epub pdf The Last Samurai By Helen DeWitt – 91videos.co

Six stars Seven stars Hell, a herd of stars We re givin em away liberated and reworked from The Tubes White Punks on Dope.Finding exactly the right book at exactly the right time doesn t happen very often Finding exactly the right book at all doesn t happen often enough This one found its way to me through the oddest of circumstances via Lee his review , clumsy fingers, and time at the deathbed of my mother it is what it is.I follow Lee s reviews and checked out the one for The Last Samurai when it hit my updates Any time someone whose reviews I follow says one of my fave books I pay attention I went to , checked out the used copies, and instead of hitting Add to Wishlist, I clicked Add to Cart Things were in the works, a copy headed my way All s good.By the time the book arrived, my mother had been hospitalized, lost consciousness, and the word immanent was being heard frequently While my sister and I sat vigil, The Last Samurai arrived, and I grabbed it on my way back to the hospital thinking a whopper would absorb large amounts of time otherwise spent simply waiting I picked it up, not knowing what to expect, dreading what might have been James Clavell, and started to read.Whoa WTF is this I zipped through the first fifth of the book in what seemed like no time at all, entirely caught up, thoroughly amused, stunned by the find that had found me I was as excited by the novel as I was uncomfortable with idea of being entertained at that particular time Catharsis is a lovely, dreadful thing.Sibylla, a single mother, is an American living in London, raising a precocious child, while slavishly transcribing back issues of journals such as British Ostrichkeeper and The Poodle Breeder for a very modest wage Ludo, her son and a reader from about age three, spends his time reading, learning multiple languages and science, and doggedly trying to coax the name of his father from his reluctant mother Their story is literate and funny, heartwarming and joyous Their story yields to his story a bildungsroman and a quest novel The author s knowledge is dazzling I want whatever story she chooses to tell.Thanks, Lee, for the tip Thanks, Mom, you always were part of what s best. Helen DeWitt S Extraordinary Debut, The Last Samurai, Centers On The Relationship Between Sibylla, A Single Mother Of Precocious And Rigorous Intelligence, And Her Son, Who, Owing To His Mother S Singular Attitude To Education, Develops Into A Prodigy Of Learning Ludo Reads Homer In The Original Greek At Before Moving On To Hebrew, Japanese, Old Norse, And Inuit Studying Advanced Mathematical Techniques Fourier Analysis And Laplace Transformations And, As The Title Hints, Endlessly Watching And Analyzing Akira Kurosawa S Masterpiece, The Seven Samurai But The One Question That Eludes An Answer Is That Of The Name Of His Father Sibylla Believes The Film Obliquely Provides The Male Role Models That Ludo S Genetic Father Cannot, And Refuses To Be Drawn On The Question Of Paternal Identity The Child Thinks Differently, However, And Eventually Sets Out On A Search, One That Leads Him Beyond The Certainties Of Acquired Knowledge Into The Complex And Messy World Of AdultsThe Novel Draws On Themes Topical And Perennial The Hothousing Of Children, The Familiar Literary Trope Of The Quest For The Absent Father And As Such, Divides Itself Into Two Halves The First Describes Ludo S Education, The Second Follows Him In His Search For His Father And Father Figures The First Stresses A Sacred, Apollonian Pursuit Of Logic, Precise If Wayward Erudition, And The Erratic And Endlessly Fascinating Architecture Of Languages, While The Second Moves This Knowledge Into The World Of Emotion, Human Ambitions, And Their Attendant Frustrations And FailuresThe Last Samurai Is About The Pleasure Of Ideas, The Rich Varieties Of Human Thought, The Possibilities That Life Offers Us, And, Ultimately, The Balance Between The Structures We Make Of The World And The Chaos That It Proffers In Return Stylistically, The Novel Mirrors This Ambivalence DeWitt S Remarkable Prose Follows The Shifts And Breaks Of Human Consciousness And Memory, Capturing The Intrusions Of Unspoken Thought That Punctuate Conversation While Providing Tantalizing Disquisitions On, For Example, Japanese Grammar Or The Physics Of Aerodynamics It Is Remarkable, Profound, And Often Very Funny Arigato DeWitt Sensei Burhan Tufail The Last Samurai is a Babel of a book, a clamor of languages and sounds and symbols Yet it speaks like the Christian story of the Apostles at Pentecost with tongues of fire over them and and they speak all the languages of the world to each other with equal understanding The story begins with a mother, Sibylla She lives a life burdened with high expectations and doubly burdened when she cannot reach up to them Her father was an atheist who went to a ninth rate seminary to please his father and became a failed business man Her mother was a musician repressed into accounting by her neurotic father who would not be satisfied even by genius She went into Oxford and buried herself deep in into intellectual specificity and obscurity, and now writes for pet magazines After a one night stand with a writer she calls Liberace for his vainglory, she gives birth to a son She names him Ludo He learns quickly, too quickly He takes in vector calculus, ancient Greek, French, classical Chinese, Arabic, Icelandic, French and colloquial Japanese like water It is thus fitting that his name comes from the Latin ludus, meaning game All of it is a game to him He plays with Greek verb declensions and original Icelandic sagas and counting Chinese and Japanese numbers and marks up The Odyssey with fat colored markers When he is introduced to primary school, he argues with the teacher about John Stuart Mill and concludes, without a hint of arrogance, that schooling would be a disaster.Ludo is a lonesome child By age 11, his only socialization aside from his mother is with the other children in his judo class His mother withdraws further into herself His father was never here Instead, Sibylla plays the Kurosawa movie, Seven Samurai, as a surrogate for Ludo s father and as obsessive emotional distraction for himself At this point, Ludo concludes that he must find his own father.Here the narrative shifts entirely Ludo s mother fades almost entirely from the picture as he searches for his new father The facts multiply Facts are not answers Experimental novels often shy away from plots and narratives, but there is still A Story here, cloaked in the references to the Seven Samurai and the Odyssey Genius, as expanding and powerful as it can be, is not always the lone answer to emotional isolation This second story is about making peace with these images we have of ourselves, and of attempting to find some value in ourselves if we cannot reach these imagined ideals Realizing that we are human and thus limited in our capabilities does not mean that every person should kill themselves or despair, it is a push some other emotional grounding If the boy s father is lacking or insufficient, then he decides that someone else must be his father not a genetic father, but symbolic father The story is then a series of emotional dialogues between a boy searching for a father and a father who is human and therefore deficient in some way Not just to the artificially high standards of the boy, but because they are all human The Last Samurai is somehow a book with both vast learning and feeling these things are so often portrayed as mutually exclusive, but here they are together It is an intellectual investigation and a psychological journey, one which retells the old story of mother, father, and son through a new vessel, on to new shores The samurai has parried the blow. High Intensity MotherhoodAm I alone in thinking that Helen DeWitt writes like the Alabama 3 play their music a sort of Country Acid House fusion with a surprising British flavor She drives through her fictional life with a relentlessly hard beat of this is it me deal with it me with riffs and shouts from whatever s around bits of ancient language, unsuspecting academics, cultural connections no one else has ever clocked She tolerates anything but boredom and whatever might get in between her and her son She s the perfect polymath mother for her genius offspring Mama Don t Dans 2 Tekno no mo She s too busy feeding the little tyro his daily doses of number theory and archaic Hebrew tense forms It s he not she who sets the pace She s no intellectual slouch but he breaks the rate Impossible to slow down much less get to rest Her wit fits nicely into Bourgeoisie Blues lyricshis unswerving fidelity to the precept that ought implies cant and I just couldn tThe duet mind melds like SpockAn idea has only to be something you have not thought of before to take over the mind And ideas sure do, lots of em How do proteins work What do I look like, a Citizens Advice Bureau Oh yeah, I meant to ask about what the Greeks thought about citizenship They spark off each other on whatever the Adrenaline equivalent of brain stimulant is Can t stop No Peace in the Valley for sure The world is deteriorating, but because of a sort of linguistic entropy not global warmingit was depressing in a literature to see all the languages fading into English which in America was the language of forgetfulnessMaternal love is a kick Ain t no man needed in that dynamic duo No time anyhow What a ride What a pair Sibylla and Ludo. Imagine the written version of an orchestral suite, different instruments taking their turns cutting in and out, challenging, responding, developing themes, repeating themes, breaking off for a little bit of opera here, a little pas de deux there with a couple of guest solos thrown in, while nevertheless returning continually to the main theme and finally leading into a very fitting coda That s what reading this book was like for me Books like The Last Samurai don t come my way very often which is a great pity.On the other hand, reading The Last Samurai has exercised my brain so much that maybe it is a good thing that there aren t too many like it out there Imagine if I became obsessed with this book and reread it as often as the narrators watch Kurosawa s Seven Samurai Would I then have rudimentary Japanese plus a smattering of Greek, Hebrew and Arabic, be able to understand complex maths and physics and aerodynamics, play excellent chess, bridge and picquet as well as the XXV variations of Alkan s Festin d Aesope on the piano and appreciate every last twist and turn of the plot of Seven Samurai I m tempted The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt The Last Samurai 2000 was the first novel by American writer Helen DeWitt.The Last Samurai is about the relationship between a young boy, Ludo, and his mother, Sibylla Sibylla, a single mother, brings Ludo up somewhat unusually he starts reading at two, reading Homer in the original Greek at three, and goes on to Hebrew, Japanese, Old Norse, Inuit, and advanced mathematics To stand in for a male influence in his upbringing, Sibylla plays him Akira Kurosawa s Seven Samurai, which he comes to know by heart Ludo is a child prodigy, whose combination of genius and na vet guide him in a search for his missing father, whose identity Sibylla refuses to disclose a search that has some peculiar byways and unexpected consequences 2002. Infatuation The Last Samurai is a book where you re never quite sure where you re going next and at what speed, you just realise it s going to be unconventional To make sure you remain connected to the short snappy pointed tone of the main characters the writing adopts a similar style Ludo is a 6 year old language and literary genius and his mother Sibylla is also intellectually gifted I mean seriously gifted, where they home study mathematics, science, literature, and multiple languages including Greek, Hebrew, Japanese and Arabic They ride the London Underground s Circle line all day with their pushchair filled with books so they can keep warm because they can t afford to heat their house I couldn t rationalise why someone with Sibylla s intelligence and capability would be struggling to earn money in London It will be meant as part of her quirky personality but it s still not believable.Sibylla sees, hears and feels the world differently to other people and the story can shoot off in unsuspecting tangents, just like the mind of Sibylla, and plunge into great detail There is this obsession from mother and son with the 7 Samurai film in its original Akira Kurosawa version Ludo wants to know who his father is and Sibylla categorically refuses to tell him Over the next 6 years, Ludo decides to use a scene from the 7 Samurai film as a blueprint to map out, and identify 7 potential father figures, and determine which it is the one who can parry the blow, just like a real Samurai could do.Sibylla s dilemmas and her analysis of every situation can be quite funny and there is a generally dry and black humour throughout the book Put intellectual logic into the hands of an innocent 6 year old boy and his engagements with other adults are really hilarious Starting school left the teacher exasperated.The last 40% of the book is mainly told through the eyes of Ludo and his quest to find his father The narrative falls into a steady pace and it s at this point you realise, what was a challenge in reading the book at the beginning, is now unfortunately missing.At times I got frustrated with the book as it seemed to ramble and provide detail I wasn t interested in, and I didn t feel added to the story Other times certain passages were so cleverly written that they were just genius Overall it didn t hold my interest enough and being nearly 600 pages, it was an effort Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Vintage Publishing, for an ARC version of the book in return for an honest review. in this case, and for no special reason, I d really like to write the kind of thing which is frequently called a real review For this book, The Last Samurai Rather than be a clever succeed or fail, no matter b auto bio graphical in however obtuse a manner c pretentiously name dropping or d just generally tapping dancing and bowing I doubt it ll happen But just in case I m going to start reviewing The Last Samurai right now while I ve still got a third of the novel to read, remaining.Trouble is that this time of year one starts reflecting back over the year and preparing to prepare that kind of Read in Reading List in order to submit it to a big swarm of lists which are already listing on the over done side So one thing again that occurs to me is that I ve read a lot of stuff for the first time I mean, I ve read a lot of authors for the first time For a Completionist Obsessionist CO such as myself, this is an oddity Here s a few names attached to books which were First Timers for me, best I can recollect Helen DeWitt thanks to those Fellow Readers who salvaged her from my savaging in my Place Medusa Review Thanks Vanessa PlaceChristoph Martin WielandGrete WeilWendy WalkerPaul VerhaeghenDubravka Ugre i Amos TutuolaJonathan Swift probably not Ronald SukenickAli SmithXiaoxiao Lanling ShengPhilip Roth probably Maurice RocheIshmael ReedAnne G d on LaFitte, Marquis de PelleportGil OrlovitzComte de Lautr amont Lee KleinDanilo Ki Guillermo Cabrrera InfanteLiam HowleyH.D.Gustave FlaubertHenry FieldingRalph EllisonRosalyn DrexlerW COQKay BoyleRobert Bola oOh dear that is rather a lot I promise you I ll do of the Competionism stuff next year, same old horse I ve got a lot of outstanding stuff and thereto I ve added a few names you ll discover in that list I just listed One should not neglect to read something from Raymond Federman.So my intention of writing a proper review here is not going so well Look, there s a number of big books I ve been trying to finally getting around to knock off this time of year and DeWitt s is the third following the DeLillo and the Bola o There ll be of those two on my horizon DeWitt s got one which is also on my horizon And if she has of her own books on her own horizon, those books too will horizon themselves for me Thank you I d really like to get Darkmans and Where Tigers Are at Home tic d off by the end of the year Both look Delisch But it is what you d call a fast read don t you dare say precocious , not even one time As pointed out, and really this kind of thing should count as one of those ubiquitous critiques complaints, the obverse of the needs to loose about 500 pages critique complaint, The Last Samurai has a lot of blank pages among its 530 pages I mean a lot of blank pages Just blank Simply blank Nothing printed on them There s very little doubt in my mind there s a purpose to them And I like book art and book objects and I like the arts crafts of bookmaking and bookbinding and related arts crafts But it is a lot of blank pages And then a lot of pages with printing on them also have a lot of white space which is not uncommon especially in passages of dialogue or when there is some fine point of Japanese grammar or what have you to be made It s also really rather easy to read And especially if you know some Japanese there might be some fine jokes in there which I didn t get A lot of the white space serves to demarcate various chapters and sections and parts the relations among which I ve not parsed There could be some value in parsing out those sections Maybe I should do that next.I m just typing here to hear myself type Self indulgence Not at your expense You can just move on at any time Don t worry about hitting that Like button even if you don t read or if you only skim I m never one hundred percent certain what it means when a person hits my buttonsThe Last Samurai Prologuei1 Do Samurai Speak Penguin Japanese Odyssey 1 Odyssey 2 Odyssey 3 Odyssey 4 Odyssey 6 Odyssey 7 Odyssey 8 Od 10 Met 1 I Sam I Have not read in years not nr I Sam II V Hell ditto Interludeii1 We Never Get Off at Sloane Square for Nebraska Fried Chicken2 99,98, 97, 963 We Never Get Off at Embankment to Go to McDonald s4 19, 18, 175 We Never Go Anywhere6 We Never Do Anything7 End of the Lineiii1 1, 2, 32 a, b, cMy First Week At SchoolMy Second Week At SchoolMy Third Week At SchoolMy Fourth Week At School3 999999 7 999999.etc.that s me, nr, not bothering with maths 999iv1 Trying to feel sorry for Lord Leighton2 I know all the words3 Funeral Games4 Steven, age 115 For David, with best wishesv1 A good samurai will parry the blow2 A good samurai will parry the blow sic, nr again 3 A good samurai will parry the blow sic, ditto 4 A good samurai will parry the blow sic, ditto 5 A good samurai will parry the blow sic, you know the drill 6 A good samurai will parry the blow sic, parry on my wayward son 7 I m a genuine samurai sic, but not credited to this Reviewer Those five parts, those delineated with roman numerals i through v, also contain some epigraphical material which I interpreted as epigraphical rather than titular But you can visit those pages at your leisure But the thing is that each of those part title etc dividers represents on average approximately three pages of blank space Treat them like you would treat a rest in a musical score Or just rudely fast forward to the fast and loud parts We ll estimate about approximately product of three and forty 120 pages of white with and without part chapter section titles however you call these things Sounds like a lot, but I m not counting the white space produced by the occasional subsection dividers ie, which produce a much greater quantity of white space than is the case in the average book formatting strategy Here s the tune Approximate , featuring Ruth Underwood on Vibes, by Frank Zappa you fuckers Any chance I can run out my character limit How many is that Anyone know off hand At any rate, now we ve gotten a kind of ToC and we ve produced a rough rough estimate of the blank pages and white spots disappointed not to see one of those all black pages made famous in those other books, but, again I repeat, What are you going to do in this here book It s not a very important thing to do Unless you are a book designer Speaking of which, I m also disappointed not to find an About the Type entry on the final pages Sometimes you might find those things on the copyright page, but no such luck in this case If I assemble a number of these reviews and Reviews I ve written on gr goodreads.com and have them printed and bound and listed for sale do you think you d buy one I wouldn t Unless I hired a really groovy book designer That s what I d do I d knock on the door of one of these many local design schools and hire some fresh faced grad who wants to work for free for no , really to design a nice little thing which would include all of my most popul airy reviews and Reviews and I d throw in some stinkers cuz I just can t help it nor do I ever think of my reader and I d have this fresh faced design school grad make some really cool book art out of it It d be so cool, such excellent book art that you wouldn t even want to bother reading the words you ve already skim d them on line already anyway so what s the point but you d luxuriate in the inexpressively awesome nature of this book art And after the fresh faced design school grad got done with her work with all the layout and typeface choices and other unfathomable things involved with designing a book I d have it sent to the printers no no no wait screw sending it to the printers We d get one of these old fashion one page at a time handcrank type old school printers, you know, the printing equivalent of a straight razor, the kind of thing which increases your risk of exsanguination by a factor of seventeen, and we d pick up a guy from the Home Depot parking lot to do all the cranking and we d print off those pages one at a time and there d be a lot of pages because I ve written or Written something like 561 reviews for Reviews plus like 334 ratings those have really gotten crusty lately and so we d have a lot to select from and we d probably include than we should At any rate, let me know if you see some grammatical difficulties with these sentences we d print those pages and then get them to some like really seriously artful bookbinder guy, the kind of guy like that guy who lives in the basement of that house occupied by that one famous philosophy in Cambridge you met once when you took that huge Oxford Greek dictionary to this guy to get the binding fixed, you d take it to one of these Artful Binders who have been to Book Making non gambling type schools and you d have this guy hand bind these things in like calf and other expensive stuff and probably sewn in silk if silk is good thing for binding books It s be out of this world How many characters do I have left Oh hey, listen, I just did some Research and I discovered this fact gr allows 20,000 characters per Review Box And apparently spaces like count as characters which is really queer cuz it means that I could write a review of nothing but twenty thousand leagues under the sea spaces and it would count At any rate, I ll just check how many I have left now Just a sec 10,113 characters left after the space following the period following sec 10,025 characters left after the period following sec So any character now we ll have used exactly half the characters allot d us by the Good People at goodreads.com.INC Can you locate the precise location of the Ten Thousandth character Are you still with me 9749 up to the you just skim d About a year ago there d be a joke in all this Something along the lines of Off topic much We d have to confess We re just noodling Just listening to ourselves type Are you entertained Bored Would you like to take a survey which would register your satisfaction with this review We d have maybe ten questions and you d answer some with a Yes or a No or some non excluded middle term and some you d answer by circling any one numeral along a range ranging from one to ten Would you like to edit this mess might be one question Another question might be, Would you like to provide this survey with its next question Both would be of the first kind, the kind where it d be appropriate to answer Yes or No or some non excluded middle term Can you think of a question to ask which would require a numerical answer I m think of the kind of thing you d get in the ED used to be known as the ER and there was even a TV show with that title which at first I pronounced like the german word it looked like to me where they d say like How much pain are you in or How intense is the pain you are experiencing or something like that and they d say that zero or one, however it s arranged is the total absence of pain or utter bliss however the specific scale is scaled and ten would be like mortifying, howling, Oh My Fucking God IT HURTS, kill me now kind of pain and if you re not in such agony that you can t understand what the fuck they re asking you try to come up with a reasonable guess as to how best to turn your fucking awful pain into some kind of meaningful numerical rhetorical schema So maybe perhaps we d ask something like On a scale of one to ten, one being something like utter meh and ten being like Best Thing After Finnegans Wake, how Great, how Fantastic would you say this review written this day the Eighth of December in the year of 2014 by Nathan N.R Gaddis of Helen DeWitt s massively awesome 2000 novel, The Last Samurai that s a big N.R to that Cruise movie of like title is And you d have to pick a number between one and ten Best just get out your dodecahedron die Where s that thing on my word processing dealie that tells me how many characters including spaces I ve used I ve got word count down here 2338 it says but I d like to count those characters in anticipation of what the gr Review Box is going to say Oh wait, I see it It pop d up over there on the right hand side of my screen where it was camafloged by this youtoob mix of Frank Zappa Live I ve been watching Right now they re playing a The Roxy Theatre 1973 which is really about the best era of Zappadom, partly because you see he s just so damn happy playing with a great fucking band and the music s cool and he actually enjoys the audience and all this kind of stuff I like the 88 tour stuff too At any rate, the stats thing which is included with my word processor now says Characters 13,172 It s hard to type cuz it changes as I type Let s try again The stats thing says Characters 13,279 So when I hit 9 the whole thing changed to 13,280 so you see what I mean when I say it s hard to type because it changes as I type it Basically, the numeral 9 when I typed 13,279 was the 13,280th character in this document But don t count on it because I might go back up above there and do some editing and cutting n slicing and basically just changing stuff, so some of these numbers might not quite be accurate in any kind of finished form of this document right here Two of my favorite Zappa tracks are Penguin in Bondage and Montana Penguin in Bondage is the opening track of his album Roxy and Elsewhere which is like one of my favorite Zappa albums and is the track I remember first hearing which really turned me on to Frank s music although of course like everyone else I d heard Bobby Brown Goes Down a lot when that guy Bobby Brown wife beater Bobby went down because the radio DJs thought it a funny song to play Also Don t Eat The Yellow Snow which is only part of a larger suite which is pretty cool You ll find Don t Eat The Yellow Snow on the Apostrophe album which also contains a funny song about a poodle called Stink Foot or something like that, but the famous Poodle Lecture is pretty great Meanwhile, I ll be in Montana.This review is not going very well.a please forgive me.b please ignore me.c please Like me.c please don t denounce med all of the abovee write in you favorite candidate here.f he s lost his marbles for sure this time.g can he really go on for another 5000 characters h noi yesj maybek let s wait and seel no, I ve got important things to do like ask aidan for book recsm this whole review is a wreckn pomo is dead long live pomo p who did the reader poll first, Federman or Barthelme q why would I care r r you doing 26 lines of this s yes and then we ll do one in Greekt one in Hebrewu one auf Deutschv one in Arabicw one in Chinesex one in Japanese as soon as you read all those books in that one photograph plus all the other books written by each of those approximately twelve authorsy I don t know z oh he s on first RU still hear Do you prefer a Quiz or a Poll Whence would you recommend we digress next We have a few dozen characters still required eating up.I have a question for you Yes, you in the back with the extremely bored annoyed irritated expression on your horse like face Yes, thank you for taking my call, big fan, long time listener, first time caller and all that etc etc etc but what I d really like to know and I m sure just about everyone else reading this thing would like to know is, Who are you making fun of Who are you parodying Who are you travestying That s a very good question Perhaps it would be best to poll our readership and see what they think We could really get to the bottom of things I d also like to ask, sort of a two parter, Don t you have anything better to do 1 2 3 4 5 all of the above.Yes.btw, if you see things like you re instead of where your should be or like if you see it s where an its should be it s not because I can t or don t differentiate between the two very different words but it s because everything that s in my brain that finds its way onto this white splotch in cyber space is mediated through my CANTANKEROUS KEYBOARD and the situation is not improved in that sometimes my fingers have a different opinion than my brain and perform what might only be characterized as grammatical sabotage So seriously, if you wnat to make a FEDERAL case about my not proof reading my own goddman work I sya, well you know wnat i mabout to say and it s not fitfor the younguns so just cover there ears before I old joke, I know Apologies But I did just correct one of those you re s to the correct your Things like that will perpetually embarrass, especially if your make you living telling other people how illiterate they are just because they have to work with a CANTANKEROUS KEYBOARD.I feel like I m sort of hogging all this cyber space and really I m not the type of creature that tends towards the Monolingual, but much prefer the Dilingual Although probably a better term would be dialogical or something, which isn t exactly what Bahktin is talking about, but it s kind of similar What I mean is that rather than Hold Forth I d much rather have a pint or two with you and we can go back and forth I guess the Ancients might have called it dialectic Or just discussion or conversation So, and I know this is sort of a hollow gesture given the structure of this Review Box, but I d like to provide you, My Treasured Review Reader, with a little space of your own so that your voice too might be heard Here it is just go wild That doesn t feel like a lot, but please feel free to expand on the other side of this Review, or maybe down below in the conversational Thread where we can get in than the mere 20 Grand characters allowed up here.No, but I think you make a very good point And I d rather I mean I feel like I ve been talking and talking and it s time for someone else maybe to get a word in edgewise maybe hand the mike over to other people in our reading audience today and see what they have to say about your question I mean, I think it s a serious question and I d really like to hear what other people might have to say.Oh yeah I totally agree that this here is pure entertainment if that and doesn t even begin to nudge something we might call art But what is art anyway I think maybe some people think a toilet in a museum is art so it s really hard to say I mean in an objective sort of way Is The Last Samurai art or is it just a novel something to kill some time while sitting enthroned maybe it reshapes the world we live in Someone s mother once said If you don t have anything nice to say, don t say anything at all Well, I was never one to take unsolicited advice I think many reviewers are afraid of appearing shallow by stating the truth THIS BOOK IS SIMPLY AWFUL I quit at page 196 It s probably been a decade since I haven t finished a book I think it was Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner Actually, I am now remembering quitting From Hell by Alan Moore recently.Dewitt s book rambles on and on, skittering over endless senseless topics it is cloaked as an intellectual, tour de force, playful, multi layered, but wonderfully readable according to the jacket flap so it must be true She interrupts her vignettes, with even less meaningful interludes If there was a central theme, it was lost on me I love one reviewer s comment No wonder she never finished college She can t seem to think in a straight line Her disdain for traditional education, especially for the gifted, is repeated ad nauseum, which I am quite sure was her own personal experience And why does she think s are so cool An utterly unnecessary affectation Do yourself a huge favor, skip this one. There s some heart in this novella after all I m skipping the pithy quotations to give it to you straight Here are a few things I sometimes feel depressed too In my line of work, I often come across people who feel depressed And I think, well, I have no degree in psychology I m certainly not qualified But then I also think, what the hell Sometimes people just simply need to know that someone is listening So I try to listen But I m not always so good at getting people to talk So I often end up doing talking than I should and I m always aware of this while it is happening But I keep thinking, maybe I ll hit the right combination And even if I don t see the effect now, even if it looks like a failure, maybe there s some fragment, some leitmotif that will resonate at some point and help I usually find myself saying that everyone who is paying attention to the world will be depressed some day or other That if you re NOT depressed, maybe that s when there s something wrong What matters is how we respond to it and how we can attend to life How we can observe and create beauty The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying glass Adorno The key is not to let your own powerlessness stupefy you Adorno again So, I read somewhere that this novella is about the limits of intellectualism But that s not what I thought it was about For me, this book is about mental illness I can t get too much specific without having to hit the spoilers button So on in a tangential circle line Here s what I can say David Foster Wallace once told Kenyon, in a now too famous speechamajig that the things you deify will come to consume you So, if you enjoy being handsome, you will always feel ugly If you rely on intelligence as a wellspring of self worth, you will always worry that someone will expose you as a fraud And though this is all a bit oversimplified, I think there s something in this I admit, I used to think I was quite clever And it s been quite a relief over the years to finally admit that I m of average intelligence, at best, with maybe a longer than average attention span though, it is waning, oh lord is it waning So, I m in the position to be one of this book s most sympathetic readers Because, yes, this book is concerned with deifying genius But in the superstructure of this book is where the real meat lies What I saw here was the pain and necessity of making your own obsessive compulsive notes which create a calming sense of the familiar What I saw was that mathematical vanishing points can create the simulacra, but they cannot ensoul the flesh In sum, I liked the ideas of the book, but the brandishing of the encyclopaediac felt too much like a Wikipedia rabbit hole All of the pieces were there but it didn t get up and dance My only complaint is subtle I felt dispassion I felt that the prose was often underwritten and not to oracular effect But I was occasionally very immersed.Recommended for the precocious, the eisegetical, and those in need of a quick, cleanse read Provisionally, 3.84 stars.