recent reads
please be advised that the following comments have spoilers. ;-)

memoirs of a geisha

in "memoirs of a geisha," i'm on the part where hatsumomo beings home a friend, korin, a fellow geisha. hatsumomo makes chiyo ruin an exquisite kimono by writing on it. i think she'll use this to blackmail chiyo later.

the writing is memorable, descriptive as if to inform the reader. i'm intrigued by the amount of detail writer arthur golden inserts into events in her life, almost making her life parallel to certain customs repeated through generations. this takes me away from my idea that geisha are natural sorceresses; they're actually regular women who work to earn a living.

but when allowed to speak by herself, chiyo's story haunts you each time you take yourself from the book. her voice is coy, open and inviting - and who doesn't want to hear a good story when such an invite is given?

i want to finish this book before i see the movie. :-)

einstein's dreams

just recently the illinois humanities council celebrated "einstein's revolutions," a monthlong series of events to celebrate his 1905 papers.

i completely missed it. there were lectures by renowed scientists and writers. the opening lecture tried to explain einstein's research on time, much like what alan lightman tried to do in this novel, "einstein's dreams": einstein tried to describe time. time, and how it affects individuals. time, and how it affects relationships. time, and how it affects events. time, and how it affects perception. time, and if it could be bent, cheated, tricked. time, and whether or not time itself is a thing alive that you can see and touch, and if so, is time then a trickster, a grandfather, a lord or leader of some sort?

lightman's thifty prose is lyrical, rounding out a luminary - just like this stamp of einstein on a bike. einstein really did spend hours on end writing and revising theories, but i'm sure he also ate, slept, played.

i like how the novel seemed poised at a moment in time, like a scalpel over skin. time is suspended, like winter in midnight, like watching snow fall from inside a skyscraper. from several hundred feet above ground, snowflakes fall in layers like a curtain and at uniform speed. they disappear. they don't seem to hit the ground. there is a timeless quality to falling snow.

at the book's outset, einstein is caught with his head on his latest manuscript, fast asleep with dawn steadily creeping on him. at the end of the novel, he awakes groggily and hands over his papers to a typist. in between are his dreams of fishing with his friend, lovers making split decisions, universes colliding, realities forming, families leaving each other. how long has it been between his waking up slumped on his desk and his smiling to his typist and giving her his papers?

this is another beautiful thing about the novel - it reverts to the beginning, almost as an advance apology to you, lightman's reader, for having wasted your time reading it. so lightman reverts to the beginning, maybe hoping to give you your time back, to remind you of what you were doing before reading his book; you can go back to that activity now.

i chafed at this ending because i had no way of assuring lightman - or einstein - that their ideas are original and extremely fascinating and had quite successfully captured my attentions, retaining them to the end. you could say it's lightman's subtle commentary on the millions other worthy novels out there waiting for me to read them.

but as i reached the corner of madison street and wells close to midnight on my way to catch a late train back to my house, i decided to regret the end of the novel. i thought none of my time was wasted by reading it.
Ang ganda naman ng space mo sa pagbabasa ng books mo; ang ganda ng view at medyo maulan pa. O snow iyan? Bakit hindi ko makita ang mga yelo? Ang ganda ng view. Pero hindi ako nagbabasa sa public space. Mas private ang space ko; `yung puwede akong mahiga or dumapa habang nagbabasa. :)

Akala ko photo ng book cover ng "Einstein's Dreams" ang a-upload mo. Yung pala ay stamp. Galing pa sa Portugal. Nakakatuwa naman ang stamp na iyon. Iyan ang reklamo ko sa mga stamps sa Pinas. Ang dami-daming artists at illustrator, kinukulang sa creativity ang postage.
nagulat din ako sa stamp na yan. may isa pang unique stamp akong natanggap, i'll post it when i get a chance. ;-) that one i'm sure magugustuhan mo rin.

yung reading space, actually, i have an even wierder space, ahaha. sa pix na yan, that's second floor ng borders bookstore sa state street. yung background is marshall field's, yung department store na may christmas display ng cinderella. i think a couple years ago they did the snow queen, and last year, in anticipation for the movie and the book, harry potter. ahaha. :-) ya, the street was drenched with melted snow.
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