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But so strong is our desire for meaning, an innate desire, it seems, that we construct meanings where there are none. – Consumed, David Cronenberg
I read two very different books, back to back. Jane Austen`s Persuasion, and Cronenberg`s Consumed.
Jane Austen is beloved of my mother and my sisters, and I do, too, love her, but not as intensely, I think. I was excited to read a romance, and this novel is said to be her most romantic, and I find it so interesting to look at courtship back then. I read it while I was in Prague, a gorgeous city, and the backdrop went well with the subject. Anne fell in love when she was young, but was persuaded not to follow her heart, and ended up waiting 7 years until she could be with the one whom her heart truly desired. It was a lovely story, and fun, as Austen is, and its nice to be reassured that patience is sometimes all it takes to find that one person. And feelings that we have today are the same as feelings have always been. It can be so hard not to be with the one you love and want and truly desire, but it also can feel so good just to know that they are alive, somewhere in the world, even if its not with you, and you can`t push things to be before they are really ready to be. And sometimes its enough that they`re in the same room with you, and you can have a pleasant conversation, and not hold onto things that made you upset when you were young and naive. Not everyone believes that you can be friends with your exes, and its true, sometimes you really cannot be, but I think when there is a real foundation of friendship and appreciation for the other person as a human, it can be, regardless of how things worked out. And Anne`s persistence to not settle for another, just because he might be a good catch, and trust her instinct that someone is not all they seem, regardless of how others may try to persuade you, I appreciate that. Because I will not settle for anything less than the absolute ultimate. And its so great to see Anne end up with hers.
Consumed was a completely different novel, a commentary on society today and their obsession with technology and consumerism, obviously. I was completely swept up in the story, and as I was getting into it I was traveling from Budapest to France, and the first chapters take place in Hungary and Paris, and one of the characters was a Zotlan, who I had just met one of. (Whoa!) I feel like I had a lot to say about it as I was reading it, and now that I`ve finished it, I don`t know what to say about it. It was really weird because I`ve had nightmares about slicing off my nipples or my breasts, and that was a big part of the story line, the slicing of body parts, specifically breasts. I don`t know what that means. I think part of what he was saying is something to the effect that we get swept up in looking for the meaning, looking for the why, and then can get so carried away that the search for meaning consumes us. Also, that we can be so easily tricked by technology, so its hard to know what is real, and who is real. According to Cronenbergs films, he explores people`s fears of bodily transformation and infection, so that definitely coincides with the themes in the novel. It was definitely an intense read, and I was completely in it until it finished and I was released, yet left feeling not completely satisfied.
Also, I was into this book because I got it from a boy, who I really like. Aaaand BAM. I`m such a silly girl and not the intellectual I strive to be. :p Next book on my list is another romance, haha.