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اثر جان آپدایک از انتشارات ققنوس - مترجم: سهیل سمی-داستان درام

جان هویر آپدایک در تمام آثارش، به‌خصوص چهارگانه‌ی خرگوش، به مضمون رنج‌ کشیدن و تنها ماندن شخصیت اصلی‌اش در برابر ارزش‌های کذایی زندگی عامه می‌پردازد. هری آنگستروم، ملقب به خرگوش، موجود همیشه فراری و گریزان، از مفهوم واقع‌گرایانه عشق در کانون خانواده‌اش و در اجتماع دلزده و سرخورده می‌شود. مثل پرومتئوس اساطیر یونان سر به شورش برمی‌دارد، اما شورش بی‌پشتوانه، فرجامی چون فرجام سیزیف دارد، «هری» شورش می‌کند و شکست می‌خورد و می‌گریزد، اما در پایان راه به بلوغ می‌رسد، یعنی تسلیم می‌شود، اما تسلیم نه به معنای حقیرانه آن، بلکه به معنای ترک عصیان و جستجوی ارزش‌هایی دیگرگونه که بتوان با تکیه بر آن‌ها برای واژه‌هایی چون عشق، ایثار، ارزش و زندگی مفاهیمی دیگر گونه کشف کرد.


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Damn Updike, I wanted to find an immediate reason to dislike this, but hes so smooth in his text, I have no excuse to not continue reading it: its very frustrating for us curmudgeons.

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Okay, that didnt last long. I refuse to finish this book. I find the prose self-indulgent, the understanding of human nature self-serving, and the protagonist impossible to empathize with. Would reading this book help me understand individuals I find narcissistic, misogynistic, and narrow-minded? No, because I believe Updike is too shallow to offer us any great insight into either men or women, and I dont care to try harder to understand Updike or Rabbit.

Is Janice @dumb@ or does she simply need Rabbits patriarchal guidance? Does she have wrinkles and thinning hair at 23 or is this the warped vision of a dissatisfied and disappointed husband? Will Rabbit redeem himself and prove to be the hero he was always meant to become? To all these answers, Im afraid Ill have to remain ignorant.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
To those who gave this book bad reviews because they hate Rabbit. YOU@RE SUPPOSED TO HATE RABBIT!!! He is everything bad about post-modern culture and the American dream. Updikes brilliant novel is supposed to spit in your face. It may seem a little dated now but Updike caught the neuroses and turmoil of middle class 20th century American perfectly. I dont know. Maybe we are not even meant to enjoy this novel. Some great novels are not meant to entertain but to inform and enlighten. This is one great novel.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I really didnt like this book. In fact I got to about half way and gave up in despair. I’d really wanted to like it – to love it, in fact – and so I was really disappointed to have to abandon it.

Im a big fan of American literature and gobble up books by Auster, Roth, Wolfe, Franzen and even Salinger, as well as any number of contemporary thriller writers. In fact, Ive struggled with the work of very few authors from the States, with only DeLillo springing readily to mind. So I was confident Id relish a book described by some critics as the best American post-war novel.

For those who have no knowledge of this book I’ll give a brief introduction. Published in 1960 it tells of a 26 year old former high school basketball star, Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom, who decides one day to run off and abandon his pregnant wife and young child. After driving all night he eventually finds himself back in his home city where he looks up his former coach. This leads to a meeting with a part-time prostitute who provides a temporary home for him. That’s pretty much where I gave up – well, in truth I ploughed on a little further but nothing much happened and after an excruciatingly dull section I was wrestled into submission.

Now dont get me wrong, theres a certain lyrical rhythm about the prose and some of the sentences were extremely well crafted by a writer who obviously knew have to link words together. There were short sections that I quite enjoyed, but these were consistently followed by long rambling paragraphs that just switched me off.

In concept, Rabbit himself is an actually an interesting character. He clearly dislikes his current life and cant escape the feeling that theres something better out there waiting for him, if only he can find it. There’s a feeling that his best years are already behind him, but still… why should he settle for his current mundane existence with a spouse who drinks her days away and now clearly irritates him. So what is it that failed to ignite any passion in this tale for me? I think it was the feeling of depression that imbued the whole thing, together with a preponderance of conversations and situations that just seemed to go nowhere. I didnt actually like Rabbit much (Id guess I wasnt supposed to) but this also meant I didnt really care what became of him. And there was something about the period and the place that felt too unfamiliar, too unexciting – though I do think this would have been different for a reader who had more familiarity with either, or both.

Rabbit is interested in women – very interested – and there’s quite a bit of commentary on his thoughts about just about every female he comes into contact with. Most of them lustful and very descriptive. He’s also a Christian and his meetings with Jack Eccles, a young Episcopal priest who tries to re-unite him with his wife, were some of the best sections. But I just kept thinking that if only hed continued driving... that would be a book Id rather read: a road tale or a story of a young man finding new experiences in a strange town miles from home. I just didnt like the way he (partially) gave up, driving back to where he came from to continue his life amongst the same people in the same place.

Anyway, I think I’ll be in the minority but my overall feeling is that this book is a big ‘miss’ for me. My one star rating reflects my failure to finish it.


مشاهده لینک اصلی
Holy Hannah! I dont think Ive ever read a book quite like this one. Actually, this is my first Updike book, but Im sure it wont be the last. Not that it was a pleasant read, necessarily; it may be the only book Ive ever read where all the major characters had serious flaws. Rabbit (Harry Angstrom) is immature, irresponsible, selfish and narcissistic, and those are just his best qualities! Hes oversexed, his wife is a frigid drunk, and you dont need a crystal ball to see where this ones headed. So here I am, reading this book in which Im feeling nothing but contempt for the main characters, and I can barely make myself put the darn thing down. It was absolutely engrossing from start to finish.

I think the only thing that bothered me about this tale is that Mr. Updike was fond of very long rambling run on sentences, paragraphs really, that were somewhat confusing. This was probably a writers device to portray confusion in the mind of the subject but it served to befuddle me just as much. Another thing that had me puzzled was the sexual content. Now this book was apparently banned for explicit sex, among other things; hows this for explicit sex:

Rough with herself, she forces the dry other into his face, coated with cool pollen that dissolves. He opens his eyes, seeking her, and sees her face a soft mask gazing downward calmly, caring for him, and closes his eyes on the food of her again; his hand abandoned on the breadth of her body finds at arms length a split pod, an open fold, shapeless and simple. They enter a lazy space. He wants the time to stretch long, to great length and thinness. As they deepen together he feels impatience that through all their twists they remain separate flesh; he cannot dare enough, now that she is so much his friend in this search; everywhere they meet a wall. The body lacks voice to sing its own song. Impatience tapers; she floats through his blood as under his eyelids a salt smell, damp pressure, the sense of her smallness... You get the picture.

I dont know how that passage and others like it in the book portray explicit sex. Cool pollen? Floats through his blood? I dont even know what the heck went on there!

In spite of the very minor observations just mentioned this is a great read, a study in morality really. My favorite quote was uttered by Rabbits old coach Tothero: Right and wrong arent dropped from the sky. We. We make them. Against misery. Invariably, Harry, invariably

As a last note, I would like to make a mental thank you to Mr. Updike for refraining from beating the sports thing to death here. I cant abide basketball. Never could. Thats the main reason I held off on starting this book for so long.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Num dos ensaios de a herança perdida, James Wood diz que a escrita de John Updike é @de uma liberalidade aristocrática, como se a linguagem fosse uma despesa sem importância para um homem muito rico e Updike acrescentasse a cada frase uma gorjeta.@
Foi a bela prosa de Updike que não permitiu que, levianamente, eu abandonasse este livro no início por não conseguir sentir qualquer empatia com as personagens e ser, até, um pouco aborrecido. Mas, no decorrer da leitura, a minha visão das personagens é alterada e, ao contrário de outra afirmação de Wood - @Não é fácil encontrar na sua obra momentos de verdadeira angústia ou agonia.@ -, encontrei um momento na narrativa no qual o meu coração explodiu de angústia, quase me fazendo gritar...

Harry Angstrom (Coelho) foi uma estrela de basquetebol que, aos 26 anos, trabalha como vendedor de máquinas de cozinha. Está casado com Janice, grávida do segundo filho; uma mulher frágil, alcoólica e preguiçosa. Uma noite Coelho sai para comprar cigarros e não volta...conduz o seu carro fugindo não sabe para onde. Conhece uma prostituta com a qual vai viver e que também abandona; regressa a casa e tudo é cada vez pior e foge novamente...

É muito fácil odiar Coelho porque não hesita em virar costas ao que não o faz feliz: filhos, mulher, amante, trabalho,...vivendo sempre em fuga, numa corrida desenfreada, procurando um sentido para a sua vida.
@Corre Coelho. Ah corre! Corre!@

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