Milan kundera the book of laughter and forgetting online dating

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting - Wikipedia

rozamira.info -- Online dictionary and encyclopedia of facts, information, and Forbidden to be published in his homeland, Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Milan Kundera was born on April 1, , in Brno, Czechoslovakia (now the began The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, his most important work to date. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera from rozamira.info Only Genuine Products Enter pincode for exact delivery dates/charges. View Details . Kundera, Milan. Book of laughter and forgetting. New York: A.A. Knopf, ( DLC) (OCoLC) Material Type: Document, Fiction, Internet.

Mirek is arrested at his home and sentenced to jail for six years, his son to two years, and ten or so of his friends to terms of from one to six years. Mama[ edit ] Marketa invites her mother-in-law to visit her and Karel's home after her mother did nothing but complain. Inviting her to stay for a week — although contending that she must leave Saturday because they had somewhere to be on Sunday — the mother forces her way to stay until Monday.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting | rozamira.info

On Sunday morning, Eva — a friend of Karel and Marketa — arrives and is introduced to the mother as Marketa's cousin. Through narration the reader is told that Eva had met and made love to Karel, who then arranged for Eva and Marketa to meet. Through Marketa's suggestion, the three have conducted a sexual relationship over the years. Mother almost catches the three in the act, but instead realizes that Eva reminds her of a friend of hers from Karel's infancy. This makes Karel even more attracted to Eva, and after the mother leaves, they continue with renewed vigour.

The Angels[ edit ] This section concerns events after the Russians occupied Czechoslovakia inespecially Kundera's attempts to write a horoscope under an associate's name. His boss — who has studied Marxism—Leninism for half of his life — requests a private horoscope, which Kundera extends to ten pages, providing a template for the man to change his life. Eventually, Kundera's associate — code named R.

Kundera also describes 'circle dancing' wherein the joy and laughter build up to the point that the people's steps take them soaring into the sky with the laughing angels. Lost Letters[ edit ] Tamina, a woman who works in a cafe, wants to retrieve her love letters and diaries in Prague through her customer who will be going to Prague, Bibi.

Also, another customer, Hugo, who lusts for Tamina, offers to help her if Bibi cannot go to Prague. One day, Hugo invites Tamina to dinner and they visited the zoo together. A group of ostriches move their mute mouths vigorously to Hugo and Tamina as if to warn them of something, which gives Tamina a bad feeling about the letters and diaries in Prague. As these items, which Tamina describes as packed in a parcel, are in her mother-in-law's, she phoned her father to take it from her mother-in-law, so it will be easier for Bibi to get them.

After a lot of pleas, her father agreed to send Tamina's brother to take them. It turns out that the items are not packed in a parcel, and Tamina fears that her private letters and diaries are read by others. The situation turns worse as Bibi gets fed up with her husband and refuses to go anywhere with him, which means the trip to Prague is cancelled.

Hugo offers to help and once again invites Tamina to his house. Hugo tries desperately to win her heart. The emotion the student then feels, Kundera explains, is litost. The Angels Kundera opens this section which has the same title as Part Three with a retelling of the story of Klement Gottwald and Clementis, this time inserting the detail that Franz Kafka attended school in the building where the two men stood on the balcony. Kundera again addresses how the public state has erased private memory by reiterating the Gottwald Clementis story.

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He is suggesting that Kafka, writing many years before the Communist takeover, predicted that in the modern age, Prague would be a city where people could simply disappear, the memory of their existence obliterated by the state. Next, Kundera turns to the story of his father's last years. A famous musicologist, the elder Kundera suffers from aphasia during the last ten years of his life, and the condition causes him to gradually lose all memory of words. Kundera uses this as the backdrop for the tale he begins to tell, returning once more to Tamina's story.

Tamina is deeply saddened by the loss of her husband, and is unhappy with her life. One day, a young man comes into the restaurant where she works and offers to take her away, to a place where she can forget that she has forgotten much of her life with her husband. She agrees to go with the man. What follows is a long dreamlike sequence in which Tamina is taken by boat to an island inhabited by children who have no memories.

She is the only adult there, and must learn to play their games. The children begin to fondle her, and finally they rape her. The sexual games they play out while using her cause friction among the children, who begin to quarrel and become hostile. When Tamina is finally able to put a stop to the sexual abuse, the children mistreat her in other ways. Although Tamina has now forgotten Prague and her husband, she is terribly unhappy. Trying to escape the island, she dives into the water and begins to swim.

She swims all night, only to find in the morning that the children have rowed a boat out to meet her and are watching her. She struggles, then slips beneath the water and drowns. The Border The final section of The Book of Laughter and Forgetting tells the story of a man named Jan and his sexual encounters at orgies or with a variety of women, most notably Edwige, who is also his friend.

One of Jan's friends, Passer, is dying of cancer. In the midst of this, Jan attends an orgy at a house owned by a woman named Barbara. Throughout, he finds himself preoccupied with the idea of the border. Jan spends a good deal of time thinking about the various kinds of borders that exist in the world, of the lines that separate one thing from another. On the one hand, the border is what separates men and women. By the end of the chapter however, it is also the border that separates the living and the dead.

When Passer dies, all the characters gather for his funeral. Papa Clevis, an older man who is usually very self-possessed and serious, loses his hat. The man who is to give the funeral oration does not notice, however.

All the mourners can think about is the hat, and how it has toppled into the grave on top of the coffin. Although people struggle to control themselves, they are overcome with laughter. In the last scene of the chapter, Jan goes with Edwige to a nude beach.

The scene serves to demonstrate how two people, lovers for many years, are not able to fully communicate with each other. Edwige comments on how beautiful all the nude bodies are; Jan, however, is reminded of the nakedness of the Jews as they were herded into extermination chambers during the Holocaust.

Kundera writes, "They never understood each other, Edwige and he, yet they always agreed. Each interpreted the other's words in his or her own way, and there was wonderful harmony between them. Wonderful solidarity based on lack of understanding. In reality, Boccacio is the name of a famous medieval Italian poet who wrote popular, funny stories. Kundera uses this name to characterize the Czech writer's literature. The Children The Children on the island are nameless and largely featureless.

They exist as a group, and as a group, they brutalize Tamina. Kundera uses them to represent the mass mentality of the Communist state.

Indeed, the scenes on the island are reminiscent of the camps to which children in Communist countries were sent to be indoctrinated. Edwige Edwige is a young woman having an affair with Jan in Part Seven. She functions as an illustration of companionship based on misunderstanding, ignorance, or meaninglessness.

Eva Eva appears in Part Two. Eva is a young woman who has had an affair with a married man, Karel. Karel arranges for Eva to meet his wife, Marketa. The women become very close friends and decide to have sex with Karel at the same time.

Eva ultimately asks Marketa to visit her house, presumably for sex with her and with her husband, but Eva actually intends to sleep with Marketa alone. Gabrielle Gabrielle is a young American girl studying in Europe with her friend Michelle.

She appears in Part Three, and she serves as an illustration of ignorance and also as a means to segue into a discussion of angelic and demonic laughter. Hugo Hugo is a young writer who is infatuated with Tamina. He has sour breath, and is very unappealing to Tamina, although he thinks highly of himself.

After Tamina goes to bed with him on the understanding that he will retrieve her lost notebooks for her by going to Prague, he breaks his word, saying that it would be too dangerous for him to do so. Jan Jan is the protagonist of the final section of the book. He is a forty-five year old man who is suffering from a perceived meaninglessness in his life. He has had many affairs, but believes that a new chapter of his life has opened after he begins an affair with Edwige. His friends invite him to orgies, which he attends, and he visits a nude beach with Edwige.

At the beach, he realizes that the reason he and Edwige get along so well is that they generally misunderstand each other. This scene, and these characters, reveal Kundera's notion that people can never really know each other. Karel Karel appears in Part Two.

The book of laughter and forgetting

Karel is married to Marketa, and has affairs with several women. His mother is a widow and she has come for a visit at an awkward time. Indeed, Karel, Eva, and Marketa had planned to sleep together during her visit. At the end of Part Two, both he and his wife find their feelings toward his mother to be warmer than they had been earlier. Kristyna Kristyna's story is related in Part Five of the novel. She is a young, married woman who lives in a small town, and she works in her husband's butcher shop.

She meets a student who is traveling through the town and begins to meet him secretly. They agree that she should come to Prague to visit him once he returns there. Kristyna does so, but does not permit the student to have sex with her as he had hoped. Milan Kundera While it might seem strange to list the author of The Book of Laughter and Forgetting as one of the characters in the book, he is perhaps the most important character in the novel. Kundera frequently interrupts his stories to speak directly to the reader.

Throughout the novel, Kundera gives his personal opinions on history, philosophy, and human nature. While one would usually ascribe these functions to a generic narrator, the autobiographical details related in the book make this distinction somewhat unnecessary. Furthermore, aside from these autobiographical details, Kundera inserts stories where he plays a major role.

This intrusive narrator becomes the reader's guide throughout The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and all of the stories in the novel are filtered through his interpretations of them. Lermentov Lermentov is the name Kundera gives to a famous poet appearing in Part Five. Historically, Lermentov was a Russian writer and Kundera uses his name to comment on the work by his character. Mama Mama is Karel's mother.

She appears only in Part Two. At a key moment in this section, she clearly remembers an event from her past, but she cannot accurately remember when the event took place.

In addition, she walks in on Marketa, Karel, and Eva as they are beginning their threesome. Marketa Marketa is married to Karel. She has overlooked her husband's womanizing in the past, but finds it increasingly difficult. She has never liked her mother-in-law, although she has softened toward her.

During the story, Marketa finds herself falling in love with her friend Eva, who is also Karel's mistress. Michelle Michelle is a young American girl studying in Europe for the summer. She appears in Part Three. Like her cohort, Gabrielle, she serves as an illustration of ignorance and also as a means to segue into a discussion of angelic and demonic laughter. Mirek Mirek is a middle-aged man who, although well educated, has been assigned by the government to work as the foreman of a construction crew.

He keeps records about his daily life and conversations, and becomes obsessed with recovering the letters he sent to a former lover whom he now considers to be ugly. While he is attempting to recover the letters he sent to her, the police raid his apartment and take his private papers.

Within these papers Mirek has incriminated his friends and family and all of them are sentenced to prison. In actuality, Petrarch is the name of the Italian Renaissance poet who first developed the sonnet. Petrarch's ideas about love were highly stylized. Kundera uses this name to comment on the work of his character, the Czech poet. The three women together bear the names of the primary archangels in the Bible. This is noteworthy because Kundera later discusses the difference between angelic and demonic laughter in Part Three of the book.

In many ways, she is a stand in for Kundera himself: She is its principal character and its principal audience, and all the other stories are variations on her own story and meet with her life as in a mirror. Her husband then dies again, this occurs before the story opensand she finds herself alone, working as a waitress and trying to recover her memories of her husband.

Tamina believes that she would have a clearer memory of him if she could recover the notebooks in which she detailed her eleven years of marriage. At the end of Part Four, Tamina has given everything she has, even her own celibacy, to try to recover the notebooks, but she is unsuccessful.

Later, Tamina finds herself on an island inhabited by children who have no memories of the past. She is sexually abused by the children, and when she tries to escape, she drowns.

Voltaire Voltaire is the name Kundera gives to a famous university lecturer in Prague. In reality, Voltaire was a famous French writer known for his satire.

The Young Student The student is a young man who meets Kristyna while vacationing in her small country town. He invites her to Prague, imagining that they will have an affair. When she arrives, he discovers that she is more unsophisticated and less lovely than he remembered, and he is embarrassed to be seen with her. He also wants to attend a meeting of writers on the same evening that Kristyna is in town, so he leaves her at his apartment while he goes to the meeting.

When he returns, he discovers that she will not have sex with him, and he is very disappointed. He discovers the next day that it is not because she wants to preserve some romantic notion of their night together, devoid of sex, but rather that she is fearful of becoming pregnant.

According to Kundera, the student is the embodiment of litost. Zdena Zdena is a woman with a large nose with whom Mirek had an affair some twenty-five years before the story opens. She possesses Mirek's love letters and refuses to part with them. Although Mirek suspects that she is in collusion with the secret policeshe actually loves Mirek and wants to protect him. Add lines taken from The Book of Laughter and Forgetting that are appropriate to the events described in your timeline.

Research Franz Kafka 's life and read his book The Trial. In what ways does Kafka's novel predict the circumstances in Czechoslovakia under Communist rule? In what ways is Kafka an important influence on Kundera?

Write an essay discussing your findings. Read George Orwell 's Lead a class discussion comparing and contrasting Orwell's and Kundera's ideas about state censorship and public memory. Listen to a symphony by Ludwig von Beethoven, and try to identify major themes and variations. Read several analyses of the symphony to better understand the idea of themes and variations. Now use this knowledge to write an essay about the structure of The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.

How does Kundera use the ideas of themes and variations in his novel? Kundera is particularly interested in exploring how memories are created, then changed over time.

In extreme circumstances, such as in the opening segment where a Communist leader is ultimately airbrushed out of Czechoslovakian history, memories can be totally erased.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Summary

In his preoccupation with the state's intrusion into private memories, Kundera's work recalls George Orwell 's In Orwell's vision of the totalitarian state, public memory is controlled through bureaucrats such as Winston Smith, whose job it is to comb public records and change them according to the most recent edict from the rulers.

Thus, someone who has fallen out of favor with the ruling party also falls out of institutional, political, and ultimately, private memory. Like Orwell, Kundera finds state censorship abhorrent, akin to a form of mind control. Kundera's character Tamina demonstrates yet another facet of memory.

In exile in Western Europethe widowed Tamina finds herself unable to recall all of the details of her life with her late husband. Earlier in her marriage, she wrote down day-to-day events in a series of notebooks she left behind when the couple left Czechoslovakia.

Now, with her memories fading, and a part of her own self fading with them, she desperately wants to recover the lost notebooks. Tamina has sacrificed the memory of her sexual life with her husband by having sex with a man who has offered to recover her notebooks for her.

Ironically, it is her attempt to recover her memories that ultimately destroys them. Later, she enters a strange dream-like section where a young man promises to take her to a place where she will even forget forgetting. The Idyll An idyll is an extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque episode or scene, typically an idealized or unsustainable one. For example, many people recall their childhoods as idylls.

Often, people believe that the world was a kinder place when they were young. However, this idealization usually covers over some real unhappiness. Kundera uses the notion of idyll throughout The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. Many of the passages and many of the characters long for an Edenic past, a time such as that in which Adam and Eve enjoyed paradise in the Garden of Eden.

That is, what one person might define as idyllic is not necessarily what another person would find idyllic. In Kundera's book, each of the characters define the idyll according to their own histories and their own circumstances.

In the case of Jan and Edwige, as Ricard points out, their idylls are diametrically opposed to each other, leading to their mutual incomprehension of one another. Kundera uses these two characters to illustrate that individual conceptions of Paradise serve to undermine mutual understanding between people. For Kundera, one idyll is that of innocence.

This idyllic state is represented by the children's island. The children have no memory and exist fully in the present moment. Theirs is a life of unity, conformity, and innocence derived from their lack of memory.

For Kundera, it is this lack and this conformity that allows them to commit torture and abuse without guilt. In the novel, Kundera also recalls the early days of the Communist movement as idyllic, a time when he, too, danced in the circle with other Party members before the idyll shattered into totalitarianism. Opposed to the idyll of innocence is the idyll of experience. Kundera longs for the days when he was part of an innocent idyll as a young member of the Communist party.

He is no longer able to be a part of this circle, however. His experience has destroyed his innocence. Although he has found some measure of peace, it is as a critic and a loner, not as a supportive member of a group.

Like most of Kundera's ideas and themes, the oppositions between innocence and experience clash against one another. Narration in a novel is simply the manner in which the story is told.

The narrator is, likewise, simply the voice that tells the story. An author can choose how noticeable or invisible he or she wishes the narrator to be. Sometimes a writer will choose to make a first person narrator a part of the story itself. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is an example of this; the narrator Nick Carraway both tells the story and participates in it. There is no separation between the narrator and the fiction itself. In The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, however, Kundera plays a game with the notion of narration by creating a narrator who is named Milan Kundera.

As critic John O'Brien writes in Critique: But can the reader make the assumption that the narrative voice in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is actually Kundera the author and not Kundera the character?

The answer is probably not. Because the narrator speaks as if he is the author of the text, and because he speaks of the other characters in the book as characters, the narrator somehow seems more real. This is, however, an illusion, a deliberate blurring by Kundera the writer of the boundaries between fact and fiction. Indeed, when one considers this book carefully, it becomes evident that the narrator is the most important character in the book.

He intrudes regularly in the storyline; he calls attention to parts of the story as fiction, and to other parts as history. He offers up bits of autobiography and quotes other writers. It is the narrator who appears to organize the order of events, the construction of the chapters, and the major themes and ideas.

Nevertheless, that narrator is a creation, as much as Tamina is a creation. Setting The setting of The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is so important to the novel that it might as well be another character in the story. Indeed, after the narrator, the setting is the most important stylistic device in the book.

The novel is largely about the country of Czechoslovakia; even those segments of the book that take place elsewhere always concern someone who is exiled from Czechoslovakia, someone who wants to return to Czechoslovakia, or someone who cannot leave Czechoslovakia. Oddly, Kundera generally does not refer to the setting as Czechoslovakia, but prefers to call his homeland Bohemia an older, and more mythical, name that was once used to refer to the region.

Nevertheless, the historical events that Kundera recounts belong to the actual history of Czechoslovakia. In several sections of the book, the characters are fearful because they live or have lived in a police state that monitors even private thoughts and conversations, and Communist Czechoslovakia was such a place. The result of this fear is a sense of claustrophobia in the sections set in Czechoslovakia. Even the characters who have chosen or have been forced to leave Czechoslovakia are controlled by their memories of their homeland, even in their forgetting.

For Tamina, for example, it is just as painful to realize that she has forgotten parts of her life as it is to recall them. This is probably hard to believe, but I don't really dislike this book; I just don't get it. When I dislike a book, there is no mistaking the reaction. Or maybe I blinked during the subtitles in the movie version and awakened imagining having read it.

Anything is possible at this stage of my particular ballgame. No idea what Norwegian cats have to do with drowned Czech heroines. I would note, though, that the website in question has to do with Norwegian cat names, and not necessarily Norwegian cats. A thin distinction but one that perhaps can be illumined by Leif the resident Norwegian in fact Leif ought duck over to that 'Girls of the Czech Republic' and see if he recognizes any former patients.

Purely professional visit, of course. Diane Freeman dfreeman jeffco. I am actually a Kundera fan but was not actually going to re-read this selection until Jane shamed me into it. OK, so here I am pointing out that the quote in post 11 of Petrarch's response that "Love can't be laughable. Love has nothing in common with laughter" made me wake up to the fact that one of Kundera's early works was entitled "Laughable Loves.

I agree that The Unbearable Lightness of Being was a much finer book, and "The Joke" written before he moved to France, I believe is a more straightforward poke at the government. Unfortunately, in this re-reading, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting suffered from my initial exposure. I wonder if it isn't something comparable to the earlier comment about what we can enjoy at what age. I think I used to like being mystified by works that seemed barely comprehensible I loved Richard Brautigan for years, and Ferlinghetti is still a favorite but now I'm just frustrated or dissatisfied.

However, I do like those foreign films with little dialogue. I don't mind reading a movie, but I can't speed read one through the smoke filter! Diane, rambling as usual Topic: For those who don't know, Diane and I work together. I found your comment very interesting.

It seems as if you have read several of Kundera's works and are able to do some comparing. This is the first Kundera that I have read, and it may be the last. I am happy that I read this book because of this discussion, but I probably won't read another of Kundera's books unless one ends up on one of our official reading lists. Mary Anne Papale mapreads aol. But I read it and several other of Kundera's books years ago. And Diane is quite right: For example, the erasure of Zdena is more about the "lightness of being", and what it means to be considered so inconsequential as to be almost non-existent.

I do think that Kundera is one author whose work improves by re-reading or reading his other stuff. At least that made me feel like I got it. Jim Heath ddrapes teleport. One can only hope this doesn't lead to a degeneration of this discussion to the point where we are considering the Prague abortionist who produced a lot of cancelled Czechs.

Friday, October 22, And, yes Dale, I do think Kundera is tongue in cheek, even when he's being serious at the same time. He just can't help himself - didn't I tell y'all he's a rogue? I thought of Laughable Loves too when reading this book, and mentioned it lo these several posts ago.

I think The Magic Flute is exactly the right connection, Beatrice. Remember, the Communists started out as the heroes, inviting everyone to partake equally in the circle dance, and ended up the villains, just as in Tamina's life?

Tamina is a combination of the names of the heroes of Magic Flute - by Jove, I think you've got it! The origin of Tamina's name, that is. Dick, we must know different year-olds. Those I've come across want to watch action flics, not pauses and silences. You really pulled this Magic Flute connection together for me. I think that we have found the source for Tamina's name and in the process a means to better understand Kundera's technique.

I have read the short story collection Laughable Lovesand I don't remember being too enamored of it. The orgy scene at the end of the novel--is it just me, or did that entire scene seem gratuitous? Maybe it was supposed to bring together the ideas of laughter and sexuality in a culminating scene, but I feel it was rather weak artistically. The orgy scene took me by surprise.

Maybe Kundera was reveling in his new found freedom to express himself any way he chose once he had emigrated. Actually, I think he just likes to talk about sex, although it seldom satisfies his characters or makes them happy.

You speak of differences between the year olds you know and that I know. However, I know no 20 year-olds, except in the unhappy circumstance when one of the little dears has been maimed or mutilated in some horrible accident not including tattooing or piercing incidents and therefore seeks my professional services.

I speak only of the ancient 20 year-olds; the ones of legend and of myth and who now live only in memory. And maybe, only my memory. Sunday, October 24, Sex is just about the most personal subject I can imagine. It could also be the place in one's life where you are free and joyous.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Yet here, in a "party" where you're supposed to be having fun, there's this hostess from hell who's orchestrating people having sex as if she were Vince Lombardi and this was the first Super Bowl. If people allow the most intimate part of their lives to be controlled in this manner, aren't they going to be really susceptible to the state that comes along in the name of perfection and tells them how to live and what to do?

I think the orgy scene is a statement about people being so willing to be fodder for totalitarianism. My impression was that this chapter took place in Western Europe rather than the totalitarian Czechoslovakia. However, I think that there is a herd instinct in human nature that can help explain subjection both to a political dictator, and a sexual one.

On a related note I'm somewhat reserved, basically a loner and a hermit who fears social situations, and independent-minded enough that it chaps my hide to have somebody telling me what to do. At CR reunions both large and mini- it's live and let live, with everybody free to go or stay on whim. Long may it live!

But I don't think that matters. Maybe Kundera was commenting on how people allow totalitarianism to take place in any venue, whether it's political or social or sexual. And that in any case, it's not a satisfying way to live. I very much disliked not only the orgy but the Tamina-on-the-Children's Island section. Your explanation could be extended to cover that, too. People who let themselves be bossed around by children who are notoriously cruel, self-centered and without consciousness of the results of their actions are in serious trouble.

I was bothered by the children on the island chapter, too, at first, but it does make sense in the context of the theme of totalitarianism. It's not just that children are cruel, it's that the perfect society made it necessary for the citizens to be children to survive in the system.

And then once they were children, they acted like them. In the children chapter, Tamina was seduced at first, coddled and cared for by them.

She sank into an easy sexuality, because it was the way for her to survive and be a part of the society. But because she was an adult, with an advanced sensibility it wasn't enough to satisfy her. She wanted to get out, and they destroyed her for her desire to overstep the status quo. She swam and swam haven't you all had dreams where you are running and running and never get there?

She was sucked in, swallowed. Sounds like what happens to a lot of dissidents. Thank you so very much. I like your interpretation of that puzzling orgy scene. And the one act the "director from hell" cannot tolerate is laughing, the risible residue of revelry.

The two guys get kicked out of the club--out of the circle, in Kundera's symbolic scheme--because they enjoyed themselves too much. I'm not sure--an artistically strong orgy scene?

When I come across one, I'll let you know. It really does assume that the citizens are children, unable to fend for themselves, doesn't it?

Sherry, I like your interpretation of the orgy a lot. I think it is also true that Kundera is obviously aiming for some sexual titillation in the orgy scene, as well as the menage a trois scene at the beginning, and even in describing the sexual play of those oh so naughty children.

There could have been lots of other scenarios besides sexy ones where he could have made his point. But I think we wouldn't have paid attention quite so intently. It helped me to understand this novel better.

I still don't like it very much, but I am glad that I read it. Monday, October 25, But Smith is so funny, I may have forgotten if there was some intellectual climax included in all the others.

Tuesday, November 30, Powers, primarily because of remarks about it by Barbara Moors and you. It is an enjoyable read and a helluva novel considering it is his first.

Thanks for tipping me off. In fact I think I am going back to "Steve" for the foreseeable future. I fear the sobriquet leads newcomers to the conclusion that I am something other than the innocuous, nondescript soul that I really am. Just glad to see you around again! Sheila Ash sash oxmol. Wednesday, December 01, But where did the Wild Man tag come from? The origins of that nickname are lost in the misty, misty past. Admittedly, I was quite lunatic when I first joined this group six years ago, so much so that some of the original stalwarts apparently viewed my determination to join them for the first CR get-together in San Francisco with some trepidation.

I just don't remember. The strange thing is that the nickname is extant among my few friends here at home, too, none of whom know any Constant Readers or even understand this place exists.

It is an odd coincidence. But enough about me. Let's talk about what you think of me for awhile. I have a pretty clear recollection I think of the inimitable Maria Bustillos first applying this moniker to you in a board discussion. It did, though, catch on like Wild Fire. That rings a bell. In defense of my own memory, I did list her as one of the usual suspects. You really seem to have developed difficulty recently in tracking well: All this is colored by mood swings coupled with a recent compulsive use of animation.

Honey, are you all right? Do you find that you are lying to yourself and others about the extent of your drinking? Do you drink to relieve the hangovers hair of the dog and all? Are you hiding bottles around the house? Have you suffered blackouts? How is Tom holding up through this?

Are the children okay? Is our reading list safe? We all love you so much, baby, and who better to take this up with you than one of your best and most trusted friends? I know that the resolve to do something must come from within you yourself, but if there is anything.

Attack me if you must, but I know you don't mean the things you say to me now. This has nothing to do with moral turpitude, honey. It's a disease, probably genetic. I fear that it will only be when you bottom out that you will be able to make the really big changes that are so obviously necessary. I noticed aberrations in your conduct after the first of those CR slumber parties. Presley bears some responsibility for this, but I admit that I laughed and joked about it right along with the others, and I feel so badly about that now.

It was denial on my part, too. Then there was your self-destructive insistence on continuing to use a Macintosh in the face of overwhelming evidence of your own degradation as a result. Recently, it has progressed it's a progressive condition with the tantrum about folks replying only to the last note in the thread regardless of the addressee followed not a minute or two later with your irrational elation over the cartoon thingies.

Just know that when you do bottom out, those of us who love you will be right up here on the high ground ever ready to reach down to you, awash in the viscous, noisome muck and mire that gurgles through the gutters of Milwaukee. Sherry, what has happened to your beautiful hair? It's the little things that break my heart the most!

Anyway, I would be willing to do that for you, baby. I know Hanser would, too. You were very kind to us in the old days when your body was younger and could better withstand the punishment that you inflict on it. Powers' In the Memory of the Forest includes a very excellent portrayal of your affliction that you might be interested in. Insight is always so important. Sherry, focus for a minute now.

Is the reading list in a safe place? Does Tom know where it is? And I have to pack and I have to do laundry and such and here you are you, who claims to have so much work to do penning posts that are just breaking me up! All I can say is Help me before I animate again! I was prepared for that, too. Your last reminded me of your forthcoming trip to Irving, Texas, and the inevitable ensuing debauch with Presley.

I mean, we all know the shape Presley herself will be in. She will be of absolutely no help to you, Sherry! Is Jerry at all reliable? Do Tom and the children know you are going down there? You might consider taking along a copy of In the Memory of the Forest. I have always placed a priority on my concern for you over my work. You know that, honey. About the reading list. It's the only way. Otherwise, who knows what will happen--Jerry won't be able to handle the pressure by himself.

I'm spitting coffee into the keyboard. Tonya Presley tpresley swbell. I was thinking of Groucho crossed with a Cheshire Cat You were saying, Pres???? Books about Senior Orgies are called 'short stories' We were having a lively discussion of the orgy scene, and then Pres came up with the idea of starting a Part II to bring the new messages back to the left of the margin.

I wonder, though, if the older new messages can be easily missed the last ones at the end of the old thread, I mean. Am I making any sense at all? I think we need to start a totally new topic under the main heading, in this case "Reading List Books". Were you really fearful that I would? Perhaps some neophyte might miss the lively orgy discussion but not me.

I did rather enjoy Pres's--shall we say-- terse note over here and could not help replying. Wanted to see how Pres' new system was working. Tuesday, October 26, It really is about people ceding control of very important parts of their lives to others.

I had not thought of this until you advanced the idea.