"If there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it walls, and we will furnish it with soft, red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweller's felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does."
I finished "Everything is Illuminated" yesterday by Jonathan Safran Foer. Remember how much I loved "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?"
I wish I could say I loved Everything is Illuminated the way I loved that one, but I can't. Here's the thing, I liked the book, but I would be lying if I said that I loved it. That being said, I do think Safran-Foer is a literary genius. Attempting to write a book after reading him is a little disheartening. He is brilliant, and he writes beautifully.
The book was three stories in one. One a letter, one the present, and one the past. I loved the past story. I loved Brod, I loved her entire story. I loved the Gypsy girl, I loved the characters from the past. I even loved the dark, Nazi-crazed scenes, because they really touched me. But overall, the book was too explicit for my liking.
Even though I got my English degree at BYU, I am not a very innocent reader. I believe that books can get away with a lot more than movies can, and I wouldn't be offended. I am used to reading certain swear words, as well as pretty explicit sex scenes. I even had a professor at BYU Hawaii who had a whole lecture built around writing sex scenes well. (He claims the one in Ceremony is the best ever written.) I enjoyed that lecture thoroughly. But Everything is Illuminated was a little too much for me. I felt almost guilty reading it, it was so explicit.
I still think Safran-Foer is a genius, and there are so many beautiful quotes and truths to pull from this novel. Overall however, I found the book a little offensive. So many novels have beautiful quotes, so many novels have truth, so many have characters I come to love. Why he had to put in so much explicit content I don't know.
Have you read it? What did you think?