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Adultery And Other Diversions
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Adultery And Other Diversions [Format Kindle]

Tim Parks

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Descriptions du produit

In his essay "Maturity," Tim Parks, reflecting on that notoriously indecisive prince of Denmark, suggests that Hamlet's problem was "not cowardice, or even thinking too much, but rather that thought is his chief pleasure." Indeed, Parks continues, "It is perhaps this that our culture will have no truck with, the idea that the greatest pleasure might come, not from consumption, or action, or doing good or passion, but merely, wonderfully, from the mind's play with itself." Our culture may not appreciate the mind at play, but Tim Parks most definitely does. In Adultery and Other Diversions, he gives his own intellect free rein to cartwheel and skylark among a variety of subjects from the dangerous allure of adultery to the creative power of rancor.

With each essay, Parks begins by grounding himself and the reader in a concrete experience--a bus ride across Europe, for instance, or cleaning his daughter's room, or translating an Italian novel into English--then lets his mind loose to joyously observe, reflect, and comment on what it all means. In "Glory," for example, Parks recounts an arduous hike through the Italian Alps with his two young children and a family friend. Descriptions of the difficult terrain, his own complicated feelings about climbing a particular peak, his friend's preoccupation with the Tour de France, his children's games--all dovetail gracefully to arrive, eventually, at his real point, the nature of their endeavor:

Being an entirely mental quality, surfacing in nothing more concrete than a word, glory tends to be belittled, or viewed with some embarrassment in a world where technique and her accomplice, information, are assumed to hold sway.... And yet despite her new boots--Gore-Tex lined--and all the chocolate and mineral drinks, the creams for sores and plasters for blisters, young Stefi, I know, would never have climbed Monte Maggio on that third day had it not been for the flavour of certain words--Crest-Strider, Peak-Dancer.
Whether he is discussing the Dionysian nature of affairs, or drawing parallels between the society Plato commented on in his Republic and our own, Parks does so with wit, elegance, and the kind of unself-conscious grace that a natural athlete brings to the game. Adultery and Other Diversions is a delight to read, and even better to think about afterwards--exactly the sort of book a certain prince of Denmark would have loved. --Alix Wilber

The New York Times Book Review, Robert Grudin

...outstanding ... an elegant demonstration of the freedom and power of the essay form.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 285 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 196 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1559705183
  • Editeur : Vintage Digital (31 août 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B008NA44M4
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°267.607 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires en ligne

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.0 étoiles sur 5  6 commentaires
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 a sassicaia 85 type of a book, complex ,sensual,has breed. 14 juillet 1999
Par - Publié sur
This is the third book of the author I have read.I run into the Italian Education accidentally,while perusing through the travel section in a bookstore. Later I have read the Italian Neighbours. I recommend these books higly especially for those who are interested in Italian society and who thought that Francis Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun was a tasteless joke. This last book by Parks which comprises of a set of essays strengthened my conviction that,when it comes to making observations and passing judgments on contemporary institutions and social norms he is as insightful and original as anybody, perhaps he is a modern day Tocqueville. These seemingly disparate essays are held together by some common themes:limits of rationality in guiding behavior,arbitrary nature of language,critique of the historical unlearning process which is underway,etc. What is particularly noteworhy in the author's reasoning is that he can start out with a convention or an assumption that reasonable minds will agree(such as "being charitable is a good thing"),then he debunks the widely held conventions by attacking their inner contradictions before(sometimes)reaching a moral conclusion. Fortunately he does this without a dash of pedanticism and with irony and sincere self-examination. The book also becomes a lot of fun to read under the Campania sun when Parks delivers a beautifully crafted personal attack against a literary"giant" and you understand that the man must have been a force to reckon with when he played football(Soccer)in his youth.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Oh how disappointing 30 août 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Having lived in Italy for over 20 yers I am a great fan of Tim Parks. Italian Neighbors, are my neighbors. Down to the barking dog you plan to kill on the first moonless night. Italian Eucation is the story of my beach and my beach club. Down to the juke box mother! Adultery is just such a disappointment. None of the humor. None of laughing outloud. Just dull and overly trying too hard to impress. I have to say I disliked every word of this book. Not vintage Parks
6 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting but too breezy, blithe 12 janvier 2000
Par Jerome Alvin - Publié sur
The English have a tradition of great essayists but modern practitioners such as Parks and Theroux do not have the scope or weight of their predecessors.
Parks is clever and he never rambles on. But his subjects--adultery, cleaning his daughter's room, the transforming power of language expressed in a hike--do not carry the weight of an Eliot or Orwell essay. Maybe that's because most of Parks's pieces appeared in the New Yorker, which has pared back noticeably the length of essays it publishes.
You may find that the essays do not compell repeated readings as, say, Eliot's and Orwell's do.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A brilliant turn from a brilliant writer. 17 juillet 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
This talented novelist and essayist rarely disappoints, and this book of essays is as understatedly clever as everything Tim Parks write. Especially impressive and thought-provoking is "Charity," a devastating consideration of that famous Italian sportswear's manufacturer's infamous "consciousness raising" ad campagn. That essay alone is worth reading many times. One hopes these smart essays will lead more readers to Parks's superb novels such as "Europa" and "Family Planning."
5.0 étoiles sur 5 ADULTERY 18 avril 2013
Par Robert C. Barker Jr. - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Adultery is more an analysis of becoming an adult than of infidelity (although he deals with this too). The book is a wonderful introspective memoir in which the writer examines marriage and family (his and other's), his work and attitudes, and those of some of his literary peers. His observations are interlaced with wry humor, and his touch is light and gentle. It was a joy to read and I hated for it to be over.
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