terça-feira, 27 de março de 2007
3. The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder, by Henry Miller



The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder, by Henry Miller (1948)

Ah, the wonders of the "short story" section. I hadn't "properly" gone to a library in years. Since I've moved to Lisbon, I've always been able to find things without going to libraries, so I didn't even have a card. Intrigued by the new found love of the numerous libraries spread across Lisbon my friend vigorously expressed, I decided to finally visit and use one. The limit for having the books had always scared me. I'm a lazy person, and even lazier reader. I take too much time with most books I read - either because they don't draw me in as much as they do to other people or simply because I grow bored rather fast. This worry stays with me as I ponder reading the Gormenghast trilogy. I'll probably take years and years. But, because of that, I decided to read more short stories between my "bigger" books, which probably aren't as large as I picture them to be. That's the main reason why I now love libraries as much as my friend does. Especially the ones with a large "short story" section. On the book.
Having Tropic of Cancer in my Pile O' Books made me notice this book. It was probably a satisfying way to find out more about Miller without delving immediately into what my brother thinks is a kink I simply cannot resist. Sure, the thought of my mom - the owner of the book - reading it, being...16, I think, amuses me. Sure, I know - if only judging it by its cover - that the thing will probably be stacked in the "adult fiction" part of most libraries. I know all of that, but most of my choices are exceedingly scattered or awkwardly paired because I collect books from my house, friends and libraries with the sole criteria of...being readable. As I don't have any preferences, I want to create them - and I think it's quite reasonable of me to do so. The Smile at the Foot of Ladder was, baring all that in mind, an interesting read. It's about clowns and I have a feeling that its style is a bit far from Miller's more famous works, but, as always, I may be wrong. It tells the story of a clown who, in one horrendous day, realizes that he hates his life and simply leaves the stage, spending the next days wandering around, trying to figure what he really was and what he wants to do with his life. Quite the introspective book, The Smile at the Foot of Ladder is one of those reads that makes you thing about the "real meaning of things", as cheesy as it may sound. It's interesting to observe the motivations of the main character changing and his choices throughout the story. He seemed to have noble intencions, but they all backfire, leaving him even more troubled. The style in which the story was written, as crazy as it may sound, reminded me of Virgilio Ferreira and his book Aparição. It was enjoyable, and that's all that matters.

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posted by black__cherry @ 23:04  
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