm with her skin, and you sleep near her, the rain outside falling and Papa snoring. The snoring, the rain, and Mama's hair that smells like bread." (Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street)

sâmbătă, 18 mai 2013

It's been a while

de ceva timp incoace mi-e frica sa intru pe blog. il aud cum ma cearta ca nu mai am timp de mine. si ca seara, inainte de culcare, cind am o ora numai pentru mine, iau decizii nu tocmai bune.

marți, 5 februarie 2013

Dor de scirtiit

Doamne, ce dor m-a cuprins dintr-o data de scirtiitul podelelor de la Biblioteca Judeteana Gheorghe Asachi. Un scirtiit atit de dulce auzului meu. Un scirtiit vechi, familiar, care ii facea pe ceilalti din biblioteca sa intoarca privirea spre tine (un tine care pasea atit de mindru in sala). Un scirtiit impartit de toti pasionatii de lectura. Un scirtiit pe care la inceput n-am vrut sa-l impart cu nimeni pentru ca imi placea sa merg singura la biblioteca si-apoi sa urc in tramvaiul 1, chiar daca inconjuram mult cu el, dar il luam pentru ca mereu citeam; in tramvai hotaram ce carte sa citesc prima data. Ei, apoi, cu timpul, am inceput sa vreau sa impart acest scirtiit si mergeam cu sor-mea sau cu Andreea. 

Nu stiu pe unde mai e sediul Bibliotecii Judetene, dar eu abia astept sa se intoarca la Palat. Ma tem insa ca acum, cu noul luciu al restaurarii, sa nu-mi fi luat cineva scirtiitul!

luni, 7 ianuarie 2013

2012 in carti

Am aminat cit am putut momentul asta pt ca nu ma pot lauda cu prea multe carti citite in 2012. Scuze am, bineinteles. Am avut mult de munca si am dus si mai multe lupte de adaptare la noile situatii. Si e si mai bineinteles ca promit sa-mi iau revansa in 2013.
Scurta listuta cu cartile citite in 2012:
1. Harriet Beecher-Stowe, Coliba unchiului Tom - cartea cu care am intimpinat anul 2012, dar parca nu-mi vine-a crede ca a trecut doar un an de cind am citit-o
2. John Fowles, Magicianul - o carte total diferita de cea de mai sus, de care mi s-a facut dor azi dimineata
3. Herta Muller, Mereu aceeasi nea si mereu acelasi neica - despre care am scris pe AltIasi
4. Ana Castillo, So Far from God - care a fost subiectul si obiectul lucrarii mele de disertatie si despre care am scris pe blogut
5. Franz Kafka, Metamorfoza
6. Goethe, Suferintele tinarului Werther - :)
7. Ana Castillo, The Mixquiahuala Letters 
8. Ana Castillo, Massacre of the Dreamers
9. Cehov, Livada cu visini, Ivanov, Unchiul Vania si Pescarusul - care mi-au placut exact in ordinea asta
10. Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate - o carticica simpatica, despre care ar fi citeva lucruri de scris, dar nu prea multe. poate ca am sa si criu cindva, dar intr-un cadru mai formal ;)
11. Denis Diderot cu-a lui Calugarita
12. Jane Nardin, Little Women in India
13. Gabriel Jose de la Concordia Garcia Marquez, Un veac de singuratate, despre care am scris ceva pe AltIasi.  Oricum, urasc cind starea mea de spirit afecteaza o lectura. Si anul asta mi s-a intimplat de doua ori. Cu Kafka si cu Marquez, dar mai ales cu Marquez. M-am luptat cu el. Cu-o carte asa frumoasa...