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اثر جان آپدایک از انتشارات ققنوس - مترجم: سهیل سمی-دهه 1960

جان هویر آپدایک در تمام آثارش، به‌خصوص چهارگانه‌ی خرگوش، به مضمون رنج‌ کشیدن و تنها ماندن شخصیت اصلی‌اش در برابر ارزش‌های کذایی زندگی عامه می‌پردازد. هری آنگستروم، ملقب به خرگوش، موجود همیشه فراری و گریزان، از مفهوم واقع‌گرایانه عشق در کانون خانواده‌اش و در اجتماع دلزده و سرخورده می‌شود. مثل پرومتئوس اساطیر یونان سر به شورش برمی‌دارد، اما شورش بی‌پشتوانه، فرجامی چون فرجام سیزیف دارد، «هری» شورش می‌کند و شکست می‌خورد و می‌گریزد، اما در پایان راه به بلوغ می‌رسد، یعنی تسلیم می‌شود، اما تسلیم نه به معنای حقیرانه آن، بلکه به معنای ترک عصیان و جستجوی ارزش‌هایی دیگرگونه که بتوان با تکیه بر آن‌ها برای واژه‌هایی چون عشق، ایثار، ارزش و زندگی مفاهیمی دیگر گونه کشف کرد.


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“He tries to picture how it will end, with an empty baseball field, a dark factory, and then over a brook in a dirt road, he doesn’t know. He pictures a huge vacant field of cinders and his heart goes hollow.”

Eh, it had its moments. Took me a long time to get properly into Rabbit, Run - the first two thirds of the book are particularly slow, and although John Updikes writing is wonderful in places - erudite, descriptive - his style takes some getting used to. Or at least it did for this reader.

I want to clarify something: my disappointment isnt with the character, as indeed a lot of people have found Harry @Rabbit@ Angstrom mind-numbingly arrogant and utterly repulsive. These are fair comments: I too found myself cringing at his lack of sensitivity and, well, seemingly any kind of moral compass. However, I dont need my characters to be likeable; were not best friends and I wont have to go suffer a beer with him down the local. Often, flawed, even twisted characters can be the best kind and create the most interesting narratives.

However, this just wasnt that intriguing. Rabbit, Run plods along disappointingly for the first two thirds of the book, with plenty of weird sex scenes and disconcerting passages to boot - then it picks up. The last act gives us some of the best, and most affecting, writing: often I was moved by how subtly Updike manoeuvres his cast into positions, and there were some touching scenes.

Overall, Im glad I read it - in and amongst a strange, meandering story there were flashes of brilliance - but something tells me I wont be rushing out to buy the sequels any time soon.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Damn! I feel like Updike just slapped me across the face and said, bitch - this is what writing is! In particular, these last 30 pages were the most intense, tragic, unexpected and untidy. Im still trying to catch my breath. And at least I have the advantage of time. If I had been a reader in 1960, I might have been quite frustrated by this @loose@ ending. As it is, I know that Updike continued this crazy story of Harry @Rabbit@ Angstrom 11 years later in 1971. Oh, yes, Ill be reading that soon.

My intro may have made this sound like some action adventure - NO! As my sister put it well, this is a story about PEOPLE, just people and their daily lives. Its probably one of the classic day-in-the-life tales (even though it spans several months). There are no sweeping vistas, panoramic moments, no suffering animals, no earth-shattering revolutions. Its talking, talking, talking, thinking, thinking, thinking, then talking about thinking and thinking about talking. Lots of minutiae - Cheerios, the Mickey Mouse Club show, the top 40 songs from 1959, chocolate covered cherries, cuff-links, cigarettes, bad breath - sounds boring, right?

No, not boring. Updike was probably anything but boring. I cant believe how expansive his craft was - poetry, short stories, and novels. Like Hemingway, he packed so much into one sentence. Unlike the last novel I just read, ALL of the characters in this story were OOZING with personality! I could picture any one of them walking up to me right now! And dont let the simplicity of the story fool you. Big themes of religion, sex, marriage, duty, death are weaved into all this talking and thinking. Updike amazingly tapped into feelings weve ALL experienced. Wow.





مشاهده لینک اصلی
From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:
The post-war novel that summed up middle-class white America and established John Updike as the major American author of his generation. Rabbit, Run is the first in a virtuoso Pullitzer Prize-wining quintet featuring hapless Harry Angstrom, whom we meet as a 26 year old former high school basketball star and suburban paragon in the midst of a personal crisis.

Episode 1 (of 10):
When Harry @Rabbit@ Angstrom joins an impromptu basketball game, he sets in motion a chain of decisions that will free him from the responsibilities of adult life - or so he hopes.

Episode 2 (of 10):
Rabbit returns to Mt Judge and turns to his old high school basketball coach for advice about his marriage - but instead, finds himself introduced to an alternative partner.

Episode 3 (of 10):
Rabbit and Ruth begin a romance of sorts after a one night stand - despite, or because of his recent escape from Janice, it is the start of a far more significant encounter.

Episode 4 (of 10):
Rabbit returns home to get his things and is waylaid by Jack Eccles, a young Episcopalian minister on a mission to understand and reform him - or at least get a game of golf.

Episode 5 (of 10):
Ruths been losing weight to please Harry, but somehow shes gaining again. Rabbit revels in a lack of consequences for his behaviour, and insists that Ruth prove her love to him.

Episode 6 (of 10):
Ruth is furious when Harry learns that his wife Janice is in labour and rushes off, arriving at the hospital full of fear - only to fall head over heels for his new baby daughter.

Episode 7 (of 10):
Rabbit is reunited with his wife, his old basketball coach and his in-laws, and turns over a new leaf. Yet he cant help wondering if the ministers wife Lucy is flirting with him.

Episode 8 (of 10):
Janice brings the new baby home from hospital and Harry is overjoyed - until he is thwarted in his desires and decides to run again, at least for a night, with tragic consequences.

Episode 9 (of 10):
Harry learns terrible news of his daughter, Rebecca. He becomes convinced, for the moment, that these are the wages of his sin.

Episode 10 (of 10):
Harry prays for his daughter, but then returns to form - abusing his wife, horrifying his family, and running to Ruth who finally reveals her secret.

Rabbit, Run established Updike as one of the major American novelists of his generation. In the New York Times he was praised for his @artful and supple@ style in his @tender and discerning study of the desperate and the hungering in our midsts@.

Radio 4 plans to broadcast all five novels in the series over the next few years.

Read by Toby Jones
Abridged by Eileen Horne
Produced by Clive Brill
A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08mb39f

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Why I read it: Well I joined my parents little book club and it was my dad’s choice. He selected three books and told me to pick one of the three and that would be the one that my mom, dad, and I read. I chose this one merely based on the synopsis and hearing good things about Updike being a classic author.

Synopsis: Set in 1959, Rabbit Angstrom, 26 years old and a former basketball star, lives with his pregnant wife and young son. Yet his life and marriage is a melancholy one, one in which he is not happy in. His wife smokes and drinks to deal with the stressors of having young kids. What does Rabbit do to deal? He runs. He leaves his pregnant wife and son and runs. From there the story unravels and tells what he does after he leaves.

Let me start by saying that when I read the first fifty pages of Rabbit, Run I was ready to put it down. Why? I had trouble reading it. Updike’s work is riddled with description after description. Heck there are words describing words describing words describing words. You get my point. He also has a very old fashioned writing style, in that he does not let the events speak for the work (as there are very few events in this book) but he lets the feelings speak for it. So instead of packing the book with event after event after event he fills it with feelings, sights and sounds. That is why it is a rather slow paced book. Yet that is also why the characters are very memorable. In fact Rabbit is said to be Updike’s most memorable character. Give me a few months and I’ll begin to forget names of characters I read but I will never forget Rabbit.

Particularly in the beginning, but also throughout, I struggled with the many descriptions. I felt like Updike would get carried away with his descriptions and page long paragraphs. Hes also not a fan of chapters, which I had to adjust to. With that said, there were moments that made the book grow on me. It was a really odd relationship with this book because I felt no sympathy with the characters, particularly Rabbit and his wife Janice. I don’t think this has a thing to do with me not being a mom but the fact that they both made poor decisions and it’s hard for me to have sympathy for people who do that. Though I did not feel sympathy for them Updike did make me feel connected to them. It was hard not to be, due to the way he described things. I can see why many readers reference Updike as an inspiration to writers. Writers can learn a lot from his rambling descriptions, but more the way he constructs them. He’s very precise and poetic in his construction, and rather magical at times.

If anything this book is about the day to day struggles of life. That is possibly why it was boring on occasion because often times the things we do are boring. That was where I struggled with the book the most and yet admired Updike for it. He didn’t glamorize the writing with all kinds of events that likely would not happen in life. He kept it real and told stories that could relate to many people. That is what makes him a great writer because he wrote his sentences in a way that many would have trouble writing, when analyzing day to day life.

Dialogue was the one thing I felt was lacking. I think I’ve emphasized Updike’s love for descriptions, so that leaves little room for dialogue. He had dialogue sure, but it was interspersed in his long paragraphs and just minimal all together. I love dialogue and so I really missed that and craved more.

I gave this book three stars because I liked it, I appreciate Updike’s craft but only a three because I felt the descriptions sometimes got excessive to the point of boredom and left me no reason to care for the characters.



مشاهده لینک اصلی


@Everybody who tells you how to act has whisky on their breath.@

@He wonders, is it just these people Im outside or is it all America?@

@He wonders why there are so many signs coming back and so few going down.@

Rabbit, Run has now taken a very special space on my pretty short list of Greatest American Novels. Pretty high up there. Perhaps if I wasnt raised in Salinas, John Updike may even eclipse John Steinbeck on my favorite authors list.

I have a feeling if I would have read this book at any other time in my life, I may have hated it. I cant say I relate to Rabbit, but I am on his wavelength. I dont have a wife or kids or too serious of a job or lack of a serious job, I should say. If I did I still wouldnt do what Rabbit does. But I get it. Rabbit is a jerk. He does some pretty horrible things. Is he to blame? Of course. Was there any other way around it? Probably. But not to Rabbit.

Life is short. And Rabbit wants to run. And he does.

Women:

@That wonderful way they have of coming forward around you when they want it. Otherwise just fat weight. Funny how the passionate ones are often tight and dry and the slow ones wet. They want you up and hard on their little ledge. The thing is play them until just a touch. You can tell: their skin under the fur gets all loose like a puppys neck.@

@The Mason Dixon line, The schoolroom in which he learned this recurs to him, the rooted desk rows, the scarred varnish, the milky black of the blackboard, the pieces of tight girlish ass packed all up and down the aisles in alphabetical order.@

How to save your relationship:

@It was a mess as it was.@
@What sort of mess.@
@I dont know. My wifes an alcoholic.@
@And have you tried to help her?@
@Sure. How?@
@Did you drink with her?@

The Amish:

@No underpants. Fanatics. Worship manure.@

Basketball:

@There was you and sometimes the ball and then the hole, the high perfect hole with its pretty skirt of net. It was you, just you and that fringed ring, and sometimes it came right down to your lips it seemed and sometimes it stayed away, hard and remote and small. It seemed silly for the crowd to applaud or groan over what you had already felt in your fingers or even in your arms as you braced to shoot or for that matter in your eyes: when he was hot he could see the separate threads wound into the strings looping the hoop.@

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