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Books I have read and Lived.

Notice I include lived , not because each book I am going to include here  is  my actual story but because each book I shall  talk about I  actually stepped into  the author’s boots and became so engrossed that my surroundings would change in my mind to what was described in the book.

I remember reading Crime and Punishment by  Fyodor Dostoyevsky    in November   an apt month for the book I think ,my surroundings were  delightful, tall trees   and plenty of open green spaces  for me to  amble in . As I hurried from one place to the other wearing my long black coat; yes I did own a long black coat  then, and  I had  clutched under my arm my book.  I was totally immersed  in this drama , this tale of despair  of horror  and hope and would gladly sit down now and discuss the questions raised in that great philosophical work.

My surroundings became St PETERSBURG  and I was more than  delighted with being alone just like Raskolnikov.

No one to disturb the  deep philosophical debate going on in my head . Of course he was wrong to murder the old lady nothing could  exempt him from exercising this evil act . However  his conscience, his despair  and the emerging hope for him  totally absorbed me  for the week or so I spent reading that book .I felt as bewildered, as cold, as sad, as hungry and as enlightened in the end as Raskolnikov  had and for me it was one of the greatest books I had ever read. I still have a great longing to visit St Petersburg and walk the walk so to speak.

Another book that  I lived as I read  was  The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir how I envied her  ability to  live the life she made for herself  the way she transcended and grew through her work were qualities that I wanted so much; to be fully authentic and never succumb to bad faith became my goal as I devoured this book page by page and grew excited by all the theories she laid in front of me.

I imagined her engaging in wonderful conversations with Sartre  examining philosophical theories.I was amazed that she could know me  and millions of others like me ;   she told us not to settle for less because of our patriarchal society and  she warned us that if we did we were committing the  greatest sin of all the sin bad faith. She acknowledged that we had achieved much in our   stance for equality but warned us against becoming complacent when  some small  victory was  won; she envisaged a growing and living movement would help us to achieve our transcendence  from other to authentic self.

She mentions how woman can become the actors of bad faith when they exchange their power for an easier  life; she is aware that  to be sufficient as a woman has been nearly impossible  in times past and this  is a good enough reason to keep searching in my mind for better childcare for better education  for acknowledgement from governments of what is needed in society to enable  women to take an active and real  role in their chosen field of work . As I read this book I asked myself many questions  which de Beauvoir had raised ; was I  narcissist ?  I was in love , had I forgotten my own dreams for the sake of this love? Would I ever become totally obsessed by religion  ? If I became lost in any of the above would I be  deluded into  thinking I could be authentic as well . .

It startled me to think  I could ever lose  sight of  my dreams or  my own destiny  because I truly wanted to be  real and be myself   and I was so grateful for this book and the questions it raised.  I came to many conclusions reading this book and  some similar to the author herself.  I think it is good  to  educate ourselves and to  realize that we are wonderfully different to man we are the ones with the womb and we must find ways to cherish this difference by developing good childcare and healthy environments that fully respect this difference.  The idea of child care and nurturing must not be left without its merits. Some do find that DE Beauvoir is . rather neglectful of the merits of mother I on the other hand read her at her time in history and feel that she would have been more than pleased to see wonderful women today acting in good faith and realizing their potential   because of their ability to educate themselves.Some women today   follow their dreams and also  nurture their children, would De Beauvoir see this as  full of merit and also a sign that women had indeed continued their growth and not stood still or would she be aghast that we have become complacent in denying that millions of women today who live perhaps in different geographies are still unable to   be themselves or  to realize their true self  because they are still oppressed.

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4 thoughts on “Do the books you have read still ask questions in your head?

  1. Hi Kathy! The way you speak about reading a book could be inspirational to someone who did not know how to read. As a writer I often find that if a story doesn’t mean something then it’s not a story worth reading. When I write I have to make sure that every character has a purpose, every chapter or in scripts every scene, all have to mean something to the story for it to work. When I think of the efforts that a writer puts into their story, the world they are creating for the reader, I feel blessed, to have the opportunity to read it, to engross myself into a third world, that was created just for me, the audience. I’m sat writing this on the train, on my phone, which contradicts my coming point, however my dream as a writer is to have a book published, to see my name on the shelves. It disappoints me somewhat that soon, people won’t carry a book, as it will be easier just to carry a kindle or a tablet which has their ‘life’ on it, including the book they are reading. I would feel somewhat silly suggesting my dream would be to see a little picture with my name on it, dreaming of being on the download charts instead of book charts. To me, this doesn’t seam real, and I do hope by the time I achieve my dreams that books will still be printed, and it would be able to give someone the type of memories you have from good reads. Passion is a thing a lot of people lack nowadays, unless for their own dreams, it’s been a while since I heard someone speak passionately about books, and the way a writer made them feel. This post made me feel like there is still hope for a good book, so thank you. Lots of love Charlotte x

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    • Thank you so much for your lovely comments Charlotte and I look forward to that book and of being transported into that third world , Your comment is so well written and interesting as you mention the work that goes into the development of a character, the plot and the dream the author has of one day holding that world they have created in a wonderful real hard copy, You also spoke of your preference for the hard copy rather than the kindle etc. I too much prefer the real thing and the actual flicking of pages seems much more gratifying than pressing the keyboard for me however I still use and try to keep informed of technology

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    • I had not finished my last comment Charlotte and it just hopped away ,so as I was saying technology for me is a tool to be used to aid our lives useful at times and an absolute annoyance sometimes. Thanks again for your lovely words I look forward to reading further posts from you and I wish you much success and happiness. Kathy.

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