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Re: [Slovak-World] Jozef Mak, ch. 11 & 12

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  • durisek
    HI Julie... OK .... Just ordered The Year of the Frog. I wasn t sure if it was written by a Czech or a Slovak author, but the topic was certainly interesting,
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 2, 2008
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      HI Julie...
      OK .... Just ordered The Year of the Frog. I wasn't sure if it was written by a Czech or a Slovak author, but the topic was certainly interesting, and I think parallels Slovak experience.
      Having these books to discuss has gotten some interesting side discussions going, with folks approaching ideas from many angles.
      I'm also a TV-shutteroffer. More annoying.... Lately our HMO hospital has been putting employees' uplifting life stories on the answering system so that they play when you're waiting on hold. I think it's propaganda. That's even more annoying than music, because you can't tell when it's the employee life-story or a real-time person answering your call. But I digress... Zuzka.

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    • Helen Fedor
      Between home and work, it s been a busier summer than I d anticipated. I ve been trying to keep up with _JM_, but have read it in fits and starts. I ll keep
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 4, 2008
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        Between home and work, it's been a busier summer than I'd anticipated. I've been trying to keep up with _JM_, but have read it in fits and starts.

        I'll keep reading the book until I'm done, but it's definitely uphill slogging at times. Jozef seems to deliberately make choices that keep him distanced not just from suffering, but also from people, although somewhere in chapter 11 or so he realizes that by working down at the river he's separated himself from his people. It's like he's sleepwalking through his life. He even makes little effort with Marusa,although the idea of her seems to be somewhat important to him.

        H



        >>> "durisek" <durisek@...> 8/2/2008 12:44 PM >>>
        Sorry to have been so slow in joining this conversation... Have been on vacation in July and out of touch, but I did finish the book. Found it both fascinating and irritating. It seemed, to me, to be a study of people just barely getting by in a marginal economy, making choices which were generally self-destructive and finding ways to distance themselves from pain and suffering but still be physically present in society....until they died with trees falling on them, in vats of boiling water, and as the result of childbirth. Even then, it seems, sometimes caskets turned out too short. Anyone wanting to examine the abusive side of human nature might find some enlightenment here. One interesting feature, because of the frustrating and IMHO insanely low level of only bad communication between the characters..... It made me wonder what life would be like for me if I never spoke to people, but instead relied on their behavior to guide interactions. I've been watching facial !
        expressions and body language a lot more.
        For lack of knowledgeable guidance in understanding the novel and its literary value based on the original Slovak book (to eliminate the question of inadequate translations), it has ended up being a big question mark as to why anyone holds it up to be a great Slovak novel in the first place. In general, it seemed like a depressing soap opera to me..... I'm done with it now, but if anyone else wants to say anything about it, would be happy to keep discussing.
        Any ideas for another Slovak book to read?
        Best... Zuzka

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