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30 March 2004 @ 12:48 pm
Riddles Handed Down From one Generation to the Next  
Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
the young woman hunts for a copy of "Doctor Zhivago",
she remembers having seen, about half a year ago,

in her father's living room,

books piling up. The shelves, they cannot hold.
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the house,
and everywhere the ceremony of dustfree-ness
is drowned.


(Sorry for butchering Yeats, but it was too tempting *g*)



Having enjoyed the privelege of watching David Lean's classic epos on the silver screen, together with vashtan and cavendish in one of Germany's largest historical cinemas, I went searching our living room library for the original novel on which the movie is based.

Finally, I discovered Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago in a pile of abandoned books; inherited, hastily stored and soon forgotten, slumbering between two Graham Greenes and a Norman Mailer. The book's whereabouts suggest that it must have belonged to my mother once. However the copy is too obscure, too odd and too damaged and I can't see why my mum, with her keen sense for order and perfection, would have kept it. Only my father's side of the family is chronically unable to throw away things that are strange or seriously impaired.

So, I'm holding a cheap Bertelsmann Book Club edition of Doctor Zhivago which is glued into the cover upside down and has pages sticking together, pages missing, pages torn. Guess, I'm going to read it (at least the parts that can be deciphered)and then put it back on its shelf.

Life is strange.
Tags:
 
 
Current Mood: curiousamazed, puzzled
Current Music: Emmylou Harris, Wayfaring Stranger
 
 
 
Selenaselenak on March 30th, 2004 06:08 am (UTC)
very creative use of Yeats *g*
I've got to admit I never read Dr. Zhivago, but of course I saw Lean's film.
Bimobimo on March 31st, 2004 12:29 am (UTC)
Re: very creative use of Yeats *g*
The reviews at amazon.com are rather mixed, mostly due to the books's almost fragmentary style. Having read the first 20 pages so far, I can say Pasternak's novel seems not as cleary structured and atmospherically intense as the film, but nevertheless fascinating.

Over the last couple of years I mainly focussed on English and American literature, so dealing with a book embedded into a mostly Russian cultural context is kind of a challenge. I'm glad for every scrap of Russian history I still remember from university.
Kathyh: Sabrinanymph 2kathyh on March 30th, 2004 07:40 am (UTC)
Having spent most of the weekend moving books about to very little effect you have no idea how much I empathise with

The shelves, they cannot hold.
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the house,
and everywhere the ceremony of dustfree-ness
is drowned.


At least you found the book you were looking for!
Bimobimo on March 31st, 2004 12:37 am (UTC)
Aw, what a lovely icon :-)

At least you found the book you were looking for!

Almost a small miracle, considering the state of our living room shelves. Being a third generation book collector surrounded by your own personal library is nice, but obviously it also has its price *g*
Cavendishcavendish on March 31st, 2004 07:00 am (UTC)
the book might add:
slouching towards the edge of the shelf to be read :-)

And this seem to be a book with a history, with personality :-).
... Just out of curiosity: Do you remember your mum ever saying that she had a special favor for this book or read it in a special situation? This might explain things if it is really hers :-)

F.