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Kris' Books.

Female. Slavic mind. Avid reader.

 I read across a broad range of book genres, with an emphasis on Aus/NZ lit, Russian and Ukrainian literature, Latin-American literature and European history.



Screw everything

On the Edge of Reason - Miroslav Krleža, Zora Depolo

Pretty good narration by an upper-class lawyer in 1920's Croatia who decides he's sick of all the bullshit of socializing, kissing ass, and wearing the thin façade of amiability which his profession and social life demand of him. At a staid formal dinner, he calls the most powerful man in town a reprobate with no moral compass (because it's true), and then suffers all the social and professional consequences.


This could easily be made into a comedy, but it was just a bit too light on irony. It's more comparable to that movie "American Beauty", where Kevin Spacey's character goes through a similar transformation, which also ends in tragedy.


Come to think of it, there seems to be a whole genre of "Aw fuck it" stories about people who are sick of filling all the rigid requirements of respectability, and just give up. I think it might start with Rameau's Nephew (Denis Diderot). のCharles Strickland does this in "The Moon and Sixpence" (Sommerset Maughm), and so does Bob Slocum in "Something Happened" (Joseph Heller). Holden Caulfield seems to have done this, in a manner, at the end of "A Catcher in the Rye" (J.D. Salinger). The unnamed narrator from "Notes From the Underground" (Dostoyevsky) may possibly have done this; it's unclear. Pretty much all of Jack Kerouac's characters have already done it, before the opening act. Sadly, Sinclair Lewis' "Babbitt" never does.


Ironically, through this 'bugger all' attitude the protagonist effectively sharpens into view the inherent fallibility, hyposcrisy, vulgarity and tastelessness of contemporary society.