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Book Title: Vete maa|
The author of the book: Graham Swift
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.70 MB
Date of issue: 1998
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books Vete maa:Waterland, published in 1983, is a semi-postmodern examination of the end of History, the trajectory of the promise of the Enlightenment. It is set in the 80's, but looks backwards through history, centering around 1943. It has three different plots: in the 40's, when the narrator Tom is a teenager, it tells of the death of another teenage boy and of the consequences of fooling around with curious Catholic schoolgirls (it sort of screams "DON'T HAVE PREMARITAL SEX! PREMARITAL SEX HAS HORRIBLE PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, AND SUPERNATURAL CONSEQUENCES!"); Tom as an adult, and his wife's mental collapse and crime, and Tom's subsequent forced retirement from the school where he is a history teacher; and the history of his family, beginning centuries ago.
Between the two branches of his family, there's a great deal of playing with Freud's concepts of melancholia and mourning - melancholia, the inability to let go of something and move on, being stuck in the past, refusing to move forward with the future, leading to your eventual demise; and mourning being the state of moving on, of grieving and then getting over it. Tom's family has one branch on each side. And then it goes into History versus history (the big overarching world History, versus your own history, and how much you're ever a part of History), and the collapse of linear time, and the fact that although Time, God, and H(h)istory are possibly arbitrary and fictional, we still need them.
Then the incest starts.
Also some philosophizing about eels.
I'm not kidding. This book gets a little ridiculous. It's a semi-Postmodern text examining the difficulty of writing Realism in a Postmodern era, but it goes off on romantic (not Romantic) tangents about natural history and cultural history and all, in a very Julian Barnes (A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters) way. Then it goes into creepy, Stephen King-esque scenes with the children exploring the two great draws in life: sex and death. (The only constants, heh.) I ended up wishing either Stephen King or Julian Barnes had written it, and focused on it - as it is, the tension is uneasy, and yet uneasy in a way that really contributes to the novel and its aims. Although I do love how the idea of storytelling is played with in this novel: the idea that we can't bear reality without the stories we create to endow it with meaning, because otherwise reality is too strong, too harsh, and will overpower us. But again, that's very Barnes.
There is a beautiful passage, though, which I'll include here:
Once upon a time people believed in the end of the world. Look in the old books: see how many times and on how many pretexts the end of the world has been prophesied and foreseen, calculated and imagined. But that, of course, was superstition. The world grew up. It didn't end. People threw off superstition as they threw off their parents. They said, Don't believe that old mumbo-jumbo. You can change the world, you can make it better. The heavens won't fall. it was true. For a little while - it didn't start so long ago, only a few generations ago - the world went through its revolutionary, progressive phase, and the world believed it would never end, it would go on getting better. But then the end of the world came back again, not as an idea or a belief but as something the world had fashioned for itself all the time it was growing up.
Which only goes to show that if the end of the world didn't exist it would be necessary to invent it.
Read information about the authorGraham Colin Swift FRSL (born May 4, 1949) is a British author. He was born in London, England and educated at Dulwich College, London, Queens' College, Cambridge, and later the University of York. He was a friend of Ted Hughes.
Some of his works have been made into films, including Last Orders, which starred Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins and Waterland which starred Jeremy Irons. Last Orders was a joint winner of the 1996 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and a mildly controversial winner of the Booker Prize in 1996, owing to the superficial similarities in plot to William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Waterland was set in The Fens; it is a novel of landscape, history and family, and is often cited as one of the outstanding post-war British novels and has been a set text on the English Literature syllabus in British schools.
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