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Eastern Body, Western Mind
Devotion is a spiritual act of egoless surrender. When the Self blinds the spirit too tightly, then devotion expands the blinding by lifting us beyond ourselves. We get the powerful lesson that the Self survives even without constant attention.
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Love in the Time of the Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

Synopsis:

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

Note: 3.5/5

Review:

In this coming-of-age novel, Gabriel Garcia Marquez transports us into the lives of Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza, showing us their love stories in the South America of the late 19th century-early 20th century.

While the writing is absolutely beautiful, Garcia Marquez can describe places and changes with mastery; the story made me quite conflicted. To give you an idea of the writing quality, here are two quotes from the novel:

Worldly goods: security, order, happiness, contiguous numbers that, once they were added together, might resemble love, almost be love. But they were not love, and these doubts increased her confusion, because she was also not convinced that love was really what she most needed to live.

All that was needed was shrewd questioning, first of the patient and then of his mother to conclude once again that the symptoms of love were the same as those of Cholera. The doctor prescribed infusion of linden blossoms to calm the nerves and suggested a change of air so he could find consolation in distance but the man longed for just the opposite, to enjoy his martyrdom.

While there are many examples of Garcia Marquez’s talent throughout the novel –he didn’t win a Nobel Prize in literature for nothing. Yet, the actions described as “loving” are particularly problematic when they’re read with today’s perceptions. As a matter of fact, the best example of this is the whole character of Florentino Ariza.

Straight from the beginning, Florentino Ariza’s “love story” with Fermina Daza starts with him stalking her, waiting for her, and observing her outside her house. The stalking of Fermina Daza never ceases throughout the length of the book. Then, as soon as Fermina Daza’s husband, Dr. Juvenal Urbino, dies, Florentino Ariza goes to her house to renew his vow of eternal love. Later in the book, he told her he had remained a virgin for her.

Yet, while she was living a happy married life, he definitely didn’t stay a virgin. First, he lost his virginity when he was raped by a woman. After the rape, he developed feelings of love for that woman, even though he never learned for sure who she was. A similar situation happens with a woman falling in love with her rapist later in the book.

To continue on the topic of rape in the book, we can also read a moment when Florentino Ariza raped on his housekeeper and then sent her away as she fell pregnant from the rape. While his niece of fifteen years old was in his care, he committed statutory rape; he was already in his sixties or seventies. He literally made her “fall for him” by letting her indulge in whatever she desired so he could “make love to her.”

While I understand that, when the book was written, the topics of rape were not discussed like they are nowadays, it still feels like Garcia Marquez is romanticizing rape in this novel. So, while I was enjoying the author’s writing skills, I was also disturbed by how rapes and stalking women were glorified.

Amazon link

If you’ve read the book, what was your opinion?

readinginprocess
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heilosText

I feel like I need to tip more people when I come across really excellent writing of anything I’m interested in. 

Is that as common to do in comparison to tipping people for making amazing artwork/art commissions or no? Either way does that help keep ya’ll who are writers motivated the same way it would a traditional/digital artist other then just comment feedback/favs?

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Marianne Williamson

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Love isn’t material. It’s energy. It’s the feeling in a room, a situation, a person. Money can’t buy it. Sex doesn’t guarantee it. It has nothing at all to do with the physical world, but it can be expressed nonetheless. We experience it as kindness, giving, mercy, compassion, peace, joy, acceptance, non-judgment, joining and intimacy.
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an excerpt from a horror novel
Holding the knife, the blade still slick with blood and human detritus, felt right, each time leaving him feeling like nothing else had ever mattered up until that very moment. A monastic tranquility, a deep sense of calm and clarity. However, the lust for murder wasn鈥檛 gradual, like he鈥檇 read, rather it鈥檚 onset was immediate as it hit the bloodstream and entered the brain, and he yearned for that state of bliss.
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image

A Place For Us is a contemporary novel written by Fatima Farheen Mirza; it’s the first book published by Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth. The story follows the lives of an Indian-American Muslim family living in California; the family consists of a father Rafiq, mother Layla, eldest daughter Hadia, Huda the middle child and Amar the brother and youngest sibling who in the story decides to leave their family home. The story unfolds when Hadia is marrying someone she has chosen herself who happens to not be from the same sect, and Amar returns for her wedding, he sees his family for the first time in three years. For me there are three central characters: Layla, Hadia, Amar. Layla immigrates to America and starts a new life with Rafiq, and she does so under her parents’ wishes to comply with this arrangement that they’ve made on her behalf. As the eldest daughter, Hadia has to not only set a good example for her siblings but also be a good caretaker to her siblings when her parents need her to be. For most parts, it’s Amar who needs all the help he can get and Hadia steps in and gains his utmost trust. Amar embodies the role of the outcast in the family, in that he can’t seem to fit in their family picture because he questions a lot of things, for example the religion, and this upsets his father so there’s tension in the father-son relationship which Mirza explores. The story not only explores the theme of family but also male and female dynamics as well as Indian and islam-influenced cultures. Moreover, love is a reoccurring theme and there’s different kinds of love within the story, from romantic, familial, and friendships. I can definitely see a resemblance to Layla and Majnun’s love story with the relationship between Amar and Amira, very well done!

The story is written in four parts, and in each part we see the characters reveal themselves and they are shown for who they, and this is done mainly through backstory - the narrative backstory and how the characters are affected by their past in the present. I personally love when stories build character development using backstory, for me the flow feels natural and I’m naturally intrigued to know more about the characters. The characters also feel real to me, in that they don’t try to be the hero or victim, they just are who they are. I also thought that by telling the story through unfolding this family unit, there isn’t a main character because we see the characters as parts of a whole. I also favour this method of storytelling because I for one find myself more interested in character development as opposed to plot development. I love the depth that this book went to in order to tell the story of this wonderful fictional family that I feel much love for, it’s incredible!

10/10! I cannot recommend this book enough, great storytelling, amazing character development, fantastic plot that draws you in and pulls you closer to the characters.

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She said, make me a prisoner in your heart. I will gladly surrender.

He said, come and live in my heart without a fee. I want you to truly belong to me.

~ E.Clark

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THE FRENCH NOVEL

CHAPTER 26: ON VA PARTIR EN VACANCES

Vous allez visiter New York? Tu vas à la banque? Nous allons à l’école. Ils vont voyager. C’est le week-end! Ils vont voyager. La semaine prochaine. Le week-end prochain. Tu voyages avec moi. Elle va voir ses amis. Tu vas voir Berlin? Je vais partir demain. Partir. Vous allez partir demain? Je vais partir le week-end prochain. Elle va partir le week-end prochain. Je vais voyager le week-end prochain.

La photo. Je vais passer le week-end chez moi. Je vais rester une nuit. Rester. Le mois prochain. Avec elle. Mois. Je veux beaucoup de photos. Une photo de lui. Une photo de moi. Vous allez passer les vacances avec votre famille? Je vais passer le week-end chez moi. Je vais rester chez moi. Des photos des vacances. Tu vas voyager avec lui? Un photo de vous.

Quand vas-tu partir en vacances? C’est pour lui ou pour toi? Ils vont partir en vacances ensemble. Tu vas passer du temps avec ta famille? Avec eux. Eux. Avec elles. Elle ne va pas travailler. Eux. C’est pour lui ou pour toi? Tu vas passer du temps chez toi? Je vais partir en vacances avec elles. Tu vas passer du temps avec ta famille? Une photo d’eux.

L’hiver. Je vais fair un voyage. Je veux aller à la montagne. En février, c’est l’hiver en France. Je veux aller à la montagne. Tu veux faire du ski? En janvier. Faire du ski. Tu vas faire de la plongée? Faire de la plongée. Vous allez faire un voyage ensemble? Je veux fair un voyage avec lui. En février. Tu vas faire de la plongée? Vous aimez faire du ski?

L’été. Je vais faire de la plongée avec vous. Avec vous. Ce café. Cette photo. Cette. C’est pour nous? Cet ordinateur. Ce. L’année prochaine, je vais visiter Paris! Cet été. Cet ordinateur. L’été prochain. Avec nous. Cette ville. Une photo de nous.

(Translation:

Are you [pl./form.] going to visit New York? Are you [sing. inf.] going to the bank? They are going to travel. It’s the weekend! They are going to travel. Next week. Next weekend. You [sing. inf.] travel with me. She is going to see her friends. Are you [sing. inf.] going to see Berlin? I am going to leave tomorrow. To leave. Are you [pl./form.] going to leave tomorrow? I am going to leave next weekend. She is going to leave next weekend. I am going to travel next weekend.

The photo. I am going to spend the weekend at my place. I will stay one night. To stay. Next month. With her. Month. I want a lot of photos. A photo of him. A photo of me. Are you [pl./form.] going to spend the vacation with your [pl./form.] family? I am going to spend the weekend at my place. I am going to stay at my place. Some vacation photos. Are you [sing. inf.] going to travel with him? A photo of you [pl./form.]

When are you [sing. inf.] going to go on vacation? Is this for him or for you [sing. inf.]? They are going to go on vacation together. Are you [sing. inf.] going to spend some time with your [sing. inf.] family? With them. Them. With them [fem.]. She is not going to work. Them. Is this for him or for you [sing. inf.]? Are you [sing. inf.] going to spend some time at your [sing. inf.] place? I am going to go on vacation with them [fem.]. Are you [sing. inf.] going to spend some time with your [sing. inf.] family? A photo of them.

The winter. I am going to take a trip. I want to go to the mountains. In February, it’s winter in France. I want to go to the mountains. Do you [sing. inf.] want to go skiing? In January. To ski. Are you [sing. inf.] going to go scuba diving? To scuba dive. Are you [pl./form.] going to take a trip together? I want to take a trip with him. In February. Are you [sing. inf.] going to go scuba diving? Do you [pl./form.] like to ski?

The summer. I am going to go scuba diving with you [pl./form.]. With you [pl./form.]. This cafe. This photo. This [fem.]. This is for us? This computer. This. Next year, I am going to visit Paris! This summer. This computer. Next summer. With us. This city. A photo of us.)

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From the novel Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Drunk one night, Sarah had told me, Women are the race, Tak. No two ways about it. Male is just a mutation with more muscle and half the nerves. Fighting, fucking machines. My cross-sleevings had borne that theory out. To be a woman was a sensory experience beyond male. Touch and texture ran deeper, an interface with environment that male flesh seemed to seal out instinctively. To a man, skin was a barrier, a protection. To a woman it was an organ of contact.
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