Publicat în Books, English

My mistress’s sparrow is dead: great love stories from Chekhov to Munro

I like the way Eugenides writes. I read in a fervent way his first novel The virgin suicides in my second year of uni, and was more than pleased by it and the writing of this author. On my list you can easily find The Marriage Plot and Middlesex written by the same author, but recently I chose to read, instead of those novels, this collection which sums up some short stories and novellas of different authors, all gathered in this form by Eugenides. The major theme is that of love, and even if Eugenides, in the beginning of this collection, explains the chosing he had made, I was somehow left confused and disappointed…

Had Jeffrey Eugenides been a woman, a different kind of „great love stories” would have been added in this collection…I’m thinking this might be a man’s perspective upon love as there was no love story that I, as a woman, could have related to! Or wished! Or maybe love is felt and seen differently from the angle of a more mature age.

All of the authors with love short stories in this collection are: Harold Brodkey, Anton Checkhov, Grace Paley, William Faulkner, James Joyce, Denis Johnson, David Bezmozgis, Deborah Eisenberg, Milan Kundera, William Trevor, Guy de Maupassant, Gilbert Sorrentino, Vladimir Nabokov, Loorie Moore, Mary Robinson, David Gates, Isaac Babel, Robert Musil, George Saunders, Eileen Chang, Richard Ford, Stuart Dybek, Miranda July, Bernard Malamud, Raymond Carver, Harold Brodkey and Alice Munro.

The stories that I liked or remembered ideas and events from them, after finishing the entire collection were:

The dead by James Joyce: this was my third reading of this short story. I wrote here a post about some of the books I read twice. I forgot to put Joyce’s The Dubliners there. It seems that I forgot it for a reason as I read this one in particular for the 3rd time.

Natasha by David Bezmozgis: a story of a little Russian teenage-girl emigrated in Canada. Reminded me of Lolita, but I liked this character more. A story full of underage sex!

Mouche by Guy de Maupassant: a very, very short story but long enough to speak about the human condition at that time, the hypocrisy of men, all of them in a funny way.

How to be an other woman by Lorrie Moore: seemed, from my point of view, to be the saddest of them all. It’s the story of a young girl who falls in love with a married man who plays games with her heart. She puts a lot of thinking into it, but can’t let go, until she finds she’s just another woman in his spiderweb. 😦

First love by Isaac Babel: I liked the tone of the story!

We didn’t by Stuart Dybek: also short, I loved the game of the words and phrases from it.

Publicat în Books, English

Peter Pan

Somehow, without reading it until now, I knew the story of Peter Pan!… Don’t we all know it? We do, because Peter Pan lies within us!…We heard lines from this book written by James M. Barrie, we’ve seen images from Finding Neverland, we’ve had, the lucky ones of us at least, nice storytellers that kept saying to little us that once, back in time, there used to be a little boy, as little as we were back than, that didn’t want to grow up…and we couldn’t understand his reasoning! But of course we wanted to grow up!!! Growing-up, at that age, seemed an absolute experience! Nothing could have hurt us once we reached adulthood, we’d be invincible, and brave, we thought…

map of Neverland

And then, in just one moment, we see ourselves old. Well, not so old. Adult old only! And we remember some words from the story of that boy surrounded by fairies. And you know what, we reread the story, or even read it for the first time as it should, and we discover that Peter Pan is more than a dream! We discover that maybe this book wasn’t meant for children to be read by, but for adults to remember and not to forget the beauty of life and dreams, of childhood, motherhood and stories all around us.

Such an amazing book! It took me a while to see the truth behind it!

Peter Pan neverland

She asked where he lived.

„Second star to the right, ” said Peter, „and then straight on till morning.”

„What a funny address!”

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” J.M. Barrie Peter Pan

„You just think lovely wonderful thoughts,” Peter explained, „and they lift you up in the air.”

Peter Pan - Never grow up.

„Wendy, one girl is more use than twenty boys.”

peter pan. ♡

You see children know such a lot now, they soon don’t believe in fairies, and every time a child says, ‘I don’t believe in fairies’, there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.

"Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” J.M. Barrie Peter Pan

Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter. It made him quite helpless. He could only stare, horrified. Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly. All he thinks he has a right to when he comes to you to be yours in fairness. After you have been unfair to him he will love you again, but will never afterwards be quite the same boy. No one ever gets over the first unfairness.

Peter pan concept art

He did it because there is a saying in Neverland that, everytime you breathe, a grown-up dies; and Peter was killing them off vindictively as fast as possible.

Peter Pan

„Oh, no; girls, you know, are much too clever to fall out of their prams.”

Peter Pan and the Mermaids

„Do you know”, Peter asked „why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories. O Wendy, your mother was telling such a lovely story…”

The Darling Family

„To die will be an awfully big adventure.”

Peter Pan

You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.

Peter Pan (1953)

„Because I am a grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the way. ” „Why do they forget the way?” „Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly.”

Peter Pan

„Peter, said Wendy the comforter, „I should love you in a beard; and Mrs. Darling stretched out her arms to him, but he repulsed her. „Keep back, lady, no one is going to catch me and make me a man.”

Peter Pan, "Night Duel"

I expect he was right, for fairies don’t live long, but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them.

I just read about the actual 'lost boys' who inspired the peter pan story, and its really sad how their lives turned out...

In time they could not even fly after their hats. Want of practice, they called it; but what it really meant was that they no longer believed.

Peter Pan

Do you believe?

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