Profound Sorrow in Beatrice and Virgil

photo by bookjunkie

Yann Martel writes about a Okapi that has been stuffed by a taxidermist.  His writing conjured up a magnificent animal in my head.  I soon wondered if such an animal really existed as the narrator claimed.  The magic of google shows me it does.  The creature i behold is beyond majestic.  To me there are moments where the true magnificence of nature touches a spiritual chord in me. Even though “Beatrice and Virgil” has been slammed as the worse book ever, i need to humbly disagree. It evoked a kind of sadness in me as the author intended.  Yann Martel has been blessed with that special ability to connect with a wide audience through his fable like tales.  He draws me into his story with a kind of innocence and simplicity.  I also like the honesty that comes across.

There have been complaints about his wordy descriptions, but to me his descriptions seem necessary and his powers of description incomparable.  He made me feel the melancholic desperation of his characters who were starving and made a simple pear sound like the fruit of gods.

VIRGIL: No, not at all. A pear isn’t yellow in so bright, lustreless and opaque a way. It’s a paler, translucent yellow, moving towards beige, but not creamy, more watery, approaching the visual texture of a watercolour wash. And the spots are sometimes brown.

Personally, I found the part of the novel with the games for Gustav the most evocative and horrifying.  It truly jolted me and left me with the most eerie feeling at the horrer of what has taken place in history.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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