Group Read, November and December 2022: Celestial Harmonies

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Group Read, November and December 2022: Celestial Harmonies

1puckers
Nov 1, 2022, 2:22 pm

Our group read is a two month read this time. We are reading Celestial Harmonies by Peter Esterhazy. Please join in the read and post any comments on this thread.

2annamorphic
Nov 3, 2022, 11:36 am

This is not just a long read, it's hard! It's like a Thomas Bernhard or Samuel Beckett (in terms of ranting inconsistency) but for 900 pages instead of 150. I love those authors, mind you. But this is a lot of ranting.

3BentleyMay
Nov 3, 2022, 1:24 pm

Uh-oh, I'm in trouble!

4ELiz_M
Nov 3, 2022, 1:29 pm

According to the intro and only the first book is hard. The second book is supposed to read more like a (non chronological) biography.

I haven't gotten to the ranting yet, only on sentence 9 or so 😁

5annamorphic
Nov 6, 2022, 2:00 pm

The 10 pages or so listing his father's belongings was wonderful! Completely bizarre yet so effective. I loved how cheap modern things were inserted into a nobleman's inventory as a way of registering his changed life. I sometimes read this kind of inventory in my real life so I completely related to it.

Otherwise, this is a tough read. Would it be easier if one knew Hungarian history very, very well? Asking for a friend...

6ELiz_M
Nov 6, 2022, 2:31 pm

>5 annamorphic: I was going to ask about that section, as in did I miss anything by not reading it? :-D

I'm feeling like this is a Manhattan Transfer kind of book, where it's easiest to just go with it and eventually, through the accumulation of stories and layers, a (nearly) complete picture of the place emerges.

7annamorphic
Nov 16, 2022, 12:44 pm

Almost done with the first, plotless section. Whew! I'm going to read something short and with a plot before I embark upon the second half.
In some way I did appreciate that first part but it would probably have been more rewarding if I had all the time in the world to read and muse over each "sentence."