Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Dostoyevski, or the Flood of Language by Julia Kristeva Foreword by Rowan Williams Translated by Jody Gladding

Dostoyevski,


or the Flood of Language by Julia Kristeva Foreword by Rowan Williams Translated by Jody Gladding published by Columbia University Press is an act of love, an homage to Dosto, an author immensely loved  by Julia since her teenage age. Her father asked her to stay distant to Dosto's books, but this imperative to her meant reading all his books, becoming addicted. Why this?

As remarks Williams at the end of his foreword: "We may learn what not many contemporaries can teach us, and what a systematic secularism cannot teach us - something about how desire becomes human,about how speech and storytelling work to humanize our desire, about our fears of murderous absorption and our own murderous resort to abjection in enacting our desire and our terror, about our need for a symbolique that makes space for the recognition of love."

Dosto suffered: realistically and to my point of view, his human sufferance is visible in his books: that's why what experienced in first person sometimes is largely projected in his books. He became epileptic because of a trauma and this illness would have been a shadow and a reflection of his entire production, of his entire being, influencing under many ways, his works.


Reading Dosto means a full immersion in a world populated by many diversified characters and there is a research of truth,of digging deep that it is sometimes shocking.  

His protagonists are not perfect people: yes, some are splendid and understanding, but there are also addicted (he was a gambler as well!), sick, traumatized, desperate, conflictuals, but, for sure, unforgettable, because each character gives his best for being anyway at the reader's eyes, human.


The book will span through topics pretty beloved by Fedor: familiar conflicts, sex, men and women, the role of the mother and the father, parricide, his vision of God: in general Dosto rejected the Catholic church. For many reasons he thought that the best understanding of the real christian spirit passed through the Ordotox Church.


Sex is a controvertial thematic in Dosto: in The Idiot, I hadn't never read it in this way, as Julia does, but simply like an act of great compassion and human touch under many ways, when Prince Myshkin discovers that Rogozhin had killed Filippovna will consolate a devastated Rogozhin. After all, they both loved her.

Kristeva reads the relationship between the two protagonists at the end of the book erotically, not under the lense of compassion. Let's anyway remember that in a part of the book Myshkin told to Rogozhin: My cross will be your cross: and the cross as we all know was Filippovna, a controvertial girl. 


Paedophile acts are permitted and if now the protagonist, Stravogin would be strongly banned, at that time, in the era of Fedor: "Everything was permitted" also abominiums against children: same is for Ivan Karamazov. These deviances were lived as madness, "transition to action or suicide" writes Julia. 


Dosto is an immersion in our subconscious: that's why he was so loved by Freud, because of his penetrating mind: he enters in certain spheres of our soul that remain untouched with other authors: this research is absolutely wanted by the same author for his personal necessities. Fedor simply opens brains figuratively :-) more than any other author permitting to people a full-immersion in central thematics of our existences.


Another book I really enjoyed reading written by Julia Kristeva and that I warmly suggest to all of you25.


Anna Maria Polidori 



The Guinea Pig Chronicles by Patricia Maxwell Watts

 The Guinea Pig Chronicles


by Patricia Maxwell Watts published by Matador is a seriously cute and tender children's books, describing the adventures, sad, happy, joyous of the various guinea pigs that the family has had. There is the big adventurer, Fluffy, then Hamish frequently sick: the one named after a health drink made from liquorice and lemons, Jynesse: the owner thought that it was great to contact the company that produced this liquorice, proposing Jynesse as testimonial and can you guess? The little guinea pig could became the focus for their advertising...

Winter arrived for the preparation of Christmas Tree: the final cute stories involve Autumn and Stripey. I have had guinea pigs and I remember them as the cutest animals of all this Earth and perfect animal companions for children.


I warmly suggest to all of you this cute, sweet children's books! Perfect for Christmas!


I thank NetGalley and Matador for the ebook.


Anna Maria Polidori 

Say a Little Prayer by Joanne Redmond

Say a Little Prayer


by Joanne Redmond is a fabulous book if you search for a daily contact with God.  These times are more than hectics, there are no more certainties and praying God remains sometimes the only option that we have. Divided in many sections, for presenting you inspiration, prayer is not just seen as an aspect that must be observed in particular in the morning and evening: you will discover that you can continue to pray God in every moment of your day, asking little and big things, being inspired by HIM. 


I found the book friendly and close to the exigences of people.


I love these kind of books because they present calm and relaxation and a healthy contact with a Divinity that in many cases we don't see but we can feel close.


Highly recommended book.


I thank Netgalley for the ebook.


Anna Maria Polidori

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Senza Respiro by David Quammen

 Senza Respiro


by David Quammen published by Adelphi is dedicated to the relatives of people passed away because of the pandemic. 


Written in a captivating style, it's, for sure an unputtable down book in particular if you are interested in the topic: viruses, first of all, and yes, Covid-19, and then research: you will understand reading this book, that the reconstruction of a virus's genesis is complicated and fascinating: that sometimes is necessary to travel in the most diversified corners of the world, forests, deserts, capturing segments of poo, pee or just blood of wild animals for later in laboratory trying to see which answers that animals can give. Risking the existences.


Reading the genomic version of Covid-19 meant real panic, because, understandably, scientists understood that yes, this one potentially could become a new pandemic: certain weird segments of the sequence meant to scientists online meetings: yes the famous theory of the virus escaped from a laboratory in China was taken in consideration and... 


No, the story was more simple: there was a natural spillover: pangolins helped the spillover probably, but no one can say the final word. Sure, where, and when this spillover became more cruent and didn't abandon anymore the body of humans is still unclear. Of course we know that the first outbreak, largely known where everything officially started was Wuhan, China and in the market of Huanan but...


What appeared clear later was that the virus circulated silently without that the humanity knew anything of it, from fall 2019 before to become officially, notoriously known: it circulated not just in China, but also in Italy, France etc. Scientists, doctors, people working in laboratories understood it more clearly when, with the discovery of the pandemic, decided to repeat some tests that they had kept jealously in laboratory on patients passed to the hospital months before, and where it was impossible to establish a real diagnosys, discovering that some of them were sick with Covid in fall 2019. 


There is an historical reconstruction of what various countries decided to do during the pandemic: the first european country involved in the pandemic was Italy: the first wave of Covid caused more or less 34.000 victims. 


In the UK with Boris Johnson like also in Brazil with Bolsonaro and in the USA with Donald Trump, Covid was treated as an absent problem. In the USA because of economy, in the UK because they wanted to reach a heard himmunity: someone in an interview clarified that they were searching for it. Oh my, but departures will be a lot, replied the journalist. The politician: yes this one is a bad illness....Bolsonaro didn't suggest any kind of measures and Covid, as it happened in UK as well, happily created, thanks to its frenetic work in bodies a new variant!


According to the british politician the 60% of population had to fall sick and then voilà! the herd himmunity.

Follow the chapters where the author reveals why the research of this method is not a solution to the problem. There is an interesting story behind herd himmunity. And, anyway, being a virus with the capacity of mutation, you can catch it several times. So a herd himmunity shouldn't be researched also for this reason.


Follow also the explanation of what Coronaviruses are in comparison to other viruses taken in consideration and why they are so temibles. 


Viruses are indispensibles for our existence, affirms David and it is not possible an existence without them. Their birth is suggestive, you will discover it.


But...Where are we now with the pandemic?


The most scaring mutation although less dangerous than the previous ones (and these next months we are ready for other variants) is from South Africa: Omicron. 


What will happen of Covid? It won't disappear anymore, writes Quammen: we have deleted from the Humanity perils like smallpox, but it won't be possible to do the same with this virus and we still can't say what it will become affirms Quammen. The trasmissibility is not just human. This virus interacts well with animals as well.


An example? The cutest one!


Pagani, a young researcher of tropical illnesses,  30 years, changed his existence, preferring to stay in loco thanks to the suggestion of Massimo Gallo an estimated professor of the Sacco of Milan. During the first pandemic wave, so, while he was testing people, catched Covid, and the other one who fell sick with him was not his girlfriend or parents but his lovely cat Zika. Yes, he called the cat Zika! He discovered that the animal sneezed frequently: they both were tested and they had the same Covid-19, equal at the 99% of the genomic sequence.


As you can see it will be difficult a complete disappearance of Covid-19. Covid-19 is in love with several mammals. How can we defeat it? It's not possible.


Beautiful book, written with great clarity. If you know someone interested in the topic, it's a perfect Christmas gift because well documented: first-hand interviews with the biggest names of the scientific field are punctuals. Accuracy is researched everywhwere and every passage explained with competence.


Anna Maria Polidori 













Wednesday, November 30, 2022

La Setta Henrik Fexeus by Camilla Lackberg

La Setta Henrik Fexeus


by Camilla Lackberg published by Marsilio (24 euros) is an unputtable down book. Written in short chapters, reading is quick, thematics touched serious and important. The case treated by Julia back to work after a period of maternity involves a little kid, Ossian, just 5 years old, captured by a lady, brought away in her car. In general children are captured by people close to the family: a sort of punishment for the couple but in this case there are not evidencies in this sense. Thanks to a mentalist Julia, Mina and their staff understands that there is a case pretty similar to the one of Ossian: Lilly found dead unfortunately the last year. The autoptic exams confirms that the kid was strangled but that there was also like a pressure in the chest. What caused it?

Investigators tries their best thanks to their abilities: this dilemma could be a story of time: Ossian could potentially die if the two cases are connected as affirmed by the new entry of the staff...

They would want to bring home the kid safely. Unfortunately the emerging story is more complicated. At the same time Nathalie, Mina's daughter starts to become friend with her granny. The granny has a structure where people pretty stressed afford for re-balancing their soul but maybe there is also something else...


I can't tell you more. I leave you at the reading of this book, absolutely a good Christmas gift!


Anna Maria Polidori 


Friday, November 25, 2022

La Fiera dell'Autenticità by Gilles Lipovetsky

 La Fiera dell'Autenticit√†


by Gilles Lipovetsky published by Marsilio (20 euros) traces a portrait of our society that is powerfully interesting.


We live, in this historical moment, under the dogma of authenticity. This dimension absorbs more or less every aspect of our existence. Brands we buy must be necessarily what they tell us that they are: naturals, authentics,: they are our biggest influencers. Brands telling: Be Yourself  a phrase that we find often, wherever we look at want to tell to us that we are unique people, suggesting us, it's implied but pretty understandable that we must in this way to propose our unique way to be to everyone.


Social medias, of course, are the perfect place where to exhibit ourselves although every kind of normality is banned and where perfection must play the biggest role: we can share what we want but it must be perfect: every second of our existence can, theorically end in a social media. Everything started with the advent of the net, the first webcams and the first girls who shared everything of their existence. 


Our society is pretty free. Religion and the rigid society of some time ago



are not anymore "big influencers" in the existence of men and women and fluidity is the biggest reality reached during these decades with the possibility to experience every possibe shade of love. There is to add that people reached a lot of goals: marriages with people of the same sex and certain taboos of the past, like love between two men or two girls, are over, accepted largely socially: also eterosexual couples can live love and affectivity differently from the past.

Same story involves transgenders, largely seen on TV, or song contests. 

If sex is accepted, the movement metoo created a repressive state regarding absuses of men on women and nothing is anymore considered accepted when forced. Women can manifest with total freedom their desires, but no one must try to use any kind of violence against a woman. Same is for paedophiles. The author adds that this one is a society that, if very free, can punish pretty strongly.


For sure: each of us is a consumer in this society devoted to consumerism and that's also why capitalism has embraced a certain way of living. Yes, it's not an innocent society this one, forget it and certain decisions have been taken for implementing business.

Children are another chapter that created confusion during the past decades: if in the past, there was a rigid education, at the moment every kid is untouchable, must be treated with great respect, consideration, he is plenty of rights, and respected because a little person that must develop who he is. This education with the time has created problems and sometimes didn't offer solutions. 


What kind of society is this one? Well, it is maybe authentic, but the idols offering their authenticity are not people ethically great as it happened in the past: in general they are actors, sport-men, people of the showbitz. In most cases these existences, but also the ones of common people are reported in talk-shows, where common people or known ones love to indulge in their life, troubles in particular, problems. It's what people want or just, to me, what the society wants to give us. 


The book doesn't forget the new trend born in recent times: eating better, buying ethically, in general taking the existence more easily.


Tourism appears always more incapsuled under the perspective of offering to the tourist the perfection: but this perfection, in its authenticity appear surreal and depressing. Who is the main winner of tourism at the moment? The lonely tourist: the one who decide to invoke a complete freedom of expression: the one who don't follow masses, but, with his own personality create the best travel of his existence because in search of real people, real places, real adventures and a lot of fun, without being driven, addressed by a society who would want to cuddle all of us, without to let us add any sparkle of creativity, personality and character where we go.


Environmentalist crisis and solutions are analyzed profoundly, seeing the limit of frugality asked to us by our governments, important but not sufficient for resolving the big mess in which we are in, and the necessity, pretty urgent to find answers through investments for starting a new society, a new world more efficient and real, meeting the necessities of our poor Earth!


Beautiful, splendid book, highly recommended.


Anna Maria Polidori 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Il Manoscritto delle Nuove Promesse by Katherine Slee

 Il Manoscritto delle Nuove Promesse


by Katherine Slee translated by Roberta Scarabelli and published by Garzanti is a fantastic book for its immense poeticity. The author is in grade to let us see a beautiful world populated by peace, and a tender, soft existence, not disconnected by problems but filtered wonderfully well in a vision that it is relaxing.


Every chapter, apart the ones dedicated to Catriona, starts with the name of a different bird and at the end Slee will explain to the readers in a chapter apart the meaning of every bird.


Catriona Robinson is a big author of children's book. Sick, she dies leaving a devastated niece, Emily, with profound wounds in her soul and body but...with the possibility of healing.


Thanks to a lot of connections, friends, Catriona, prepares to Emily some letters where it is revealed who she was, her dreams, expectations and excitement for an original existence.


At the same time, Emily will travel in the most beloved corners of the world appreciated by her granny for trying to discover what she has decided to transmit her.


Be not Inhospitable to Strangers Lest they Be Angels in Disguise: in a wall of the famous parisien bookstore Shakespeare & Company there is written this quote.

Catriona worked there as tumbleweeds and it was in that bookstore that she decided she would have been a writer. Every tumbleweeds, before they go away must leave something: a biography, a writing, something that describe themselves and also the resons why they decided to work there. Catriona left a little notebook not found anymore. Always there, she had met important and crucial people to her like Antoine and Noah and Gigi... The first a delicate soul with which she spent several months in Saint Tropez, the other one, her biggest love. Other important people Giancarlo with a restaurant in Verona...


The existence of Catriona was devastated by an important loss: remained alone with her niece, she tried her best for healing herself and her niece by the horrible situation that they had experienced.


The book is populated by little and precious situations and microcosms.

The importance of life is in the little, daily actions of every day. 


Emily, thanks to the revelations will be in grade to make peace with her past.


Precious and highly recommended book!


Anna Maria Polidori