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Forgetfulness – tekijä: Ward Just
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Forgetfulness (vuoden 2007 painos)

– tekijä: Ward Just (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2451386,675 (3.73)10
"Thomas Railles, an American expatriate and former "odd-jobber" for the CIA, is a respected painter living with his beloved wife, Florette, in the south of France. On an ordinary autumn day, Florette goes for a walk in the hills and is killed by unknown assailants. Her death devastates Thomas, and in the weeks and months that follow he struggles to make sense of a world that seems defined by violence and pain." "Each night Thomas tracks the war in Iraq on the evening news while Florette's killers remain at large. When French officials detain four Moroccan terrorists and charge them with Florette's murder, Thomas is invited to witness the interrogation. The experience completely undoes him, changing his world utterly, and he finds himself unable to remain at a distance from America, the country he left so long ago."--BOOK JACKET.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:MPerfetto
Teoksen nimi:Forgetfulness
Kirjailijat:Ward Just (Tekijä)
Info:Mariner Books (2007), Edition: Reprint, 267 pages
Kokoelmat:Aion lukea
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:To Read

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Forgetfulness (tekijä: Ward Just)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
We tell our leaders to keep us secure, but in our personal lives we resist playing it safe. It's a contradiction made for a Ward Just political thriller. Thomas is a painter in the south of France, putting some distance on his past as a CIA collaborator, Still, he's tight with his buddies in the spy game. When his wife dies among unsavory characters, Thomas is alone with his insecurities, and perhaps in deeper than he thought. Eventually face to face with her killer, Thomas knows just what to do in the interrogator's chair. It's a story told by indirection, a narrative full of known unknowns. The reader doesn't know which details are important, and neither do the spooks. The novel explores the nature of perception, memory, craft and terrorism, and the limits of the impulse to never forget.
  rynk | Jul 11, 2021 |
you can tell the nytimes book review came out yesterday when I start finding some of this stuff...
  pam.enser | Apr 1, 2013 |
My first Ward Just book. A rather dull start but picks up nicely after the first chapter. I was told to watch for the changes in narrator - it's amazing! You can have two different narrators in the same paragraph & it's done so seamlessly you might notice if you weren't expecting it.Although Just's prose is beautiful the story itself is all that memorable although I got caught up in the reading and couldn't put it down. ( )
  EctopicBrain | Jul 31, 2012 |
Americans were once exhorted to “remember the Alamo,” and now they are reminded that “we will never forget.” The point seems to be that memories of wrongs done to us must always be kept alive and festering, but an opposite tendency urges us, with Confucius, to “forget injuries, never kindnesses,” or, more simply, to “forgive and forget.” Ward Just’s Forgetfulness is a study of the virtues of forgetting and the difficulty of doing so. It is a gripping examination of an artist’s reaction to the murder of his wife, but it is more than a well-done psychological thriller. It is, thanks to the formal integrity with which Just has laid out his protagonist’s agony, art of the highest order.

Thomas Railles is an American artist long resident in a remote French village. His wife, Florette, with whom he is deeply in love, is murdered by a group of men, apparently jihadis, who find her incapacitated on a mountain path. They first attempt to carry her to safety, but finally decide, in the encroaching darkness, that they must get about their business. As the men are deliberating Florette’s fate, and she is lying on the ground in pain, she remembers her past: her childhood in the village, her dream of fleeing that village for Paris where, in Place Vendôme, she would be a fashionable couturier. She remembers, too, coming to understand that “Place Vendôme was not beyond her wildest dreams, in fact it was her wildest dream; but it was only a dream and so she had left it behind.” She also recalls dinner that evening with her husband and his American friends. Thomas had explained the discussion she couldn’t quite follow as being about “capitalism’s responsibility for the turbulence of the modern world, its heedlessness and chaos, its savagery, its utter self-absorption, capitalism the canary in the mine shaft.” She remembers her husband, on the day he was to propose to her, standing with the owner of the local café against a band of ugly Americans whose blind and aggressive leader, it emerges, may have been in the twin towers on the day they were brought down. One of the women with the blind man berates Thomas: “There was a time Americans stuck together, members of the same tribe. Cut one, the others bleed.” That time, she tells Thomas, is “New York. Right now. This minute. It’s beautiful.”

Thus in this first chapter, a tour de force, we see the themes laid out which will run through the pages of Just’s masterpiece: memory and forgetting, capitalist brutality and the brutality of its opponents, an American fighting to protect something valuable and an American blundering, blind, in a rage.

Just, in a previous life as a foreign correspondent, reported from many of the world’s hottest of hot spots, and his books tend, like this one, to be grittily political. His work, therefore, is often, more or less reflexively, compared to that of Graham Greene, but the comparison only works if one is talking about Greene’s best work (The Quiet American, say), and if one understands that the philosophy and political thinking which underlies Just’s work, less bound by dogma than Greene’s, endow his novels with a more complicated, and therefore more compelling, view of the world.

Railles’s past, in which he was an odd-job man for the CIA, complicates his reactions to Florette’s death and to those who killed her. The American buddies with whom he complains about capitalism are full-time operatives, and as such they don’t like to leave cases open, questions unanswered. It will never be enough for them to tell themselves, as Thomas briefly does, that Florette’s death was a mishap, a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Preferring closure, preferring coherence, they go to work and ultimately bring Thomas—not entirely against his will—together with the men who killed his wife. We understand, as Thomas watches them being tortured (and is aware that he is seeing the least of their ordeals) that as inadequate a response as forgetting may be, vengeance, too, is unsatisfying.

He shares a meal with the head interrogator who tells him: “You need an excellent memory. You must never, ever forget. Forgetfulness leads to—.”

Thomas interrupts him: “Forgiveness?”

“No,” the interrogator assures him, “not that.”

What forgetfulness—or its opposite, never forgetting—does lead to, for the interrogator or for Thomas, is never definitively spelled out, and this is one of the many strengths of Just’s novel. The questions he asks are not easy ones, and thus he can offer no easy answers. Like Thomas, all we can do is to “wait for the light that arrives ages later, light even from a dead star,” and as we wait, console ourselves with the beauty of Forgetfulness.

(This review appeared originally years ago in the now defunct Asahi Evening News. It's disappeared from the Internet, so I post it here.)
  dcozy | May 8, 2011 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)

The author gives not only her interior monologue but some of the thoughts of the men as well—“None of this—the weather, their slow progress—was to their advantage. The rescue of the . . . woman was an error and they would pay for it.” While Florette speculates, dozes, and dreamily entertains memories, the reality of her worsening situation bears down upon the reader. Her mind keeps touching on the fact that she needs to pee, and when, as she euphorically pictures her rescue by Thomas and the villagers, her bladder lets go—“She peed and peed some more, such a strange sensation lying on her back but so welcome”—the release signals an end. It is a terrific scene, and Just’s novel throughout, as it wanders and even maunders, has the electric potential of being terrific, with the kind of terrific that sneaks up out of the mundane.
 
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
To Sarah and to Kib and Tess Bramhall and to the memory of Fred Busch
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
The way down was hard, the trail winding and slick underfoot, insecure.
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"Thomas Railles, an American expatriate and former "odd-jobber" for the CIA, is a respected painter living with his beloved wife, Florette, in the south of France. On an ordinary autumn day, Florette goes for a walk in the hills and is killed by unknown assailants. Her death devastates Thomas, and in the weeks and months that follow he struggles to make sense of a world that seems defined by violence and pain." "Each night Thomas tracks the war in Iraq on the evening news while Florette's killers remain at large. When French officials detain four Moroccan terrorists and charge them with Florette's murder, Thomas is invited to witness the interrogation. The experience completely undoes him, changing his world utterly, and he finds himself unable to remain at a distance from America, the country he left so long ago."--BOOK JACKET.

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