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Rorschach test for the advanced,
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Cloud Atlas (English Edition) (Kindle Edition)
1931 Robert Frobisher (the hero of the novel’s second narrative) composes the Cloud Atlas Sextet in and near Bruges (which is in Belgium BTW – no pun intended). It consists of six solos interrupting each other at a crucial point in the composition only to come full circle and end at the beginning – “Violin note, misplayed, hideously -” (Kindle version p.461)…
This pretty much wraps up the novel Cloud Atlas as well – six individual, interrupted narratives covering a time span from early 19th century into a far post-apocalyptic future, like a Rorschach test in almost bilateral symmetry split in the middle by an uninterrupted narration of the farthest future to pick up the previous threads in inverted order – ending at the beginning.
What makes this book so special and so different? I can only speak from my personal experience and can say it was probably the most fascinating and most frustrating book I have ever read. Fascinating because the author manages to weave a net around me, drawing me in, leaving clues for me to connect all the dots only to find myself let down in the end because all my best laid plans and theories are worth zilch. Frustrating because the author won’t connect all the dots for me and will leave questions unanswered.
So here I am, about 24h hours after having finished the first reading of this truly extraordinary book and I can’t seem to wrap my mind around anything else but thinking about what I actually think the book is trying to tell me.
Is mankind circling the drain? Are we ever going to learn, or are the plans laid down by the architects of human life everlastingly flawed and we make the same mistakes over and over and over again – possibly just getting more sophisticated in our ways to oppress/ kill / enslave the weak. Can one person make a difference – so, is there hope? Is there a character – a spirit – a soul – so precious it’ll last through the centuries, maybe reincarnated to remind us of something? Or are we all responsible of the effects of our small actions in the grander scheme of things?
…or am I just losing it?
Quote from Kindle Version page 508
“… only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop a limitless ocean!”
“Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?”