Saturday, 14 February 2009

My Thoughts: Silk, Baricco


I first read about this book earlier this year when Eva reviewed it, gorgeously as usual - it is certainly well worth going and checking out her post.
I sat down to read it this afternoon and wasn't expecting to be blown away by it quite as much as I was.
The novella is only 104 pages in length, with 65 chapters many of which barely fill a page this can be read in about an hour. Despite its shortness every page holds tons of tiny images, the sparse language is almost poetic in its ability to create a picture in the reader's mind.
The book tells of a French silkworm trader. In the 1880s the silkworms across Europe have developed a bug and keep dying. Herve Joncour is sent to Japan, a country, at the time, which was kept unopened to foreigners and reportedly killed any man trying to export products from its shores. While there Herve meets a young women, of unknown origin. They never speak and barely touch, yet she transforms his life.
This was one of those books I wish I had studied at university, I have a ton of questions about individuals interpretations of the events that happened swarming my head and the langauge would be beautiful to look at in close detail.
I will have to check out his other work soon.
Challenges:
A-Z (Author)
Lost in Translation
The Decades Challenge (1990s)
999 (1001)

2 comments:

Eva said...

I didn't expect to be blown away either, but omg that letter...and the ending...as well as just the beauty of the whole thing. :)

Scrap girl said...

Sounds really good - I remember going a barn where they made silk and I got to see the silk worms in action. Quite fascinating.