i’ve been saving this book for a little bit… ever since i spotted it at the library. it’s full of magic. it transported me instantly. it takes place at a siberian prison camp, loosely based on dostoevsky’s own experience. surprisingly, there is no bitterness, only love. no plot to speak of – just a simple memoir, character sketches, psychological insights. the generosity of it, though…! of course we have child murder – this is dostoevsky, after all – but we also have this supreme tenderness. i can’t put it down. i’m carrying it with me everywhere. a masterpiece.
devoured another collection of short stories from yoko ogawa, it is called THE DIVING POOL. disturbing, understated, CLASSIC GOTHIC HORROR
1. while not horror, her novel THE HOUSEKEEPER & THE PROFESSOR particularly + undeniably beautiful. a small, precious book. 2. ogawa writes only small, short books in my experience. they encompass much/engulf you fast. she’s efficient. 3. i’ve acquired a definite taste for her style. she’s cyclical: THE DIVING POOL is thematically, poetically consistent with her other collection (REVENGE). one passage (about math) seemed lifted directly from HOUSEKEEPER+PROFESSOR. same as before, i relished every moment. every. perfect. sentence.
the best story is the first: girl living at an orphanage (not an orphan) harbors evil feelings towards a 1-yr old (an orphan). the 1-yr old orphan abandonment issues, this dark, dostoeyevskian history. when u learn the details it is incredibly heartbreaking, a punch to the gut. babygirl + other major elements were giving me flashbacks of Bros. K: patricide/fratricide… unacknowledged natural son SMERDYAKOV as a black mold (daddy K saying to smerdyakov, “you grew from the mildew in the bath-house” walls, etc., w/ so much hatred)… if there’s one thing ogawa loves… it’s rot, decay, family secrets. xxx bookworm