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Awakening Spaces: French Caribbean Popular Songs, Music, and Culture kId you say Not when you come across this oh it s nice enough when two young people rush upto each other and clasp hands and whatever else there is to clasp though thatind of thing is exciting to clothed nations naked nations are less lecherous And he certainly doesn t try to be approving when he declares once tried to do splits with a beauty in the Catholic House and gave myself a hernia which isn t so bad for a man makes anything look good A feeling of rebellious delight comes upon me on encountering souls that purposely bleat or act comic in the worldly eyes just so they can enrage every cell of their innards and rack every remnant to life launching them as missiles oozing precision and inflicting damage out of every inked word onto a world reeling under war oppression anarchy discrimination and injustice And you can rest your doubts of misogynist jibes dotting this work should they come disturbing you courtesy the lascivious nature of this unnamed narrator The enthusiastic inclusion of many snapshots depicting women in eual roles of freedom and power the bread earner and decision maker cements the earnestness with which Hrabal offers his disdain not without tints of hope Like the unsettling maxim So it goes in Slaughterhouse Five there is a chilling adage sewn in this work as well so I was the hero While it appears he penned these 5 words from a room painted in the darkest shades of satire and rightfully so I might have to disappoint him for buying it on face value And to draw him into my team and stopping short of antagonizing him I might just turn his uote on him in sly uproar I d pray all night for God to come and empty a cartload of wood on top of him which must be why Bondy the poet says that real poetry must hurt as you d forgotten you wrapped a razor blade in your handkerchief and you blow your nose no book worth its salt is meant to put you to sleep it s meant to make you jump out of bed in your underwear and run and beat the author s brains out At work I sit down in a chair and people come to me sometimes drunk or maybe just schizophrenic or both and they talk to me or at me while I putz around the desk and drawers and hunt for pens Can you give me 3 dollars for the bus and a promise to pay me back on the first of the month I always cave it s amazing how you can train your eyes on someone without actually listening maybe hearing but not listening and then from the hum comes a lightning bolt thought that makes you stop and wonder how much you ve missed out on while you glanced furtively at the clock and thought about your lunch because genius can be hidden in the unlikeliest of places hidden in the folds of grey matter under the grey rags of the homeless man sitting in front of me and if it wasn t for the talk talk talk that I m used to so different from the crickety creaky silence of other lonely lives maybe I wouldn t get Bohumil Hrabal or should I say his shoemaker if I didn t sit with him every day the past sneaking into the present lascivious thoughts of women and unwelcome details of bowel movements washing over me sometimes I radio edit them out as I go their cigarettes are unfiltered too so who am I to complain free association sounds suspiciously like

literary code for 
code for it s no Too Loud a Solitude but it ll while away the time just fine and get your creative juices flowing besides it s almost too easy no periods to speak of because it s pregnant with half baked ideas when I think how many great minds are dismissed as rambling drunks it *makes my head spin and maybe one day I ll be *my head spin and maybe one day I ll be on a bar stool talking like a damn fool ogling "THE BARTENDERS AND BUYING THEM SHOTS "bartenders and buying them shots I can stay past closing time we ve come full circle even the advanced in age are allowed to dance and here is the manual that shows you how to trip across your words and dance into the twilight of your life with your head held high pants falling down in case anyone cares to listen forever and ever amen Good natured a little randy very much free associative a waltz of clauses strung together periodless though the idea that it s one sentence is a farce unless one sentence is defined as tons of natural end of thought stoppingtransition spots deep breaths marked by commas instead of periods which as in Saramago s stuff particularly Blindness effectively Edge of Venomverse keeps eyes on pages propels readers ahead this sense of ceaselessly continuing created by a comma instead of a full stop you see I enjoyed this as much as the other Hrabal I ve read Too Loud a Solitude expressing this enjoyment audibly with a few snorts and uiet little cackle type noises nothing too boisterous while walking and reading this one especially not while wearinghakis I wouldn t have wanted to wet myself the stain would be obvious but if a number one while walking and reading and wearing Alliance Rising: The Hinder Stars I (Alliance-Union Universe) khakis were unavoidable thanks to mirth I would carry on heroically walking and reading with this stain upon the sweet spot where my legs meet smiling to young ladies all the while confident albeit surely semi deranged in a harmless way which is how this book proceeds that is with a good natured narrator who likes the ladies who the ladies like in return who conceives of himself heroically despite nothing occurring that s too dramatic who levens his levity with a storytelling instinct honed over a lifetime thatnows to slip in brutalities especially shamed folks hanging themselves with towels mothers hacking away at their hanged daughters the sort of things that people apparently liked to hear before they outsourced storytelling to radio and TV and Tarantino this book is the sort of thing that reminds me a little of my grandpa once hydrocephalic dementia icked in the innocent confabulatory flow fact and fiction intermixed every instance of a lifetime in play I actually read this book last month and forgot to write a review of it which is odd because it was thoroughly enjoyable A sustained series of digressions from a drunken cad delivered one gathers to a group of horrified bourgeois bathers Amorous conuest military misadventures the end of the dual monarchy whats not to like Lots and lots of fun worth your time. R of Prague's pubs and football stadiums developed a uniue method which he termed palavering whereby characters gab and solilouize with abandon Part drunken boast part soul rending confession part metaphysical poem on the nature of love and time this astonishing novel which unfolds in a single monumental sentence shows why he has earned the admiration of such writers as Milan Kundera John Banville and Louise Erdrich. The delicate swirls of bubbles that dash to greet the robust rim of the glass the bashful flour that audaciously rises to an aromatic marvel and the musical notes of the hammer as it drums the uiescent nails into colourful leather only if they had words attached to their expeditions could we have then nown the chronicles of a far fetched yeast and a wooden caricature of an yet unborn shoe Aren t we lucky to be humans to be able to nit words into our experiences Isn t life beautiful even with all its flaws Untouched memories that nestle cozily in forgotten sentiments lingering nostalgia that hides its viciousness behind the surreal veil of pleasantries morph into an enlightening flow between a man and his alternative search for therapeutic consolations Everyone is a story teller Some carve some orate and some discover a home to their lost words at the dusk of their lives Yet stories are somehow formed and lessons are bestowed step by step to the listeners who sway in these choreographed audible melodies dancing to the tunes of splendor madness that transcends into the spontaneity of palaverers Hrabal says Human being is always mistaken in his point of view on the world but that the world in which he lives its underlying truth as a context of facts cannot be mistaken When the romanticism of the world seduces the melancholic acrobats of realism imaginary tales are woven cheerfully indulging the severity of the past into an absolute tenderness of an aesthetic heroism Have you ever noticed the face of the person who ecstatically recites nostalgic tales At some stage in those various gradations of the sound bites an infectious smiles get crafted on the narrator s face that eventually finds a way to be plastered on your face and long after the stories fade in the moody air the words remain powerfully glued like that smile Jirka must have sported the identical contagious grin when he began telling his wondrous tales to a bunch of beauties lazing in the sun Inspired by Bohumil s Uncle Pepin Jirka s stories brought the pub alive with flamboyant memories that highlighted a harsh realism of a revolutionary era of the Austro Hungarian landscape and the succeeding historical events with refined emotions The noisy clatter of the Perko typewriter that Hrabal loved listening to as his poured his heart out resounded in the divine melodies of Jirka s world The world is a beautiful place don t you think Not because it is but because I see it that way the way Pushkin saw it in that movie poor Pushkin to die in a duel and so young his last poems gushing from a bullet hole in his head I could tell from the picture that he admired the European Renaissance too he had fantastic muttonchops you now the whiskers our own Franz Joseph wore and Strauss the composer Jirka s prose becomes an animated medium through which Bohumil depicts the chronological Austro Hungarian revolution into diversified sovereignty The reminiscence of a fading imperialist monarchy lingers in the ruins of pious love that had been washed by wantonness and glamour of money The partisan of the Church refrained from sins but they were not saints Bohumil impishly mocking the law of the Church by describing the Holy Trinity as a carrier pigeon to communicate debates how the Church and "The Religious Elites Had Insisted "religious elites had insisted curbing passion and restricting the liberation of human or rather sexual desires bringing nothing but sadness in the end The discrepancies that prevailed in the society the absurdities on the war front and the hypocritical approach to sexual aspirations the suicide and other criminal exploits shine *FIERCELY THROUGH JIRKA S WORDS AS THE SUN TOUCHES *through Jirka s words as the sun touches supple skin of his gorgeous audience Javanese cinnamon is better than Ceylonese cinnamon is good in mulled wine and fruit A soldier who became a shoemaker and then found a concrete place in the vocation of brewery Jirka was in love with his work no matter its station In his stories one can unearth meticulous recollection of the fermentation processes on how the yeast and hops made a wondrous marriage that resulted in one of the finest brew in Europe For a sturdy soldier with a sensitive heart he sure did make good uality shoes As a charmer with fine hands Jirka could have enticed the Prime Minister s daughter but he was a gentleman and there could have been bad conseuences and Mr Batista would not approve it at all Isn t Jirka a hero For he Blue Guide knows how a real man trembles like a frog about to leap whenever he sees a beautiful woman and yet he maintained his sexual hygiene Hrabal amuses the reader with such exuisite sentences that find prominent place in this fanfare of miscellaneous characters and simultaneous stories Further it gets outright comical when Jirka lambast that even though progress is good for mankind when it comes to his favourite bread butter and beer the damn technology is to be slowed down Why will no one see that progress may be good for making people people but for bread and butter and beer it s the plague they ve got to slow down their damn technology Given that Hrabal scripted Jirka before the Communist occupation in 1968 Jirka and his opinions were not subjected to censorship fortunately A certain poet by the name of Bondy once told me people have strange ideas about what writing poetry means they think it s like going for water with a bucket or that poets just lift up their eyes unto the heavens and the heavenly hosts rain down verses upon themhe had such a head on his shoulders that even today the professors go gaga over him The free thinkers who uestion the authoritative Church the social democrats who widely indulge in the uintessential chicken vs egg debate place Charles Darwin on the pedestal Egon Bondy was one of the dearest pal of Bohumil a free thinker a poet who uestioned every conservative regulation propelled amongst the societal Hrabal portraying his friend writes Bondy the poet he wrote poetry only in the toilet with a poetry board on hisneed and a notebook on the pastry board Through Jirka s insightful eyes Bondy who forever travels with his two babies pushing their buggy elucidates why poets love to drink. Rake drunkard aesthete gossip raconteur extraordinaire the narrator of Bohumil Hrabal's rambling rambunctious masterpiece Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age is all these and Speaking to a group of sunbathing women who remind him of lovers past this elderly roué tells the story of his life or at least unburdens himself of a lifetime's worth of stories Thus we learn of amatory conuests and humiliations of scanda. Taneční hodiny pro starší a pokročiléAnd meditate and how are blessed with sudden prophetic intellectual enlightenment Hrabal puts forth the religion vs atheist argumentative skilfully inferring how politics and writing go hand in hand no matter the pursued resistanceIn this mesmerizing monologue the 70 yr old Jirka who now uite often visits the cemetery and wonder why don t working people sing songs any becomes Hrabal s beloved palaverer who immensely appreciates the feminine charisma After all it is only the poets who think of death and old fogies like him think of women Jirka s narratives not only bring surreal grandeur to his life but make the reader feel alive and sense the utmost sentiment of belonging in a place where beauty was discovered everywhere Hrabal said of his palaverers Thanks to their madness transcend themselves through experiment and spontaneity and through their ridiculousness they achieve a ind of grandeur because they end up where no one expected them or expects them So as the delicate aroma of the fragrant dough rising from its humid stupor fills the itchen I put on my new pair of shoes and wordlessly listen to the melody of a chilled lager cascading into a crystalline maze the frothy allure embracing the steamy bliss that springs from the soft warm bread waving the mischievous beer bubbles a long farewell and when the butter melts into a golden stream I leisurely pin my ears onto Jirka while clinking my glass to his amusing anecdotes and letting out a heartfelt gratitude to the literary art of Hrabal Bohumil and his dearest pal Egon Bondy Not his best work but if you re a fan of Hrabal then it s worth a read this may not be for everyone its sort of like that old man at the country store who starts to tell a story and 3 hours later he s STILL telling it with asides genealogies history lessons lies partial lies whole truths and maybe even a conclusion its funny some of the reviewers on goodreads say its like talking to a drunk person but i assure its just old age hahaha This novella is in fact a single sentence which gives it a breathless feel It is the recollections of a man in his 70s told to a group of young women who are sunbathing It is a telling of stories most of them bawdy They are about the narrator s profession shoemaking his time in the army but most of all his love life There are lots of references to the European Renaissance but if you are expecting references to Da Vinci or Michelangelo you d be out of luck it s a euphemism for sexHrabal has the reputation of being one of the great Czech writers of the twentieth century and he has influenced many who have followed such as Kundera and Havel Many of his characters are wise fools delivering their profundities in story form One of Hrabel s favourite occupations was telling tales in his local inn the book reads like that as well There is humour in the tale but it is repetitive It did remind me of some of the flights of conversation you get from those with dementia in the middle stages A tale from times past sometimes a fragment that is disassociated from what came before or after I think whether you enjoy this book depends on how you feel about the narrator If you find him irritating like Holden Caulfield you will uickly get bored Admittedly some of it was amusing The uestion is do you want to spend time listening to some old bloke telling you about the amorous adventures of his youth If The Answer Is No Best To Avoid answer is no best to avoid think Mother of God isn t life breathtakingly beautifulJoel bought me this book several years ago It appeared so disjointed that I never truly considered it Today the world was revealed as damp and overcast reconciling myself to those conditions Manchester United lost to City 6 1 and I slumped to be polite Reaching out I heartily stumbled upstairs to scan our shelves and returned *With Dancing Lessons For *Dancing Lessons for Advanced in Age coincidentally just as my wife was browsing reviews of such on this wicked site That wife was browsing reviews of such on this wicked site That wonky weird I read the book in a pair of sittings and while it isn t explosive it is a meandering monologue for the ages It reminds me of Moscow To The End of the Line but Hrabal s novella is better I m always fascinated by experiments that just don t work and here s one yes this novella is one unfinished sentence supposedly But Hrabal is too good a writer not to compose units of meeting within that sentence so really it s a bunch of sentences with commas instead of full stops That s not much of a criticism because it s very well written andor very well translated Otherwise there s not much to say It s short it s heartbreaking it s hilarious and This little novella can at once be discarded as a long never ending chapter on corporeal pursuits from the life book of a mindless rambler a libidinous exhorter a senile raconteur And for some part one might be right in doing so If disaster has struck you due to your prolonged exposure to the skin junk processed and reprocessed on electronic and print media you might not be cajoled to hold back even for a second from trashing this their wayBut despite my reservations I sat next to this babbler and listened And as he wed thoughts with words opinions with ridicule humor with cantankerousness and malice with gravity all within an unrelenting single sentence spanning 110 pages my jaws dropped just not at the sight of his audacity to obscenely titillate his listener s senses but also at the reservoir of concern churning tirelessly underneath this doltish itsch No You don t believe me Hear this when I was serving in the most elegant army in the world I told our medical officer Doctor I said I ve got a weak heart but all he said was So have I boy and if we had a hundred thousand like you we could conuer the world and he put me into the highest category so I was a hero Just an aberration is it Well then how about this or the Russians who are jetting the world so fast that they have to put their brakes the moment they take off and one speed engineer says that the time is near when a jet will see its own tail flying around the earth and passengers won t even have a chance to sit down before arrival they might as well stay home Oh he is mild Ls both private and public of military adventures and domestic feuds of what things were like in the days of the monarchy and how they've changed since As the book tumbles restlessly forward and the comic tone takes on darker shadings we realize we are listening to a man talking as much out of desperation as from exuberanceHrabal one of the great Czech writers of the twentieth century as well as an inveterate haunte. .

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