Sunday, July 20, 2008

Great Reads

So while in Switzerland I finished the book My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. It was a fantastic book. I highly recommend it to anyone who is in need of a book. It was a book about a Jewish boy how has this amazing talent to paint and draw and his story of how he struggles to master his gift of art and not shame his people and family of his Judaism beliefs. Also while over there I read Night by Elie Wiesel. It is a book written by a survivor of Aushwitz concentration camp. At only a 117 pages the book was so moving and descriptive of his experience. I thought I would share of few quotes that I loved from the books. They really impressed me.

I loved how in Asher Lev it was so descriptive. He used his words so preciously to paint this picture in your mind.

"I remember that night very clearly, the texture of its darkness, the echoing resonance of its sound. I lay in my bed in the enveloping night and felt myself one with all the vast and endless arc of the universe, felt myself raw flesh connected to near and distant pain...."

"...I painted swiftly in a strange nerveless frenzy of energy. For all the pain you suffered, my mama. For all the torment of your past and future years, my mama. For all the anguish this picture of pain will cause you. For the unspeakable mystery that brings good fathers and sons into the world and lets a mother watch them tear at each other's throats. For the Master of the Universe, whose suffering world I do not comprehend. For dreams of horror, for nights of waiting, for memories of death, for the love I have for you, for all the things I remember, and for all the things I should remember but have forgotten, for all these I created..."

As quoted in Asher Lev from the book The Art Spirit

" You can do anything you want to do. What is rare is this actual wanting to do a specific thing: wanting it so much that you are practically blind to all other things, that nothing else will satisfy you."

NIGHT by Elie Wiesel
I cannot even comprehend everything that the Jewish people had to go through. The physical and emotional torment. The pain and suffering. I feel a deep love for each and everyone of them. Reading their stories brings me closer to understanding it.. I loved the honestly in the book. I loved that this man relived his experience by writing this book and probably relives it each and every day. He truly is heroic. The New York Times called it- "A slim volume of terrifying power".

In the preface of the book he writes " I am not so naive as to believe that this slim volume will change the course of history or shake the conscience of the world. Books no longer have the power they once did. Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow."

".. the public knows that the number of survivors is shrinking daily, and is fascinated by the idea of sharing memories that will soon be lost. For in the end, it is all about memory, its sources and its magnitude, and, of course, its consequences."

" Sometimes I am asked if I know "the response to Auschwitz"; I answer that not only do I not know if a tragedy of this magnitude has a response. What I do know is that there is "response" in responsibility. When we speak of this era of evil and darkness, so close and yet so distant, "responsibility" is the key word.
The witness has forced himself to testify. For the youth of today, for the children who will be born tomorrow. He does not want his past to become their future."
- E. W.

Thanks for letting me share some quotes and my thoughts on the books.

1 comment:

Kipp and Ashlee said...

No, no... thank you for sharing=). I have read "Night" before, but I don't remember it at all. Maybe I'll have to go read it again!