Kalliope Muse speaks to me

Emigrée from GR

Seda (Panorama de Narrativas) (Spanish Edition)

Seda - Alessandro Baricco, Carlos Gumpert, Xavier González Rovira This read was a nice break after reading long books. Silk reads like a gauzy flowing breeze. An almost fairy tale with the exotic as background and with travel and some suspense as some of its most palpable elements, it is a not an easy book to put down, precisely because it is so easy to read. The next short chapter with big print draws you immediately in until you suddenly reach the end. As a tale it also has an element of the oral tradition, with periodic repetitions to help its audience remember, repetitions which have bothered some readers, but which for me made the reading faster.It also has some historical pegs, such as 1861 and Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War, or the effects of the earlier Treaty that Commodore Perry forced on Japan to open up its borders to Western Trade, or the geopolitical setting of an Asia as the theatre for the colonial wars between the various European powers, when the UK was selling arms to the Japanese government, while the Netherlands supported the rebels as the Japanese civil war erupted. We are also reminded of the opening of the Suez Canal, and more pertinent to the tale, the scientific discoveries of Pasteur related to parasites and silkworms. This was the age when a new explosion of trade changed the nature of the already long established Silk-Route.But the historical content is just pegs. A different context could have also served for these historical components seem no more than a setting made of cardboard planks. The narration is not factual, but essentially evocative. The language comes across in a poetic mode in the Spanish translation from the original Italian. Many sentences are left open and others are placed here or there, as if they were loose brushstrokes painted with Japanese ink.Seda or Silk, then comes across as a lyrical legend in which the underlying feeling or theme would seem to be Love. But to me it expressed the more general sentiment of Longing, the longing that is experienced in love, but also in other imaginary trips and landscapes and desires and yearnings. Because Longing is as slippery and shiny and as smooth as silk.

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