Cities beyond Cities

The bucolic space, the rural landscape, the forest with its twittering birds, the village covered in snow during winter, with its smoky chimneys hardly visible from the distance, the fields and the crops, the shepherds and their yearly transhumance, the mountain rivers and its fish swimming undisturbed by the human presence, the patriarchal communities where lived the old and wise, the village with its strict hierarchy, the peasants with their traditional costumes were all, and for many centuries, the main texture of literature. Not many would have conceived that the background for a literary love story can be, let us say, instead of a beautiful lake in a mountain, an elevator cabin stuck somewhere between the 51st and the 52nd floor of the Empire State Building. Nevertheless, in spite of being constantly depicted as a sanctuary for alterity, the city claimed for itself a status which nowadays is more and more acknowledged and assumed. Many of those who idealize the rural space today do it from in front of a laptop. They use a Wi-Fi connection to post on their blogs various texts in which they demonize modernity, technology and the city itself. The nationalists deliver their speeches about how perverted the urban space is as compared to the rural one from inside a television studio, revising and rehearsing their speeches in a plane, flying over the Oceans, the rivers and the lakes they idealize; the poets write their texts about the mirage of Nature, the beauty of the forest using a sheet a paper which was, not long before, part of a tree.
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Mary Shelley, „Frankenstein”, Bucureşti, Editura Univers, 2009, 226 de pagini

Totuşi, dialogurile, tipice începutului de secol XIX, surprind neplăcut cititorul modern prin patetismul lor exagerat şi lipsa de ingeniozitate. Există destule momente în care climaxul e, pur şi simplu, distrus de aceste dialoguri. Cel mai bun exemplu este prima conversaţie între doctorul Frankenstein şi creatura sa, moment de maxim dramatism, ruinat de puerilitatea schimbului de replici. … Citește mai mult Mary Shelley, „Frankenstein”, Bucureşti, Editura Univers, 2009, 226 de pagini

Ben Okri, „The Famished Road”, Vintage, 2003, 583 de pagini

Superstiţiile locului spun că Azaro este un copil-spirit. Okri alternează halucinant planul realităţii cu cel al imaginaţiei; naraţiunea se desfăşoară la persoana I, iar personajul copil-narator evadează frecvent din lumea reală în ceea a oniricului. Aceasta este, în acelaşi timp, şi calitatea şi defectul romanului lui Ben Okri. Perspectiva copilului devine, de multe ori, inadecvată; autorul e forţat să îl facă pe Azaro să înţeleagă lucruri a căror descriere depăşeşte cu mult statura… Citește mai mult Ben Okri, „The Famished Road”, Vintage, 2003, 583 de pagini