Today’s readings

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    Raul and Raul

    Interesting format; it compelled me to keep reading, although I am not sure that I understood it entirely. I am curious about what influenced the author. As I started reading, I thought it was going to be a story about parenthood and family relations. I like the lapidary and yet powerful statements about the protagonists’ feelings – “he would have to live according not to his own choices but those of others,” and the simple “pressure” to describe how parents feel towards children.

    But throughout the story, I also had the impression that Raul was somehow representing the Mongolian people (in the move from “I” to “We”), or perhaps peoples in general. I would be curious to know what others have thought of the “nobody” substituting “national” during his years at the university, and then again “In the name of the State” becomes “in the name of Nobody”.

    And was he really a raper, or is it a (rather extreme) way to introduce a discussion about morality and what is good – and who decides?


    The third story was perhaps my favorite for this week. It made me think back to a discussion we had a few weeks ago, about freedom and where it may come from – in this piece, neither from acceptance nor choice, but from a perceived sense of living life unrestrained by rules – one would have to ask the old man and the prostitute (especially the latter) if they feel free, but here the point is about dreaming and desires, not about finding out if those dreams and desires really taste nectarean once they become real. Perhaps not coincidentally, the opening paragraph is about a dream that is hardly every made. The oneiric feeling to the story was very present without moving the story too far away from reality, as it sometimes happen.

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