Have recently read to the end a story by Hanif Kureishi - "Intimacy". i was really surprised. the book belongs to my colleague and when she brought it to me i assumed from the name and the cover of the book (naked man and woman lying in the dark) that it should be some erotic writings. i don't like books of such kind and i actually had little wish to read it. Finally it was just my concience which forced me to open the book - it was after about three weeks it had beeen given to me (shame on me, indead!)
it was some real discovery for me. the plot seems to be very plain: a man is going to leave his wife and two boys, it's not an easy decision for him, he thinks it over and over again, recalling at the same time some parts of his life... but how the author describes it all from the first person! i haven't ever thought, that i could be so near to understanding male psychology.
the book is about love, hate, feare, loneliness, sex, matrimonial life, friendship, lack of happiness, and this all on just about 90 pages. there are some short frases by different characters, which are so rich of thoughts. many times i really had to stop reading and think some passage over, i had sometimes a strong feeling of recognition - as if i searched for it for a long time or as if my own thoughts had been printed black on white - a strange feeling should i say. there were answers to my unformed tearing questions, to my thoughts, it was like a kind of wonder!
i think this short story made me less childish. I think i was a lot of a maximalist, "Intimacy" gave me a chance to get wiser, in some way more realistic and at the same time more optimistical. i don't know how to explain it, the feelings are really very strong and complicated, but i think i will remember this book like i remember some others - the books, which succeeded in changing my world.
Hanif Kureishi, "Intimacy":
"Hurting someone is an act of reluctant intimacy."
"After a certain age sex can never be casual. I couldn't ask for so little. To lay your hand on another's body, or to put your mouth against another's - what a commitment that is! To choose someone is to uncover a whole life. And it is to invite them to uncover you!"
"When there are other people there is always mystery."
"Dear God, teach me to be careless"
"I will throw myself on others, going all the way, not hovering on the frine of life."
"You don't stop loving someone just because you hate them."
"How can children make us feel so helpless?"
"- I would say that there is a new restlessness about.
- Yes, it makes me fell unique for loving the same person continuously for a number of years and not covertly planning an escape. But i do love it here. Every day something is built upon. There is increase. Without it i would be just a man walking down the street with nowhere to go.
- At home, for me, there is no movement.
- With a real love there is little movement. You are going round and round, but further and further. ..."
"Lying protects all of us; it keeps the important going"
"...It (lying) creates a terrible loneliness."
I wish this book were mine. I guess i'll need to reread it.