Life, love and pain

I finished the novella Ethan Frome today. It was a short but memorable read, though I do prefer Edith Wharton’s longer novels. Besides the beautiful writing, heartbreakingly tragic in its tone from start to finish, the idea that haunts me is how life, and some lives, can be so affected by sadness that one wonders how they even can be borne by those living them. Perhaps we are so fortunate, we don’t even realise it.

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Love versus survival

How did it ever take me so long to discover Days of Heaven?  Love versus survival is a theme I thoroughly enjoyed.  The idea that perhaps we humans are mere animals wanting to survive, eat, pro-create, in competition with others, pervades this film.  As we go through our day-to-day lives, is this all it’s about?  Other than Barry Lyndon which I saw some weeks ago, this is has some of the most beautiful photography I can ever remember seeing.

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Do clones have a soul?!

Never Let Me Go turned out to be such a haunting novel, thought-provoking in so many ways.  If you’ve not read it, but like a book firmly grounded in character development, I highly recommend it.  Beware of coming spoilers though!

What defines humanity — and are clones to be considered human beings with souls?  If we ever made human clones, what rights should they have?  What kind of lives should they have?  Could we ever justify producing them just for “spare parts”?

I guess there are films like Blade Runner which raise the question of how to deal with robots that developed feelings, but I think the issues with human clones, are in a way even more thought-provoking.

One of the saddest things, for me, in this novel, was the idea that the clones kept thinking that to demonstrate love, might win them recognition and save them from coming into the service of providing “spare parts”, and that the origin of rumours about this could not be identified, nor could this rumour be stopped from recurring repeatedly in their community.  A hint perhaps that to love is the highest demonstration of humanity?

I look forward to reading more Ishiguro.  Probably The Remains of the Day next time.

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Testing… Testing… Under construction

I’ve just created my WordPress account and am setting-up my blog, which I expect will take a few days.  Still experimenting with setting-up pages etc…

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