Sunday, May 18, 2014

Closing in

I just read 25 pages in 3 days.  I have 25 to go.  I finally had a bit of a breakthrough, becoming accustomed enough to Marion Bloem's vocabulary and style to be able to read faster.  I hope to finish by Friday.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Buddy and Maria in the 17th Century

Has anyone seen my context?  It seems to have changed again.  A new chapter means something else. While knowing the language might help with comprehension, I read on anyway.

  This time, the protagonist is looking at some old drawings and telling a story that takes place around the time the Netherlands took over the islands.  There are Portuguese cannons, an English fleet and all sorts of goings-on.

Throughout the book, Bloem uses parallel stories to show similarities and make counterpoints.  In spite of tribalism, the various tribes often intersect and interact.  Here is what I have noticed so far:

Japanese cruelty in the war years is recounted along with the protagonist's contemporary affair with an international Japanese man.

The protagonist's dull marriage comes up next to stories of relationships in the past that worked out to varying degrees.

Earlier in the book, there are the struggles of peacetime in Europe, Indonesia and America.  As the book goes on, we see World War II and the initial conquest.  Independence has been mentioned, but nothing in depth has come up so far.