Tuesday, December 5, 2006

puzzle, everything is illuminated is

Still no rejection. I read the first page of "everything is illuminated" by Foer, just before giving it to Y. for his birthday. (and then had to buy a copy for myself) Y. is the son of my friend and is the fastest player of Set I know of. He has a very high IQ, and I try to challenge him. I buy wooden puzzles and the question is how long it will take him to solve it. My sons are younger and follow in his footsteps. They like to do puzzles. I mean, thinking puzzles that you might find at www.denkspellen.nl or games like Tamsk ( by Burms). Abstract games and puzzles. He is very good at abstract games, but foreign language he fears. So I gave him "everything is illuminated" and said every page is a (verbal) puzzle.


Anonymous said...

If your're looking for a great game I recomend Pentago!

Anonymous said...

you can buy pentago


Odile S said...

thanks for your recommendation, anonymous. I'm going to look for it. Is it really, really difficult? I'm searching for the most difficult ones.

Anonymous said...

“In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine.” -- Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 2nd page.

Odile S said...

That's a really difficult one, ktismatic. You need loads of historical and cultural understanding to understand that one.

Anonymous said...

It seems likely that Foer based the title of his book on this sentence from Kundera. Here's the context: "If the French Revolution were to recur eternally, French historians would be less proud of Robespierre. But because they deal with something that will not return, the bloody years of the Revolution have turned into mere words, theories, and discussions, have become lighter than feathers, frightening no one. There is an infinite difference between a Robespierre who occurs only once in history and a Robespierre who eternally returns, chopping off French heads." Foer's book is about the Holocaust, and whether there's anything left of that catastrophe that remains other than mere nostalgia. Or something like that.

Odile S said...

Interesting that you make this connection. In history lessons, I had an English teacher from England (we had history in a vehicular language, not in mothertongue). He said that in the history of Europe, there has not been a period of 50 years without a war. Thus there is reoccurence of war, rather than nevermore.

Which is very tragic in itself.

Everything is illuminated, may well refer to Milan Kundera's fine book, to me it also refers to light 'life', 'guide', 'truth', even the light of the sun on the level of biology as in opposition to darkness 'no matter', 'no life', 'no existence', 'misguidance', 'err'.
Also to me the idea of guillotine is not melancholic at all, but a hudge warningsign. Human beings can be scary; loosing all morals and dignity. Also blaming a group, such as nobles in France or leaders: we've seen it before and after.

Do you know "La guerre de Troye n'aura pas lieu"? It's about denial.

And the sunset of dissolution is red... just like the petals of the poppies.

Anonymous said...

A very poignant and thoughtful reply -- thanks.

*new* item at Chez Odile is the metachat where Creatives and Thinkers meet.

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