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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.


Destiny and Desire: A Novel - Carlos Fuentes I enjoyed the philosophical aspects of this novel, which although demanded some elementary knowledge of classic idealogy and philosophy, it cannot be said that it is a mere compilation of these ideas prettily agglomerated into a superficially carved text. This is because the philosophy and idealogy is convincingly interpreted by two very interesting characters, Mexican youth who strive to grow intellectually oblivious to the frivolities of the present age. It was an emotional and for that reason an enjoyable experience (at least for me) to read about their perpetual perceptions of their country and the world, fearless of scaling new and untapped for decades (in their youthful opinion, relatable only too well to mine) dimensions of human intellect. The two young people meet at a school playground, one of them coming to the defense of the other when he was being bullied about his physical appearance, immediately after being acquainted with the other declaring "We’ll get along like clockwork". They have a fraternal friendship, partly because of the mystery surrounding their ancestral backgrounds, and also because of their search for the meaning of life and its institutions without being frivolous, with questions such as "Why is Protestantism the ideal religion for capitalism?"

However they cannot escape from the reality of Mexico’s criminal dependent democracy, and an ubiquitous theme in the book therefore is crime, sex and corruption, and how each of these manipulate and mock criminals as well as those who by destiny and ill desire become linked to crime, an example of the former being children in Mexico City's largest prison, who are pulled to crime against their will. The wish of the two youth to somehow develop intellect and practice it in their desired way conflicts with this. As a result: "Power does not commit hari-kiri. Power defends itself. "

The thing that bothered me was that the book had no underlying meaning, but rather underscored various elements of human nature that contributed to the situation in Mexico. It seemed a very irksome waste of nearly 500 pages, effectively reflecting modern Mexico with insight, however giving the impression of a certain blandness, due to the lack of intertwined meaning which every good novel has to have to it, which I disliked.