Preskoči na glavni sadržaj

Michal Viewegh: Bringing up girls in Bohemia ( Odgoj djevojaka u Češkoj).



This is my second novel  by Michal Viewegh. The first one was Biowife ( that is how I assume it will be translated in English eventually but the original title in Czech is Biomanželka)  and I will review that one some other time. I must admit that I actually liked Biomanželka better. Oh, no! This is not going to motivate you to read this review, is it?

 Well, I hope it won’t set you off because I do have some things to say about this novel. The fact that I prefer another of his works doesn't mean I didn't like Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia. Not at all. This novel is brilliantly written. It is also full of sophisticated humour this writer is known for. Moreover, it explains the frustrations of the writing process in an ingenious way. I do think writers will relate to this one.

It is a novel that is just as much about the process of writing as it is about the characters in it. There is something so honest about the way Michal writes. Just a few words on the author himself. Michal Viewegh is a bestselling Czech writer. He also happens to be one of the most popular Czech writers at the moment. Not without reason for he has talent. Nobody can deny him that.

Let's back straight to the point. What is it that I didn't like about this novel? Well, it is quite simple. It did not move me on a personal level. I can admire it only as a work of literature. It definitely is a work of literature; it is not just any book. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I admire it both on intellectual and on philosophical level, but I (personally) found it hard to relate to it on a more personal level. The reason for that I believe lies in the way the story is written.

The concept of this book is fantastic. The way it examines the connection between writing and literature is captivating. However, Beate in one sense becomes a tool and that is when she stops feeling like a real person. What makes this story so intellectually interesting is paradoxically what robs one of its most important characters from its humanity. I wonder if the writer saw this coming. He must have had. Perhaps Beate is sacrificed so that this novel could have its sophisticated narrative and structure? I can see why he needed to do that, but I can't say I like it.

You see, I've grown rather attached to Beate. I don't like the way she is used. I don't like what happens to her. So, maybe I did relate to her on a more personal level? I did. And then she slipped. It is like losing contact with a friend. It pissed me off. Does her ending make sense in the context of the novel? I don't think it does. I think this character is just as much a tool for the writer of this novel as she is for the protagonist of this novel. Now, the problem with turning one of central characters into just a tool is the loss of credibility for the novel. So, my feelings are totally mixed about this one.


Would I recommend reading this novel? Yes, I would. It is a very good novel. For me it wasn't a life changing one, but there is no doubt that it has its literary merits.

Popularni postovi s ovog bloga

Lontano dal mio paese, Lorenza Cozzolino (recensione libro)

Ciao tutti! Oggi  sul blog vi parlo del un libro molto rilevante e importante per i nostri tempi. Lontano dal mio paese è stata una lettura molto piacevole.A me questo libro è piaciuto molto.Vi chiedo pardon per i errori grammaticali nella mia recesione (la mia prima recensione scritta in italiano!), sto ancora imparando l'italiano. 


Sul sito Amazon ho trovato questa descrizione di Lontano dal mio paese: La storia di Anna e’ la storia di tutti i giovani italiani, che in questi anni sbattono la testa per vedere realizzati i propri sogni e resi concreti quelli che sono i loro diritti. Poi, se come lei sei nato a Napoli, la situazione è ancora più complicata, perché non solo devi combattere con la società, ma anche con tutto il marcio che ci gira intorno. (link)
Lontano Dal Mio Paese è un romanzo amaro, ma bellissimo. Ho letto con piacere e con una sensazione che ascolto un racconto di una amica. Questo romanzo, con la sua struttura narrativa tradizionale (cronologica) è molto facile d…

Invisible cities by Italo Calvino (book review and recommendation)

Invisible Cities is a novel by Italian writer Italo Calvino. Originally published in  1972, this novel remains popular with modern readers. Before I get to the review, I have a confession to make. I'm actually using a few photographs from another book (written in Italian) because I have listened to an audio version of this book. I could find and repost a photograph of this book, but what would be the point? I prefer to use my own book photography, because it feels more authentic.





I listened to an audio version of this book twice (which technically puts it into a 'reread' category), for two days in a row, while I was working on a new painting. The painting turned out pretty much perfect, should I thank Calvino for that? I'm not kidding, perhaps the beauty of his prose really helped (or somehow improved) my painting process. It is not such a far fetched idea as it might seem at first. The first time I listened to this book, I was mostly focused on the form that is to say…

Book review and recommendation: Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is an author that never fails to impress me. Her magical writing style always captures my attention, while her characters capture my heart. Still what I'm enamoured the most (when it comes to Allende's writing) are her poetical passages and meditations on life. Allende's an unique writing gift. 
Having previously read four of her novels ( The House of the Spirits , Of Love and Shadows , Daughter of Fortune and Zorro ) , I can't deny having certain expectations when it came to this author. Sometimes we dive into book blissfully unaware of where it might take us. Other times, we have expectations (not to say prejudice). Being already familiar with the writer is both a blessing and a course. Having been (already) accustomed to someone's writing style might make the reading easier. Similar like with friends, we're ready to pardon things to writers we love. On another hand, if our expectations are high, we might end up disappointed.

At this point, I t…