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Take Leave and Go
Take Leave and Go
par Karel Schoeman
Edition : Relié

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A powerful portrait of South Africa, 16 octobre 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Take Leave and Go (Relié)
Adriaan is an acclaimed Afrikaner poet living in Cape town, South Africa, at the time when the ethnic oppressions started to turn into violence. Adriaan is a secluded character who does not wish to discuss or read his poetry in public, who doesn't feel compelled to advertise his writing in literary journals. He isn't interested in so-called "admirers" of Afrikaans literature either and he is thus a fairly isolated figure in the small community of writers and artists of Cape Town. The fact that his companion Stephan left him a short while ago makes him feel even more lonely. Among his friends, Nico is a superficial and conceited actor relentlessly looking for an improbable lover in the latest cruising points in the city. The atmosphere of sadness and desolation is increased by the fact that Cape Town is becoming slowly depopulated and continuously invaded by the homeless and dispossessed who set up their camps among the empty, neglected and decayed buildings. The squatters' filthy shelters pop up everywhere in streets and in parks. Hawkers, peddlers, hucksters, thieves and beggars slowly creep into the city centre. As the oppression against the natives increases, bloody corpses litter the streets, blood is smeared over the pavement. "We learned not to ask questions; we learned to keep silent, we learned to accept." writes Mr. Schoeman. At the same time the members of the white community remain securely barricaded with their money and their comfort behind the high walls surrounding their properties. Gradually, acquaintances are leaving: Bernard's wife Marisa is leaving for Holland. She wishes "never even hear the name South Africa any more." The days of the small museum where Adriaan works are numbered, a decison taken by some official in Pretoria. Employees are gradually leaving it and looking for other job opportunities. Carla closes down her beach house in Brandvlei, knowing that she'll probably never return to it again. Even Dekker, an renown old poet, though physically still present in the country, took leave long ago and shut himself from the world with disillusionment.
A very powerful novel depicting the darkest epoch of South Africa. The story of many characters drowning in sadness and abandonment because there is little hope for art, poetry or love in the future.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
par James Joyce
Edition : Broché

2 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 An autobiographic novel, 27 septembre 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Broché)
Although the hero of James Joyce's novel is called Stephen Dedalus, the events and characters depicted in it parallel the author's own experiences. In his early childhood, at the very beginning of the 20th century, Stephen was sent to Clongowes, a Jesuit boarding school near Dublin. He disliked the place because his classmates bullied him, because he was taught religion in a dogmatic way and because he was flogged unjustly by his prefect of studies. After that he spent a summer with his uncle Charles in Dublin. Stephen was then sent to Belvedere college, which he disliked as much as Clongowes. The spirit of quarrelsome comradeship couldn't turn him away from his habits of quiet obedience. He mistrusted the agitation and doubted the sincerity of such comradeship, which he felt was an awful anticipation of adulthood.
Stephen was by then aware that he didn't belong. He also felt more and more estranged from his father after having accompanied him once to Cork and witnessed his drinking habits, a journey which ended in Stephen's first experience in love making - a sordid one.
More disappointment followed as Stephen went to university, thus becoming a disillusioned young man - a disillusionment caused by academicism, love and sex, his parents, religion and perhaps also his own country, Ireland...

par Michael Dibdin
Edition : CD

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Aurelio Zen in top shape, 24 septembre 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Vendetta (CD)
Vice-Questore Aurelio Zen, officer of the Criminalpol section of the Ministry of Interior in Rome, is entrusted with a video cassette connected to the sensational "Burolo Affair" about which Zen has to write a report summarising the case to date. Since Oscar Burolo had a mania of recording the highpoints of his life, the video tape shows a dinner party at his extravagant villa in Sardinia, when suddenly Oscar and his party reel away from shotgun blasts apparently coming from nowhere, the murderer having passed through the elaborate electronic defences of the property as if they didn't exist.
But when, sometime later, a pickpocket manages to steal the video cassette while Zen is boarding a bus and when Zen is summoned to the Palazzo Sisti and asked by "l'onorevole" to go to Sardinia and fake some evidence in order to withdraw the charges against the main suspect Renato Favelloni, the inspector is about to start one of the most dangerous investigation in his career.
Very good action-packed thriller with breathtaking scenes in Sardinia and an Aurelio Zen in full swing!
Michael Tudor Barnes delivers a stunning performance reading "Vendetta".

La Ronde de nuit
La Ronde de nuit
par Patrick Modiano
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 5,40

8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Souvenirs de l'Occupation, 9 septembre 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : La Ronde de nuit (Poche)
Paris pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, la période de l'Occupation. Le narrateur est tiraillé par la question qui court à travers tout le roman: être traître ou non? Le narrateur accepte d'abord de travailler pour la Gestapo française et en même temps, au hasard d'une rencontre, se retrouve membre d'un réseau de la Résistance, le RCO - Réseau des Chevaliers de l'Ombre. D'un caractère hésitant, le narrateur ne se sent appartenir à aucun des deux camps, ni traître ni héros, seulement martyre.
Comme dans "La Place de l'Etoile", son premier roman, l'auteur a choisi pour son deuxième roman l'époque de l'Occupation, une époque qu'il n'a pas vécue mais dont les derniers remous l'ont atteint.

par Robin Cook
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 6,00

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Dr Cook is no Jules Verne..., 7 septembre 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Abduction (Poche)
Perry Bergman, founder, president and largest shareholder of Benthic Marine is on its way on board the Benthic Explorer near the volcanically and seismically active Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Using the submarine Oceanus, the crew is working on their current project: drilling into a magma chamber within a seamount west of the Azores.
One day, in the Oceanus, the crew come across a strange and deep hole that looks like an opening into an extinct volcano when suddenly the submarine looses its buoyancy and is inexorably sucked into the abyss. And so the members of the crew are about to enter the futuristic world of Inteterra.
Jules Verne wrote an infinitely more refined book, "Voyage to the Center of the Earth", in 1864! Maybe Dr Cook should concentrate on what is his speciality: medicine.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir
Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir
par Norman Malcolm
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 28,59

5.0 étoiles sur 5 A vivid memory, 7 septembre 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir (Broché)
Norman Malcolm was a close friend of Ludwig Wittgenstein's. They exchanged many letters and the reader can discover the 56 letters that Wittgenstein sent to Malcolm between March 26 1940 to April 16 1951 in this book.
Norman Malcolm does not discuss Wittgenstein's philosophical works - although he attended a respectable number of his lectures - but describes the philosopher in his daily life, his tastes, his talks with his fellows in Cambridge. It is interesting to learn that Wittgenstein was an emphatic talker both while lecturing and conversing privately, that he dressed as simply as possible although he had rigorous standards of cleanliness and that his room at Trinity College was austerely furnished.
His lectures were quite original. He didn't address his audience in a formal way but the meetings - in his room where the members of the class had to bring chairs - were rather a conversation during which Wittgenstein carried on original research. He was usually impatient and easily angered and his students often feared him. Making friendship with Wittgenstein was very exacting since his extreme harshness could rebuke a friend. Malcolm often experienced that Wittgenstein had a tendency to be suspicious of motives and character. It was always a strain to be with Wittgenstein because of the intellectual demands of his conversation and his ruthless severity. This was due to his passionate love of truth and that is the reason why his philosophical thoughts tortured and exhausted him. He detested academic life, he could not stand the society of his academic colleagues and could not suffer all forms of affectation and insincerity. His mood was often sombre because of the difficulty of achieving understanding in philosophy. As he struggled to work through a problem, his listeners felt that they were in the presence of real suffering. That may explain his strong inclination to pessimism, a feeling that was often close to despair. Another source of torment was that he felt himself to be a failure as a teacher, a profession he abandoned after a few years to devote himself exclusively to philosophy.
Towards the end of his life, Wittgenstein spent long months with Malcolm and his wife in America where Malcolm could witness Wittgenstein's increasing difficulty to concentrate and think, mainly because of his fragile health. A moving memory of one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century.

par Paul Morand
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 6,50

2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Les vertus du silence, 7 septembre 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Tais-toi (Poche)
Silvère Lahire perd le cousin de son père, Frédéric Lahire, en 1939. Silvère est rapidement envoûté par ce défunt et entreprend tout son possible pour cerner la personnalité et le caractère de Frédéric Lahire - il projette même d'écrire une biographie sur le personnage.
Ses investigations le conduisent d'abord au Portugal où il rencontre Saint Broc qui a eu Frédéric Lahire comme stagiaire au "Petit Quotidien". Journaliste exalté d'abord, ne pensant qu'à tout crier sur les toits, il fut rapidement mâté, ne livrant plus que des copies vides de toute substance.
Sylvère rencontre ensuite Onésime Rousillon qui fut le directeur du "Petit Quotidien" et qui fut obligé de mettre fin à la carrière de journaliste de Frédéric à cause de son incompétence. Il lui procura alors une place à la Résidence générale de Tunis, l'y supporta un certain temps avant d'en être débarrassé définitivement lorsqu'il obtint un emploi à la Standard Fuel and Gasoline.
Pourquoi Frédéric se taisait-il sans cesse? Habileté, lâcheté, déférence, mépris, honte, timidité, prudence? Sylvère se pose ces questions alors qu'il s'apprête à rencontrer Philomène, l'ancienne bonne de la tante Coralie de Frédéric. Elle lui apprend que ce dernier fut un enfant turbulent et bruyant avant de devenir introverti et taciturne a près avoir reçu cet ordre simple de sa mère lorsqu'il refusa d'apprendre l'équitation: "Maintenant, tais-toi!" Et Philomène de conclure: "Le silence, c'était devenu sa façon à lui d'être méchant."
D'autres rencontres suivront avec Mircea Katzensteg et Igor de Rosex dont Sylvère apprendra d'autres phases de la vie de Frédéric: depuis le "silent partner" qu'il fut, navigant à l'aise parmi les cartels pétroliers américains, jusqu'à la fin tragique de son existence.
Extraordinaire histoire d'un personnage muet, "C'est un homme qui aura tout réussi, sans réveiller le chat."

par Jean Giono
Edition : Poche
Prix : EUR 4,90

9 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Roman champêtre des années 30, 6 septembre 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Regain (Poche)
Le petit village d'Aubignane a été abandonné par la plupart de ses habitants il y a bien longtemps déjà, essentiellement à cause de la mauvaise qualité des terres environnantes. Pourtant les derniers habitants persistent dans leur volonté de demeurer à Aubignane: Le Panturle, paysan énorme qui continue à travailler ses terres avec acharnement et Arsule qui deviendra l'épouse du Panturle. Bravant un climat rude et une nature hostile, ils sont déterminés à lutter pour la survie d'Aubignane. Leur courage s'ébruite dans les villages alentours et lorsque Désiré et Delphine vienne s'installer avec leurs enfants à Aubignane, le Panturle, "les bras le long du corps, il ne bouge pas. Il a gagné: c'est fini", peut savourer le succès de ses efforts.

Waiting for the Barbarians
Waiting for the Barbarians
par J. M. Coetzee
Edition : Broché

6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Profoundly distrubing, 6 septembre 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Waiting for the Barbarians (Broché)
An old magistrate waiting to retire is serving out his last days on a lazy frontier in South Africa. He has jurisdiction over the garrison. But with the arrival of Colonel Joll from the Third Bureau - the most important division of the Civil Guard - the peaceful life is about to end for the magistrate. The arrival of Joll and his troops is justified by the fact that in the capital there is some concern about the barbarian tribes of the north uniting with those of the west, which may lead to unrest. Joll's methods of interrogation are brutal, his evidence against the native prisoners based on thin air. "Prisoners are prisoners" is enough of an accusation to lead a man or a woman to death.
When the magistrate decides to take a twenty year old girl with whom he had a relationship back to her tribe of barbarians, he is accused of having treasonously conspired with the enemy and the treatment inflicted on him thereafter is no less inhuman than that endured by the barbarians themselves. This is the price the magistrate has to pay for giving up his "alliance with the guardians of the Empire" and setting himself into opposition, thus becoming an enemy of the state.
Mr Coetzee's book shows all the suffering that the apartheid regime used to inflict on native South Africans. Furthermore, it shows that this regime was capable of committing the same atrocities against people of their own kin.

The Good Doctor
The Good Doctor
par Damon Galgut
Edition : Broché

3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An impressive novel, 24 août 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Good Doctor (Broché)
Laurence Waters is working in a rundown hospital in the capital of what used to be one of the homelands of South Africa. These areas of land are impoverished and underdeveloped, set aside by the apartheid government for the self determination of its various black nations. As Frank Eloff joins the staff of five for a one year training, he soon discovers that there is virtually no activity at the hospital. Most of the people living in the abandoned town - built once by what Laurence terms as "a puppet dictator" - aren't even aware of the presence of the facility! The equipment is so flimsy that most cases have to be referred to a hospital in a town an hour away.
Nevertheless, Mr Galgut masterfully describes the relationships between the staff members, at times showing harmony, at times tension and discord. Laurence's thoughts are busy with his failed marriage, with his father resenting him for being what one may call a loser - he ironically talks about "such wonderful work you do up there amongst the rural blacks" - or with his memories of the two years he spent in the army.
An altogether impressive read, atmospheric with the heavy heat of South Africa, its political and racial issues and the permanent threat of violence which many authors associate with their country in their novels - J.M. Coetzee, André Brink, Nadine Gordimer or Doris Lessing to name but a few.

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