Found Objects by Peter Gelfan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
With the frontispiece quote from the poem “Tonight I Watched” by Sappho, the mood is set for this hauntingly written novel of beauty, loneliness and self-discovery.
Aldo is having a tough time adjusting to a major change in his life and his first person narrative explores the moral, philosophical and practical challenges of living a complicated alternative lifestyle. Things start out joyful and fulfilling for Aldo, his wife, their lover and her two children, but quickly become confusing and uncomfortable when an unexpected guest arrives unannounced.
Full of humor and deftly drawn characters, the novel explores the complexity of relationships forged between adults, adults and their children, and between a family unit and the community in which they live. Social questions are posed in this novel such as: what makes a family? what is moral? what is marriage? what makes a parent? These questions are pondered in a provocative and interesting way from the viewpoint of the main character and the reader is carried along for the journey.
I found the novel to be difficult to put down and read it in a couple of days. I will probably pick it up again in a few weeks and read it at a more leisurely pace to fully digest all the philosophical questions.
I recommend this novel to anyone who seeks to more fully understand themselves and their relationships with others. For, in the end, this is a book about being human and learning to accept yourself for who you are, even when who you are is a riddle.
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” When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” This poster of JFK is in the back room of Coffee Parisien, a bistro next the The Village Voice Bookstore on Rue Princesse in Paris, France. The line is from a speech President Kennedy gave at Amherst in October 1963 in memory of Robert Frost:
“When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.”
An Arizona bill would likely prohibit teachers and professors from teaching any book with profanity. These are just a few of the books that would be outlawed in classrooms.
Who needs dictionaries anyway?