Monthly Archives: October 2013

Lorri M. Review: Brave Genius

bravegenius Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize, by Sean B. Carroll, is a well-documented book regarding the lives of two particular individuals, Albert Camus and Jacques Monod. Each man was goal-oriented, trying to pursue their dreams during a time of extreme turbulence and upheaval in France.

The stories of each man encompasses other individuals responsible for their endeavors and for the safety of their lives when the two of them were involved in the French Resistance. The documentation of their involvement in the French Resistance is intense and often borders on too much information. Do not get me wrong, I am a history buff, and avid World War II book fan, but at times there were too many facts that I thought were unnecessary. I felt the length of the book, at almost 600 pages, could have been scaled down to 300-350 pages, and the story line would still have been adeptly told.

But, even with that, the book is a work of excellence in portraying the two men and their achievements that one would think not possible under the adverse circumstances. Brave Genius is a work of historical importance, in my opinion, and one that gives extreme and intense insight into how France dealt with the affairs of Hitler’s movement through the country.

Sean B. Carroll has done the research, and provided the reader with a plethora of information. The intellectual writing brings the reader into the academic folds. The pages reveal a work of scientific exploration, and literary brilliance, as far as Camus and Monod are concerned. From philosophy to science, the pages reflect their endeavors and striving to succeed beyond the normal inclinations. They also reveal the masterful writing of Sean B. Carroll.

I recommend Brave Genius to all who have an interest in World War II, and in particular, French history.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Holocaust/Genocide, Jewish History, Lorri's Blog, Non-Fiction, World War II

Friday Ramblings – October 25, 2013

sunning

odd one

Visit Leora, at Sketching Out, for her review of In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist.

I will be seeing the movie The Pin. It looks quite compelling in many aspects. If you have seen it, please let me know what you thought of it.

Effort begins to return Iraqi Jewish artifacts, back to the Iraqi Jewish community.

This is an interesting article regarding the growth of Orthodox Judaism.

The Family: Three Journies Into the Heart of the Twentieth Century looks to be a fascinating book, in my opinion.

Ⓒ All rights reserved © Copyright 2007 – 2013 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission.

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Sea Floor

seafloor

I have read over 1,500 book pages the past week. Those pages were within the covers of two books:

I read The Rise of David Levinsky.

I also read Norman Mailer: A Double Life.

I chose to read The Rise of David Levinsky for its depiction of late 19th century, and early 20th century New York’s garment industry. I thought it would be a fascinating subject, and it most definitely was. I will be reviewing it at some point.

There were some similarities between Levinsky and Mailer, as far as ambition, which I thought was interesting. Levinsky was an immigrant from Russia, and Mailer was an American, yet their ambitions were similar…the search for respect, recognition and power seems to have ruled both of them. I will be writing more on comparisons in the future.
~~~
You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
-Mahatma Gandhi

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.
-John F. Kennedy

October 22, 2013 – 18 Cheshvan, 5774

Ⓒ All rights reserved © Copyright 2007 – 2013 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission.

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Filed under Lorri's Blog, Photography

Lorri M. Review: Norman Mailer: A Double Life

normanmailer J. Michael Lennon has captured Norman Mailer to the fullest extent possible, in the biography, Norman Mailer: A Double Life.

Through his meticulous attention to detail, and his extensive research, he has brought the reader a stark, undoctored, realistic approach to the life that Mailer led, both privately and publicly. There are instances where I wish that Lennon was not so illuminating with is minute word-imagery, but I am aware that those segments are a part of the whole.

Lennon
has created a biography that depicts a man who, in my opinion, seems to be floundering. I could see him at odds with his sexual escapades, his divorces, his children and his own opinions of the world and of himself. At odds, meaning his actions and the consequences of them. At times, he appeared to be so full of himself. His activities and sexual prowess never ceased, at the expense of others. But, more importantly at the expense of himself.

He didn’t seem able to control his impulses, and he let them take over in social and private situations. Even if he could control the impulses, from the material garnered in the biography, I doubt he would have. Sex and women were major factors in his life. For him the events leading up to self-gratification were forms of power over others.

Mailer seems to have used some of his sexual experiences as material for his novels. He enjoyed the self-absorption and the impulses he acted upon, while they were occurring. Afterwards, he often felt that he spread himself too wide, but it did not stop him from continuing his more or less promiscuous behavior. From alcohol and drugs, to sexual exploits, his addictions were many.

He involved himself in politics, was often seen as radical, viewed other authors as not being the great 20th century writer, and often fluctuated from one subject to another as sources for writing. He procrastinated, and some of his books took years to be finalized and published. He was often perceived as cowing to the public, as far as story line, through his sometimes less than desirable book sales. He seems, in my opinion, to be a man who wanted to be labeled as THE greatest writer of the century, yet his output was often the reverse of his aspiration. Time will tell whether he was.

He married six times. Once he had a child/children from his wives, the luster seemed to wear off, and he sought other alternatives. His infidelities were baffling, and his sister was once known to have asked him why he sought this course of action. In his mind it was a safety net. Go figure.

Marriage and infidelity were one of his double lives. Becoming a great author and juggling fame and his personal life was another one of his double lives. Author and critic, power play and morals, hardworking and merriment, all of these and so much more are described in the several double lives that Mailer involved himself in.

J. Michale Lennon has brought every aspect of Norman Mailer’s life to the forefront. From the despicable and ugly acts to the kindnesses, we are witness to a man who led a life filled with prolific writings, nine children, six wives, varied emotions, and filled with self-realized consequences for the choices he made.

Norman Mailer: A Double Life might be a long book, yet within the pages, nothing is left for us to wonder regarding the context of his life. This is the way he wanted it, and this is what the author has given the reader.

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Filed under Biography, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Non-Fiction

Sunday Scenes – October 20, 2013

leaving

pond

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

-William Shakespeare

October 20, 2013 – 16 Cheshvan, 5774

Ⓒ All rights reserved © Copyright 2007 – 2013 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission.

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Friday Ramblings – October 18, 2013

kiddsishcup2

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.
-C.S. Lewis

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
-Thomas Jefferson

The Jewish Book Council has announced the finalists for the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Literature. I read The Aleppo Codex, and recommend it.

Read about the mass exit of Jews from Denmark during the Nazi occupation of it.

First Green Health Facility is a Dutch Jewish Hospital.

Interesting article regarding Lee Harvey Oswald and the Jews.

October 18, 2013 – 14 Cheshvan, 5774

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