Saturday, 28 February 2015

I'm Not Sure if Someone's Stolen My Diary or...?

Have you ever read a book and it just gets you? I mean really gets you. You read it and you're ready to yell out THAT'S MY LIFE! Perhaps this is maybe for non-fiction books although I don't see why it couldn't be fiction books either - after all I am a Divergent living in an oppressive society that's sorted into factions...

But really, it's great when you find a book that applies to your life as if it were written just for you.
Most recently for me, after attending one of those great talks at ACMI around their current film series 'China Up Close' I was able to see the hilarious Benjamin Law give a talk. This later possessed me to read his autobiographical-ish/ anecdotal book 'The Family Law'.

The chapter especially 'Tone Deaf' effectively encapsulates how I feel about my inability to speak a second language as well as the humour (I hope) and insecurities that go with it! Sometimes it's hard to articulate exactly how you feel or what you are going through so it's always handy when someone says it for you. Oh self depreciating humour. Although fair warning - there is a pretty graphic description of childbirth from his mother...

Upon quizzing Helene about a book that she felt related to her, 'The Hare with Amber Eyes' by Edmund de Wal came up in conversation. 

A journey through generations and lands, this book  takes the reader into the uncertainty and tumultuous times of the Second World War. The affiliation with this book comes from a Austrian heritage and a love of history! 

"I have spent the last few years writing a very personal book. It is the biography of a collection and the biography of my family. It is the story of the ascent and decline of a Jewish dynasty, about loss and diaspora and about the survival of objects.
The collection is of 264 Japanese netsuke. It is the common thread for the story of its three Jewish owners and the three rooms in which it was kept over a period of a hundred and forty years.
The first of the three rooms is the study in Paris in the 1870s of the art-critic Charles Ephrussi, the model of Swann in Proust, hung with Impressionist paintings by Renoir and Degas. The second room is the dressing-room of my great-grandmother Emmy von Ephrussi in the vast Palais Ephrussi on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. The third room is that of her son Ignace, my great-uncle Iggie, in Tokyo in the 1970s, an apartment looking out across central Tokyo.
I am the fifth generation of the family to inherit this collection, and it is my story too. I am a maker: I make pots. How things are made, how they are handled and what happens to them has been central to my life for over thirty years. So too has Japan, a place I went to when I was 17 to study pottery. How objects embody memory - or more particularly, whether objects can hold memories - is a real question for me. This book is my journey to the places in which this collection lived. It is my secret history of touch."
- author's website

And so dear reader, what book applies so closely to your life that you swear it was lifted from your journal? We'd love to know what it is!

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