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The Ten Thousand Things di Maria Dermoût
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The Ten Thousand Things (originale 1958; edizione 2002)

di Maria Dermoût (Autore), Hans Koning (Autore)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
4341443,511 (4.1)49
"The Ten Thousand Things is a novel of shimmering strangeness?the story of Felicia, who returns with her baby son from Holland to the Spice Islands of Indonesia, to the house and garden that were her birthplace, over which her powerful grandmother still presides. There Felicia finds herself wedded to an uncanny and dangerous world, full of mystery and violence, where objects tell tales, the dead come and go, and the past is as potent as the present. First published in Holland in 1955, Maria Dermo?t's novel was immediately recognized as a magical work, like nothing else Dutch?or European?literature had seen before. The Ten Thousand Things is an entranced vision of a far-off place that is as convincingly real and intimate as it is exotic, a book that is at once a lament and an ecstatic ode to nature and life"--Publisher's description.… (altro)
Utente:RosanaDR
Titolo:The Ten Thousand Things
Autori:Maria Dermoût (Autore)
Altri autori:Hans Koning (Autore)
Info:NYRB Classics (2002), 296 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
Voto:*****
Etichette:favorites

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The Ten Thousand Things di Maria Dermoût (1958)

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A lovely book, that I think will stay with me always. The book does so much in not very many pages. There are plenty of interesting characters, well drawn with few strokes. And the natural world is so beautifully described, and such a presence. It's a character on its own. So much atmosphere, so many moments perfectly captured. I was happy to find Rumphius' The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet in my library. Well worth checking out if you read this book, for then you can find pictures of the Amoret Harp, the little duck crabs, a photo of Rumphius' house on Ambon, and much more. ( )
  giovannaz63 | Jan 18, 2021 |
This book was outstanding. I literally could hardly put it down. I read it in two sittings! This author does not describe things, she paints you a clear and vivid picture. You are not an observer of the island, you are there. You are not hearing of the characters, you know them intimately. Just when you think she has taken you on to another story, she brings it all together and ties them together with a neat little piece of sea grass. You shiver with the foreshadowing. You rebuke, but forgive. You mourn and empathize. Your heart fills with understanding. And in the end, you reluctantly put the book down and "try to go on living."
  Alhickey1 | Jan 13, 2020 |
This book was mentioned multiple times by Cheryl Strayed in her memoir "Wild." It is a series of engaging, linked tales that include an overlay of magic. Nice but hardly earth shattering. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
This is quite simply one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. I am not usually a person for whom excellent writing can compensate for a scant plot (and it must be admitted that the plot of The Ten Thousand Things is slight and slow-moving); however, Dermoût's prose kept me hooked in a way that is, for me, unprecedented. I wanted to keep reading this book, not to find out what happened, but simply to be reading. I wanted to wallow in it, to make it last. I am sure there are people who always read that way. Myself, I am usually racing through, wanting to know, impatient for events to unfold. I often catch myself skimming or skipping entire paragraphs or even pages in my thirst for plot (which, incidentally, is also probably why I enjoy rereading so much: there is always something I missed the first time through). With this book I slowed down. I read and savored every word. And every word seemed worth savoring, each one carefully chosen, each sentence constructed like a work of art.
It's mesmerizing: every time I dipped back into the book to try to find quotes to illustrate what I mean, I ended up just reading on from wherever I started. This is writing like an enchantment. You start to read and you are bespelled: you forget what you were doing and why. You want only to keep reading.

This is part of a longer review published on my blog, Around the World in 2000 Books. ( )
  Dunaganagain | May 10, 2018 |
Enchanting and touching, very direct and without pretense. ( )
  alik-fuchs | Apr 27, 2018 |

» Aggiungi altri autori (2 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Dermoût, Mariaautore primariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Koning, HansTraduttoreautore principalealcune edizioniconfermato
Koning, HansIntroduzioneautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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When the ten thousand things have been
seen in their unity, we return to the beginning
and remain where we have always been.
Ts'en Shen
Dedica
Incipit
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On the islands of the Moluccas there were a few gardens left from the great days of spice growing and "spice parks"--a few only.
Citazioni
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Was seeing necessary? As long as she could remember, she had heard about them; they belonged, they had a fixed place in her garden on the island in the Moluccas, and also in her own life.
In one, carefully wrapped in a piece of cloth, a "snakestone" was kept. It was tricky to keep the snakestones straight, there were so many kinds. There were little white stones which snakes sucked on to quench their thirst; then there was the Carbuncle stone which a certain kind of snake wore in its forehead and which gave a red glow in the dark, but that was a very rare one. You couldn't kill the snake to get it, because then the glow of the stone vanished immediately and forever. Occasionally the snake left the stone somewhere as a gift; and when it went to drink or bathe it took it out - the stone must not get wet. That was your opportunity to find it and keep it. But it was no use to anybody else: the Carbuncle stone could not be traded, bought or sold, for then again the glow would vanish. Find it yourself, or get it as a gift.
The very small stone was the child of the other stone. First it had not been there: the larger one had been "all alone" in the box - and one morning the child was lying next to it, "born in the night," grandmother said, and put the top back on the box.
They were there to guard the treasure; grandmother was always careful to get some new ones from the beach regularly. As long as the treasure was guarded by living sentinels no thief would dare touch it, and as long as the treasure was lying in the drawer the house of the Small Garden would be protected against misfortune, and disease, and poverty, and venom, and other unmentionable things; and all who lived there would be - happy, grandmother would never say - not too unhappy, the Lord willing...
Every time has its own evil, but a human being can still be good
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"The Ten Thousand Things is a novel of shimmering strangeness?the story of Felicia, who returns with her baby son from Holland to the Spice Islands of Indonesia, to the house and garden that were her birthplace, over which her powerful grandmother still presides. There Felicia finds herself wedded to an uncanny and dangerous world, full of mystery and violence, where objects tell tales, the dead come and go, and the past is as potent as the present. First published in Holland in 1955, Maria Dermo?t's novel was immediately recognized as a magical work, like nothing else Dutch?or European?literature had seen before. The Ten Thousand Things is an entranced vision of a far-off place that is as convincingly real and intimate as it is exotic, a book that is at once a lament and an ecstatic ode to nature and life"--Publisher's description.

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