i am reading "Les Mandarins" by Simone De Beauvoir (en Francais bien sur) and am in awe!

i don't usually write about books here because it takes a certain type talent to review books, especially books in the realm of De Beauvoir's Les Mandarins - a talent which i do not possess in the slightest! so this is not a review (i have only read the first 100 pages of the 1st book anyways...) but more of a "stop - think - relay".

what amazes me most about this novel so far is how ahead of its time it was (it was published in 1954), how, from a political/social perspective, it predicts future notions and couldn't be more acurate if it tried! Nostradamus pales in comparison!

One example of this surprising future-telling is this quote from De Beauvoir's character, the scynical Scriassine:

"Je suppose que vous avez vecu cette guerre de trop pres pour bien la comprendre; c'est tout autre chose qu'une guerre: la liquidation d'une societe et meme d'un monde; le commencement de la liquidation. Les progres de la science et de la technique, les changements economique vont a tel point boulverser la terre que nos manieres meme de penser et de sentir en seront revolutionnees: nous aurons du mal a nous rappeler qui nous avons ete. Entre autre, l'art et la litterature ne nous sembleront plus que des divertissements perimes."

now, if Scriassine would have said this to me post war, i guess i would have dismissed his pessimism as viewed through peace colored glasses but reading this today, i can but agree! in the past 60yrs, economy, technology and science has revolutionized the way we think, the way we communicate and the way we live, to the expense of literature and possibly art; maybe not my generation (70s baby) but 21st century babies are living a life through the internet, they are the ones Scriassine is talking about...

must continue reading! laters!

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