Friday, February 10, 2012
The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.
Poppy fields. Table Cape, Tasmania's North West Coast. February 2012.
All of the running about up in the north west of Tasmania constrained my reading time this week, hence only one book was finished this week. It was the very interesting epistle from the past that is Leo Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata, which was first published in 1889 but promptly censored by the Russian authorities. The book itself represents an argument for the ideal of sexual abstinence and a thorough first-person description of jealousy.
This is a tricky little book. It stresses Tolstoy's rather unique view on human sexuality, one which physical desire is perceived as a barrier to ‘proper’ relations between men and women and a route to tragedy. I cannot say that I am convinced of Tolstoy’s viewpoint, but do recognise the power of his storytelling. The narrative itself is a powerful one – as sex and murder tales usually are – but my conclusion is somewhat different from that of central character Pozdnyshev (and we presume Tolstoy), in which sex is repulsive and destructive and that sexual love degrades a human being.
A good little read. Recommended.