What I read in bulk, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nobel Prize in Literature (2017) as well as Booker (1989) for The Remains of the Day, which I read a few years ago and which impressed me a lot. When I saw Nocturnes (2011), at Nelson's second-hand book market, I thought maybe I'd like it, even if it was five short stories, a genre I don't usually like. And what had thrilled me in The remains of the day, the subtlety of the subject, the delicacy of the writing, bored me in these short stories having music as a common theme, with a similar subtlety, but without depth, or it's just that I don't like short stories. The Sunday Times reviewer actually summed it up nicely:
Closing the book, it's hard to recall much more than an atmosphere or an air; a few bars of music, half-heard, technically accomplished, quickly forgotten.
Maybe that's what he liked about the book, whereas for me, that's what bored me.
Delphine de Vigan. Nothing holds back the night (2011). Well, I'm a little behind on new stuff, but it's too expensive to bring French books to New Zealand and I can't access Kindle or other electronic platforms either, which don't allow buying books from other countries (I don't understand why). But, I'm quite happy to have found five or six books in French at the Nelson second-hand book fair, including this one, by an author I had already read Based on a true story (2017) , a kind of autofiction that I talked about in the blog (in French). In Nothing holds back the night, she reflects on the life of her mother, who suffered from mental illness, the silence of the family, its effect on herself and her sister, in an authentic way, where one can feel her tenderness. Many questions, a few answers, in short, she revisits in an original way, the bottomless subject of the past, the family, the origins and the reliability of memory.
The Hotel on Place Vendôme, by Mazzeo Tilar J. (2014). Basically, it's more or less the story of the Ritz hotel in Paris, through its famous patrons, since the late nineteenth century, including Proust, Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, Ingmar Bergman, Arletty, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, but also the German Occupation and war journalists. The author knows her subject well and the historical context surrounding particular events are well documented. A light way to understand history.
8 réflexions sur « What I have read: Ishiguro, de Vigan, Mazzeo »
Is strange, I can buy kindle books in Peru from U.S. Amazon with card and location set to Peru. I have more than one thousand, including comic books which are a genre different from literature. I’d suggest you to give a try to Aldiko, or maybe you are in Amazon France and you could try Amazon U.S., if you have a Kindle it is worth it.
Thank you for your advice Francis. I have tried from several angles and have failed so far, but not aldiko, maybe it is worth a try. Thank you🙂
This could send me back to Ishiguro
The remains of the day was a delight to read and has left its mark on my mind.
It’s funny but I guess my favourite literary genre is the short story. It could be because I get obsessed when reading a novel and don’t do anything else! Whereas a short story can be quickly finished. Guy de Maupassant would probably be my favourite short story writer (in translation!)
There is that aspect, of course, which I appreciate in your very short stories, but Ishiguro’s are quite long short stories, and, I might add, have no punch, which is crucial, in a short story, as you know, being a master at the genre.
Thanks for these, I have just ordered Tha hotel on Place Vendôme
I hope you like it🙂