27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Love a little,
This review is from: In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of Andrįs Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This "fictional" memoir exudes warmth, compassion and acute observation coupled with the cramps of adolescent fantasies and clumsy amorous encounters. To some extent the work reminded me of Casanova's memoirs where this often misunderstood philosopher proclaims his eternal love of being in love. And Vizinczey/Vajda convey a similar attitude to the delights of women, their company and position in society. No surprise that marriage is seen as stifling, infidelity liberating and the passion of the moment all consuming. I enjoyed all Vajda's affairs and his complusion to seek out any opportunity no matter how hopeless it first appeared. For me the hero is immersed in the truth of being in love and not some shallow quest for selfish indulgence and arrogant bragging. Each chapter is headed by a quote and I think the most revealing is Kierkegaard: "The dread of life, the dread of onself..." Vajda lives for love and, in so doing, conveys a profound respect for older women that trangresses the youth obssessed banality of much of Western society. It is this aspect of the novel I wish to applaud for it shows that honesty, tolerance and a benign sensitivity can overcome our innate desire for self-gratification. About time this story was labelled a classic.
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Initial post: 6 Apr 2010 12:48:46 BDT
B. McCartney says:
I think you mean that Vajda's respect for older women "transcends" -- not "transgresses" -- "the youth-obsessed banality of much of Western society"...
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