Monday, March 21, 2005

french polish

Back in the days when I'd pore over the book reviews and then go fork out $100 on four or five books in one go, I bought a copy of Antoni Libera's Madame, but I never read it. For some reason I couldn't get past the first page. Anyway, I picked it up again recently and was blown away. It's actually a beautiful love story, and very witty.

"Madame tells the story of a Polish teenager pursuing intellectual maturity--and the older woman of his dreams, his French teacher--in the communist-dominated Warsaw of the late Sixties."

Reminded me of some of the terrible crushes I got on various teachers in high school. Mind you, the hero of this novel certainly got luckier than I ever did!
I also found it an eye-opener because I've never really paid much attention to Poland before, although my mother's mother was Polish so I do have some vague curiosity about it.
There's some great quotes in the novel, too. I like one from Schopenhauer:
"A novelist should aim not to descibe great events but to make small ones interesting."

Anyway, highly recommended.