Current Reads: Spring Edition
Compiled here is a list of what I am currently reading this spring, packed with a brief description for each.
'Oblomov would have liked to have his rooms clean, but he could not help wishing that it would all happen somehow of itself, without any fuss'
Set behind the eyes of Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, a member of the upper middle class and the esteemed son of Russia's landed gentry, is a distinguishing story on a life wasted. Covering nineteenth-century Russia, this read iterates the demise of its nobility, and a superfluous personality clinging to a system that is all but deteriorating.
Goaded by a slothful attitude, its context sees a man that doesn't get out of bed... much.
'One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves'
Stationed around old monarchy-style politics, The Prince is a pragmatic, ruthless and complicated publication on the lofty ideals and nature of political life. In this book there is no plot, only an instruction manual, a bible of realpolitik.
Written as a guide for new princes and royals, the general theme of this book is Machiavelli's cold and calculating case for pragmatism, over morality or virtue.
'He felt that taking naps was much more beneficial than confronting catastrophes'
Spring Snow sets itself in the early years of the Taisho period, and narrates the relationship between Kiyoaki Matsugaue, the son of a rising nouveau riche family, and Satoko Aytakura, the daughter of a dwindling aristocratic family. Poetic, romantic, and uniquely engaging, Mishima approaches themes of honor, love and tradition. Equally, his writing allows for a variance of meanings between the ideas and questions he poses.
The first of a tetralogy, I cannot wait to read its successors.
The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
The Trial, Franz Kafka
The Evenings, Gerard Reve
The Box Man, Kobo Abe