Posted in INJUSTICE, LONELINESS

Written in 1948, “1984” by George Orwell … still relevant in 2015

“1984” George Orwell

Signet 1950

No doubt that many of you have already read this classic novel, maybe during your school years. Why not get back to this reading which is still relevant because it highlights the excesses of totalitarianism and the annihilation of any spirit of freedom and individuality that is essential for human being.

BIG BROTHER  is the symbolic character of George Orwell’s novel and has become a kind of metaphor used in everyday language – perhaps nowadays even more than ever  – to denounce any invasion of privacy.

In “1984” Big Brother embodies the leader of a party to which  all people are subject in deeds and thoughts, including Winston Smith. He is the main character whose feelings we are following in this story.  Winston Smith will come to doubt about the value of this almighty police state and to experience some new way of living and feeling. But not without problems…

Is “1984” a “read-to-heal” novel ?

yes because it allows the reader to escape to an elsewhere which is – fortunately – different from his daily life…
yes because it allows him to put his own concerns in perspective : indeed our thoughts are still not under control, we have the choice not to disclose our privacy provided we do not compromise ourselves on social networks
yes because this novel gives food for thought and stimulates to act in order to maintain our individual freedom.

In the following interview, the author George Orwell gives us an early warning :

Advertisements
Posted in DIFFERENCES, LONELINESS

“BOOKS ARE A HOME”

 

“WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL ?”

Jeanette Winterson

Knopf Canada 2011 – Vintage 2012

This puzzling sentence was delivered to the author by her adoptive mother when she revealed her “difference” in sexual preference.

In the form of a lively and whimsical autobiography, Jeanette Winterson recounts her childhood and youth while being adopted by a working class family in Manchester. Faced with a stern and cantankerous adoptive mother, she finds refuge in reading and writing. Books become her most faithful companions in misfortune. Always looking for her missing part and her identity, she will eventually retrace her biological mother.

The author has often praised the curative virtue of books, and especially the curative virtue of stories, fictions, and poetry. As a result, this novel is completely in line with the principles of bibliotherapy to which I adhere and which I would like to share with you. Better than a documentary on bibliotherapy,  is an autobiographical novel that tells how books have saved a person’s mental health.

Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home – they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.”

I had lines inside me, a string of guiding lights. I had language. Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination. I had been damaged, and a very important part of me had been destroyed – that was my reality, the facts of my life. But on the other side of the facts was who I could be, how I could feel. And as long as I had words for that, images for that, stories for that, then I wasn’t lost.

I believe in fiction and the power of stories because that way we speak in tongues. We are not silenced. All of us, when in deep trauma, find we hesitate, we stammer; there are long pauses in our speech. The thing is stuck. We get our language back through the language of others. We can turn to the poem. We can open the book. Somebody has been there for us and deep-dived the words.

Happy ending are only a pause. There are three kinds of big endings: Revenge. Tragedy. Forgiveness. Revenge and Tragedy often happen together. Forgiveness redeems the past. Forgiveness unblocks the future.

Posted in LONELINESS

One hundred years of SOLITUDE

Readtoheal2

“One Hundred Years of Solitude”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Published in Spanish in 1967, this voluminous Latin American novel is one of the masterpieces of universal literature.

The Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells the story of the Buendia family over seven generations in an imaginary village, Macondo. This one is described as being located in the Colombian Caribbean, a region well known by the author.

The Buendia family goes through events that marked the history of Colombia between the middle of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century (civil wars, economic and social upheavals). However, the story of this family, as well as that of their village is accompanied by fantastic and imaginary phenomena that naturally inhabit everyday life: ghosts of the past, characters who are more than a hundred years old, magical inventions, unbelievable diseases, levitations , curse etc.

This singular and aesthetic approach to reality characterizes a new literary genre, the “magical realism” whose literary work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez has become one of the spearheads.

Theme of loneliness:

The Buendia family is struck by a curse that sentences it to one hundred years of loneliness … the propensity to solitude that characterizes the members of this family is obvious and the author keeps reminding us of it …

“Lost in the solitude of his immense power, he began to lose direction.” 

The cyclic and repetitive character that permeates every human story  (one of the most visible signs being the continual repetition of the same first names from generation to generation) conveys a feeling of irrevocability to human existence marked by solitute and by a propensity to always repeat the same mistakes.

Question is : Should I read this novel to heal of loneliness ???

I admit I had a little trouble getting into this story, even if the merits of writing and originality seem obvious to me. Initially, it seemed difficult to identify myself with the protagonists to finally focus on their fate. And then slowly, I have dropped my first resistance and I really let myself be caught by this original way of writing that guides the reader into the heart of the human comedy as Gabriel Garcia Marquez wanted to describe it to us.

So yes, this is a “feel good” novel, because it talks about the human being in its quintessence, that is to say in its loneliness. But yet, it seems that some hope exists : LOVE, and only love, can help oneself to escape from loneliness  …

“and both of them remained floating in an empty universe where the only everyday & eternal reality was love…”