I just finished reading “Beatrice and Virgil” by Yann Martel. I should readily admit I’m one of perhaps ten or twelve people that didn’t read the author’s other work, “Life of Pi”. I actually chose the book randomly, I needed an extra book to fill a space on a form to join a mail order book club. Which probably doesn’t say much for me or the book, but nonetheless here we go…
This is the sort of book that calls attention to the fact that my depth is most questionable and my intellect is less than I’d like to imagine…I just don’t really get it, not in that marrow and bone fragment kind of way, I get it only on the surface. I see the message in the bottle, but can’t read the language it’s been penned in. I readily understood as soon as the taxidermist character was introdueced that I was entering into a Holocaust carnival, not one I wanted to experience…but, it’s a short book…why not?
I liked the part about the pear, I liked the sweet friendship between a donkey and a howling monkey. I dind’t like that there had to be a torture scene, not because I can’t face the truth even in the guise of early 20th century animal torture…but, because it was uncalled for…as if starvation and dreams of sweet cakes and coffee didn’t illustrate enough a hungering for normalcy..we had to cut the donkey’s tail and that was simply too much.
What makes this a tale worth reading?
“Virgil: No, not at all like an apple! An apple resists being eaten. An apple is not eaten, it is conquered. The crunchiness of a pear is far more appealing. It is giving and fragile. To eat a pear is akin to…kissing.”