Another terrific read by Nabokov, I have yet to be disappointed by his novels. This one follows a chess player, but you don’t have to know a single thing about how to play chess in order to enjoy it. It’s more about the mental states, and how imagining all the possible outcomes in a game can send your brain down an unending maze of possibilities.
Aside from Nabokov’s usual wonderful prose and lovable characters, I found the slow, creeping insanity that Luzhin endures to be very believable and a bit unsettling. And even though I saw the end coming, that didn’t lessen the impact and effectiveness of it.
Another great read, and anyone who hasn’t read Nabokov please pick up one of his books, you won’t regret it!
What does your mind do while you’re away? Could your dream world be more important and enriching than waking life?
Our days so often seem like meaningless survival, as if our consciousness is just a way to keep us eating and procreating, the same way a section of our brain keeps our hearts beating and lungs breathing.
Is consciousness just an autonomic function, while our subconscious in the dream world is where our important mental lives are?
How could one unite those two consciousnesses for the full experience…
Naked trees, especially in the fog, make me think of nervous systems. They are kind of creepy looking if you think of it that way. The roots could be nerves too, though we don’t see them. Branches are kind of like air-roots. The tree we see above ground is a mirror of the roots below…
A tree is kind of just a bundle of tentacles reaching out in every direction for food…
I’ve started reading Foucault’s Pendulum, which appears to be about a group of editors who create a conspiracy for fun, but then end up believing in it themselves.
I’m just at the beginning of it, but already the type of mind to create and believe in complicated conspiracies is captured very well in the narrator. He sees so many connections and patterns between such a variety of things, that it is easy to imagine the kinds of things he might dream up.
The kinds of people who believe in such things are very interesting to me. Any thing can be believed, no matter how few real life witnesses or evidence there is. The creative mind can shift reality to interpret input in whatever way is needed to propagate the chosen idea. But how does the original idea get chosen, when any one could be believed?
It must be some internal deep appeal of certain subjects…
Sometimes we all feel like we have no time to relax and think. But imagine for a moment a field worker or a miner or any other manual laborer, living just a couple centuries ago. Such a person probably didn’t know how to read, or not how to read for enjoyment. They worked day all day with barely a time for a thought, and if they did have time to think–what they thought about was probably how to get food, and how not to die of illness, and other stressful worries.
Today, even a poor laborer working for minimum wage knows how to read, and can read any number of books on any subject they wish. And though they might not have much time to think, when they do have time they have the fuel for that thought right at their fingertips in a library, or on the internet.
Us thinkers are lucky to be alive today. Most other time periods would have either drowned our minds in work and worry, or starved them for lack of access to information.
I’ve started listening to my first Proust, and it’s not very engaging. It is interesting though. Mainly I’m thinking “this guy is just going on about inane memories that can have no importance to anyone other than himself, and yet this is a classic.”
I think that goes to show that you really can write about anything, even thousands and thousands of words about the feeling of drinking a cup of tea, and it will be good if you fill it with passion.
I am early in the book, so maybe it pulls together and connects in some overarching way, or to tell some story. But so far it seems very self-indulgent and meandering. I’m still listening, though….
This article explains a lot about current situations in some governments…
I wonder if this could be prevented in anyway… there always has to be some people in power. Though some seem to handle it better than others.
It is depressing that even such a small amount of power has a measurable effect.
If I became a manager, would I become a worse writer for lack of empathy?