Maquina Lectora

Notes of a curious mind

Author: Athena (Page 1 of 15)

Tα αστραφτερά πεδία της Σώτης Τριανταφύλλου

Δυσκολεύομαι να χαρακτηρίσω το τελευταίο βιβλίο της Σώτης Τριανταφύλλου. Ως συνήθως είναι πολύ διαφορετικό από τα προηγούμενα.  Η ίδια γράφει ότι είναι μια περιδιάβαση σε πόλεις, μουσικές, βιβλία.  Σημειώσεις για την πολιτική, τις διεθνείς σχέσεις, την πολυπολιτισμικότητα.  Δεν είναι ημερολόγιο, ούτε κάποιου είδους βιογραφία. Είναι ένα βιβλίο-αμάλγαμα με σκέψεις, αναμνήσεις, ένα βιβλίο περιπλανήσεων, φυσικών και νοητών.

Σκέφτομαι αν μου άρεσε. Όσο περισσότερο το σκέφτομαι τόσο περισσότερο νομίζω η έκφραση ‘μου άρεσε’, δεν ταιριάζει στα Αστραφτερά Πεδία, δεν ταιριάζει στα βιβλία της Σώτης Τριανταφύλλου, είναι λάθος. Κοιτάζω πάλι τις σημειώσεις μου, είναι πολλές και πυκνές.  Υπάρχει κατι που με ενώνει με την Σώτη, δεν την ξέρω, αλλά είναι σαν να την ξέρω,  τη νιώθω τόσο κοντά μου, που πάντα την λέω Σώτη. Ίσως είναι το γράψιμο της,  απλό, ειλικρινές  και άμεσο, σε φέρνει κοντά της, σε γοητεύει.

Ίσως να είναι κάποιες κοινές εμπειρίες και παραστάσεις, στα βιβλία της φαίνεται να περιγράφει κομμάτια της δικής μου ζωής.  Ίσως  να είναι η περιπλάνηση, τα κοινά αναγνώσματα, το rock n roll. Στο τέλος δεν εχει σημασία, το σημαντικό είναι ότι η Σώτη μπορεί να συγκινεί, να προβληματίζει, σε προκαλεί να σκέφτεσαι, να μπεις στην ουσία των πράγματων. Αυτό το τελευταίο βέβαια μόνο αν θέλησεις να αφήσεις πίσω σου τη φασαρία και το σκουπίδι του ημερήσιου τύπου και των social media και μπεις στο κόπο  να κουραστείς για να σκεφτείς.

./.

Αυτό το σημείωμα γράφτηκε τις μεταμεσονύχτιες ώρες. Μόλις είχα διαβάσει ένα μακροσκελές άρθρο του Jan-Werner Müller για τον λαϊκισμό και τους λαϊκιστές, στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες και στην Ευρώπη.  Αντί να κοιμηθώ σκέφτηκα τη Σώτη.

Το ξαναδιάβασα το πρωί και αποφάσισα να το αφήσω όπως ήταν. Ένα μεταμεσονύχτιο σημείωμα.

A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Knausgaard’s first book of a six – volume autobiography is a mosaic of utterly real scenes of his childhood and adolescence up until his father’s disturbing death.  It is a book about a life told in its most minutiae, from the most mundane to the most disturbing moments, an amalgam of hybrid confessions, self-analysis and fiction, an exploration of the psychological and emotional changes of a boy caused by a strong, cold and judgmental father.

Despite his feelings of inadequacy and instability, the young Karl Ove dreams of doing something special one day. Writing is his way to success.

Writing is drawing the essence of what we know out of the shadows”, he writes. “…Not what happens there, not what actions are played out there, but the there itself. There, that is writing’s location and aim. But how we get there?

For Knausgaard the way to get there is by destroying rather than creating. With a remarkable intensity and raw insight, he is trying to make sense of the emotional wounds of his childhood and escape form the oppressive influence of his father. In a sense, Knausgaard destroys what destroyed him in order to break free.

Homo Deus by Yoval Noah Harari

It took me a while, but it was definitely worth it !

An insightful, intelligent and witty book.  Yoval Noah Harari suggests that as science is converging on an all-encompassing dogma, which says that organisms are algorithms and life is data processing, human nature will be transformed because intelligence will be uncoupled from consciousness. The advances in sciences, more specific to neurosciences, nanotechnology and computer science, will change fundamentally the society, politics and our daily lives.

 

The War on Women by Sue Lloyd-Roberts

The War on Women is a book that shocks. After every chapter you have to pause, think what you just read, take everything in. The inhumanity of man to women, and sometimes woman to women, the misogyny, the hatred, the fear towards women, it’s just heartbreaking.

It is a book filled with compelling stories of women, of injustice and abuse in countries with different cultures as Ireland and India,  in countries as distant as Egypt and Argentina. Sue Lloyd-Roberts believed that no country could take the moral high ground when it came to human rights abuses.

Abducted women are drugged and thrown out of planes by the junta in Argentina, during the “Dirty Wars”.  Young women as young as fourteen years old are raped in Kosovo by members of an international peacekeeping force. Girls endure ‘horrible, horrible pain’ because their external female genitalia have been partially or completely removed by force (FGM).  But it is also a book that inspires, because there are women that fight back. Like Maimouna from Gambia that fled her village in Gambia so she can stop her family’s tradition role i genital ‘cutting ceremonies. Or Célhia de Lavarène, the French journalist that fights human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Women that do make a difference.

Sue Lloyd-Roberts was a  determined and pioneer journalist, she exposed so many of world’s tyrannies. She was also  courageous and fearless campaigner who gave voice to people who otherwise would not be heard.

war-on-women

Do not say we have nothing by Madeleine Thien

There are times that you get so attached to a book that when you finish reading it, it is difficult to put the feelings and the emotions down on paper. I finished reading Madeleine Thien’s extraordinary novel ‘Do not say we have nothing’  a few days ago but I still feel emotionally attached to it. “Beauty leaves its imprint in the mind”, Sparrow, one of the main characters in the story , has written on the back of his composition.

‘Do not say we have nothing’ follows the fate of a family of musicians from 1949 to the present day, covering the cultural revolution and Tiananmen Square protests in China. It is a story that evokes the powerful terror, the humiliation, the suffering and the despair following the cultural revolution in China.

Music plays an important part in the book. Western music especially,  was considered a pollution, a contamination to traditional Chinese way of life that needed to be purged. Two recordings of Bach’s Goldberg variations are running throughout the book, like a soundtrack to the story. It starts with a beautifully tranquil Aria, which fuels the 30 more complex – like the political events in China – variations that follow.

Madeleine Thien is a compelling writer; her epic, powerful story flows like silk, it’s tough and strong but at the same time soft and lightweight. It is also complex, harmonic and deeply moving,  like the Goldberg Variations.

A Farewell to Arctic Ice by Peter Wadhams

Only a few people in the world know ice better than Peter Wadhams. A professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge, Peter Wadhams is a world authority on sea ice. His  book ‘A Farewell to Ice’ is a report from the Arctic, and the consequences of the loss of the summer sea ice. It is also a personal history of a scientist and his extraordinary work in the polar regions in the past 35+ years.

Peter Wadhams believes the Arctic has reached a tipping point, that is a  point at which a certain system that has been stressed beyond a certain level does not return to its original state when that stress is removed. He predicts that  Arctic will be be ice free in the next few years and that would have a series of disastrous consequences for the whole planet.

The retreat of the summer sea ice in the Arctic is important because the loss of sea ice is changing the global albedo (the reflected sunlight). A vast area will change from white (ice) to blue (sea), therefore less energy will be reflected back into space. It means that the global warming will increase.

The darker ocean will absorb more energy which warms the water which melts more ice, which further warms the ocean, which melts more ice, in a spiraling feedback loop.

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