Rituals Paperback – 4 Jan 1996
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
A novella out of time: `Rituals' (publ. 1983) recalls a culture where it was assumed that the novel would both sustain its intellectual prowess and preoccupy itself with the indulged male's need for higher meaning. Women are another country, accomplishments `merely' call for application, and plots are disregarded as a childlike obsession - since the randomness of events are an affront to the philosophical mind.
Personally I could take exception to this were it not that Noteboom's concern with the philosophical function of memory seems more original: "Memory'" he says "is like a dog that lies down where it pleases". Like that! `Rituals' might be parked in a chronological siding - overtaken by designer label soaps, serial killers, magical realism and chick-lit - but it's all the more endearing for it.
Nooteboon's central character is Inni Wintrop, named after Inigo Jones, who is wealthy enough to dabble, buying art, writing a newspaper horoscope and investing in the financial markets. He is without any aim in life [`If he had ever had any ambition, he would have been prepared to call himself a failure, but he had none.'] but he finds pleasure in his insatiable desire for women. In the short first part, Intermezzo, it is 1963 and his wife, Zita, leaves him for an Italian because she can no longer put up with his infidelities and lack of any personal or professional commitment. He tries to commit suicide, and fails.
The second part, set ten years earlier, describes Inni's meeting with Arnold Taads, a former Dutch skiing champion who has lost an eye. The final part takes place in 1973 and describes Inni's meeting with Philip Taads, Arnold's unacknowledged son. Arnold and Philip share lives in which they have isolated themselves, physically and emotionally, from the demands of the real world.
Inni, a restless and rootless character, has had to devise and exploit ways, the `rituals' of the title, to get through everyday life. In childhood he relied on the Catholic religion but this was disrupted and he was no longer able to regain its security. As the book develops it becomes clear that this protective behavior is a necessary requirement for the other characters. Life is, quite simply, a struggle for everyone and not just for characters in a Dutch novella.Read more ›