I have been thinking for a few hours, trying to figure out what this book is about. If you haven’t read it, you ought to. Here’s a page of reviews about it from over at Amazon.
This book is impeccably horrible, which is to say that it is horrifying and perfectly so. Süskind is a master of the craft of writing, and the vividness he brings to every moment in this novel is so immersive that just for the quality of the book I cannot recommend it more highly. Suskind’s restraint is stunning; he refrains from any great detailed descriptions of the many murders in the book, and the final one is so deftly done as to be almost beautiful.
Grenouille is a stunning character. He is wickedly evil, but not the kind of evil we are used to in North American storytelling and film; he is small and pitiful and nondescript (at least, after his transformation following his hibernation in the cave). He is worthless, a baby born to a homicidal fishmonger and doomed from the start. The world did him no good, in fact did him a great deal of evil. Had he been born in the twentieth century, it’s possible (though by no means certain) that his outcome would have been different, but that’s beside the point.
Meaning. I am not the sort of person who will ever suggest there is only one sensible meaning for a text, or that a text ought to be read for this or that meaning. That isn’t to say that a text shouldn’t be read in the light of other texts, or of context, of course. I am one of the first people I know (especially here in Korea) to vocally insist on that in any discussion of a text. However, no one reading of a text can ever embody the “meaning” of that text, nor should it attempt to.
What I want to ask, however, is where this book connects out to. I’m not sure what the book is about in this sense… for a book is in some ways about the books which are (referentially) “about” it.
I just discovered something somewhat retarded about the Seoul YMCA in Jongo, Seoul, which is that you can’t swim there without a monthly pass. I explained to the man (in what was, judging from his response, mostly comprehensible Korean) that I was in Seoul only for the weekend, and just wanted to practice, and was willing to pay the W5000 ($6 Canadian) to get access to the pool for one shot, but he said I couldn’t, that there was no way to go to the pool without a YMCA membership card (and my Iksan card is no good in Seoul either).
삶이 때때로 이상하지만 때때로 신기해요.
지금은 서울에 밤을 기다리고 있어요. 왠야하면 족음 음악을 듣고싶었어… Musicland에서 좋은 CD를 샀어요… Kenny Garret의 “African Exchange Student” (“아프리가 사람 학생”, 아마도) 입니다. 와, 그 CD 케나다에 듣었어… 그런데 이저브렀어요. 그 음악 정말 예보요! “Someday We’ll All Be Free” 나의 재일좋은 노래이다. 와, 아름답다!!!
그래서, 나는 보통을 생각하고있어요. 청년기 나는 재즈 음악인 됐겠었어요. 와, 매일 연습 하고 음악론 공부 열심히 했어요. 내 찻본 사랑 음악 있었어요.
그러나, 성찰하고 음안만 하는것, 할수없었어.
1. 나는 천식 있어요. 내 직업 음악 연주는것 이스면, 어렵는 삶 이다.
2. 음악 만 좋아했어. 나의 생각에서, 조금 만 할수 업ㅆ었어요. 고통을 느꼈어요, 그런데 고통 사라졌었어.
3. 나의 생각에서 다른 특수를 공부 해야됬어요.
나 셨어일어게: “고통 사라졌었어.” 그렇지만 신기 하지 아나요: 고통 항상 사라졔다!
그래서… 지금 나는 서울에 PC방에서 쓰고 있어요. 색소폰을 2 게 있어요, 마룻바닥에, 르리고 오늘밤에 서울에 연주 핼거요. 신기 하지아니요… 하지만, 나의 삶의 이야기에서, 조금 신기하다…
와, 가야되요… 나중에 봐요! *^^*
와! 나는 잘 안해요! 시간을 정말 없었오요… 왠야하면 음악 연주와 blog는 만들는것과 수영 연습 하고 일해야됬어요.
지금은 서울에서 이 한국어 Movable Type Blog는 만들었어요. 오늘은 소프라노 색소폰 (saxophone) 거뒀어요. 낙원 산가에 좋은 악기에서 사람은 색소폰을 수리했어요… 잘 수리했다!!! 나는 정말 행복해요! *^^*
오늘은 많이 자겠어요. 고드가 조금 앞으다… 힘이 없어요. 그리고 내일 밤에 서울에 우리 밴드가 (“다방 밴드” 입니다) 연주고 놎에 익산시에 가야되요. 그래서 고드가 잘자야되요. 아저씨됐어요? 와… 놀라운 생각이에요!!!
지금은 고드 가야되요!
I finally got all the Movable Type CSS-powered templates sorted out. Now to integrate the comments function in the way I want to, and then create a couple of more blogs based on the same format… a Korean-language one (basically the same as my blogspot one, but with comments enabled) and a personal (hidden, secret, inaccessible) one for working on my novel while on the road.
I am pleased.