Poetic Memory and The Unbearable Lightness of Being

4 Jan

“The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful … Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.”

(The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

            So, my best friend loaned me this book called “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” I know it’s been around since the eighties or so, but I’m not sure of its fame and audience. But, I really want to dedicate a post to why certain people need to read this book.

            Important point/disclaimer: I say “certain people” because a vast majority of fiction connoisseurs will not/can’t possibly enjoy this book. It has a tangled plot and leads the reader round and round and round ideas that might be too outlandish for some to grasp in the first place.

            But, there are people (people like you Chickz) who can take this book and find the beauty in it.

            With every ounce of my being (honest), I can say that this book taught me more than any other book I’ve ever read. It challenged me to think about the intricacies of love. For a long time, I held onto the archetype of love—the sentimental bullshit that most teen-aged girls and even grown ass women consider primordial and invincible. How can our hold to that nonsense still be so strong in today’s day and age?? My parents are divorced. Most of my friends’ parents are divorced. I know so many unhappy couples that it makes me gag a little. But worse than that, I see “happy” couples all the time and they are the saddest to me. You can’t pretend love.

            “Unbearable Lightness” demonstrated a philosophy of relationships that feels real to me. A belief system I can cope with and even embrace. I won’t spill the details (because you truly must read it to know) but the relationship between the two main characters, Tomas and Tereza, is terrifying yet beautiful. It betrayed my hopes. But, I can’t be more pleased with the outcome.

(Also, “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver is such a good song.)

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2 Responses to “Poetic Memory and The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

  1. Layne Ransom January 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    That is one of those books that I’m always like, “oh yeah, need to read that” and never get around to it, so you should FORCE ME. But I am really interested in the idea of poetic memory; it seems really lovely. We should talk about that in person also.

    Do you know “Re: Stacks?” It’s the closing track from “For Emma…” and it is just, I mean, wow.

  2. leeraloo January 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    Second (or third) the Bon Iver love (and if you haven’t, you should check out Volcano Choir, one of Justin Vernon’s other projects, or at least listen to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Zs2vXxSUE

    Anywho, I will officially add this to my “To Read” list, which is enormous. Also, there’s a film version with Daniel Day-Lewis that is supposed to be completely awesome. I’mma go add it to my Netflix queue right now.

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