duminică, 30 octombrie 2022

Rabbit Redux by John Updike – a previous note on this book has been published at http://realini.blogspot.com/2016/03/rabbit-redux-by-john-updike-great-book.html - 10 out of 10


Rabbit Redux by John Updike – a previous note on this book has been published at http://realini.blogspot.com/2016/03/rabbit-redux-by-john-updike-great-book.html

10 out of 10



This is the second time I have read Rabbit Redux and this is because I have enjoyed the tetralogy, critics say it is ‘a masterpiece’ and it is included on The 100 Best novels Written in English compiled by The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/aug/17/the-100-best-novels-written-in-english-the-full-list and most of all, it is a pleasure to read and it navigates easily, even in audiobook format…


The hero aka anti-hero or just a common man we have met in Rabbit Run, the first part of the roman fleuve, his name is Harry Angstrom aka Rabbit, and we can see quite a few things we share with him, just as we have many differences, this being the archetypal (maybe) American man of the sixties and we come from across the globe

He has been a fabulous basketball player in his teenage days, but later on, the promise has been not fulfilled and he has lost his wife, job and spoiler alert – since this note is not about Rabbit Run, I could say that the protagonist has a daughter die, because she is accidentally drowned by Janice, her alcoholic mother, and then Harry shares in the blame – and he is now trying to find his way, a new identity maybe


Surely the most important aspect that I like about this read is how much I now have in common with Rabbit, if some decades ago I would be outraged by the equanimity with which he takes the affair that his wife, Janice, has with her father’s salesman, Charlie Stavros, now I am quite serene about it and find that I take my spouse’s almost daily evasions, the long weekend trips with serious doses of ataraxia.

There are more than qualms about this, but they are mainly or even exclusively directed at the money spent on these outings, the perils involved by the terrorizing, upcoming new crisis and not by some the possible, nay, sure innuendo, and the disparaging fact concerns the attitude of contempt, which is one of the Four horsemen of the Apocalypse, as identified by the quintessential expert on relationships, John Gottman, author of the classic The seven Principles of Making Marriage Work

http://realini.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-seven-principles-of-making-marriage.html the others are Defensiveness, Stonewalling and Criticism


Harry Angstrom is not an innocent, injured party, for he has had an affair with Ruth (maybe a child resulted from the intimacy) and he had driven away from home, thinking he may end up on the ocean coast, somewhere in the South, maybe in red Texas (red for the cult of Trump, not the communism which was associated with that color in our part of the world) and furthermore, he has a relationship with a teenager.


Jill settles in the house where Janice has gone missing, and she has intercourse with Rabbit, trying to recover from our own traumas, she has run away from home, the place where her mother lives with her step father, taking away the white Porsche with he (incidentally, VW has just put out shares in this company for sale, and the estimation may make it the second most valuable car company in the world, second only to Tesla, the toy of the crazy, richest man on the planet, who had just interfered in the war in Ukraine…after he had initially backed the right side, giving access to the crucial Star link system, he now talks of peace [which would be lovely] but on some Russian terms, with them keeping the Crimea and presumably some of the land they have invaded in this goddamn war) and she would destroy the luxury vehicle.

She would drive it without oil and so the engine would be ruined, but she is not the only one to do that, for we have Skeeter mistreating the automobile – Skeeter is a drug dealer wanted by the police, who seems to think to think he is the new Messiah or Jesus, he keeps saying ‘right’ and has a speech that is both dazzling and somewhat hard to believe…would a normal person talk like that, never mind one with little education.


However, let me refer to the wondrous To The Hermitage http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/09/to-hermitage-by-malcolm-bradbury-author.html by Malcolm Bradbury, wherein he writes about the fabulous advantage of engaging with the literary world, where everything is so much more interesting (his humor is unique and he says unless we are talking Kafka or Beckett) the characters are much cleverer, the events satisfying, scintillating (he does not use those words, of course, but you could and should look for the magnum opus and/or the passages in question) the readers have access to a phenomenal world and they can do that from their home, or bed and then we could add the quote from Umberto Eco which gives readers ‘Immortality backwards’ assured for us by reading, which means living five thousand lives, as opposed to the ones who do not read and have only one, alas…

I will return to what makes this magnum opus (in the words of TIME Magazine) so much more important for me, the fact that there are many parallels between the life of Rabbit and my own, at least in the part covered by Redux and some of the aspects that define what we do now, first of all, the continuous fighting with the spouse and the separation that is in effect, not taken to a divorce yet (albeit who knows, maybe she is seeing a lawyer right now, however implausible, seeing that she woke up early and taken the car yet again on one of her regular long, fuel consuming trips to who knows where, maybe Predeal)


Harry Angstrom is resigned to the situation and eventually, he will even accept Charlie Stravros working for him, and just as he does, I tolerated the fact that I spend most of my time with the babies (aka the two macaws, Balzac and Puccini) at home, but the extent of the spending, the travels, the insults have become too much lately, and even if stoic precepts come to mind (wish for what you already have) and an inclination to laughter, self-deprecating humor can take over, still, taking all that much shit can be overwhelming…right now, she may be in the mountains, with her sister or who knows what (that Raymond fellow may be there as well) and the whole expense is on my tab, the silly son of a bitch that is good for nothing, though a hero of the revolution – check this out http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/03/realini-in-newsweek-participant-in.html -and able to do this http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/02/unique-in-world.html?q=unique+in+the+world

Love In The Time of Commie Cholera, Episode 3, The Young Nabab

Exquisite Pleasures With The Russian Girl by Glorious Kingsley Amis

82 out of 100 for Autopsy, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

joi, 27 octombrie 2022

Permaflow 22, Stories from the Commie Days and After http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/02/unique-in-world.html?q=unique+in+the+world


Permaflow 22, Stories from the Commie Days and After http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/02/unique-in-world.html?q=unique+in+the+world



Coming out of the attorney’s office, there is this tall, handsome woman talking to my German shepherd, who was sitting in the car (the dog, not the stranger) as he was used to for long periods during the day…


Cruel and sadistic, perhaps But Daryl would rather come along with me, on my many adventures than sit and wait in Sfanta Vineri.

When I went to the pool, at what is now called the Downtown Club, of alleged World Class quality, but in fact of dubious reputation, and I have been considering for two years, nay it is more since the pandemic has started, if I should return there, seeing as they have some obnoxious fellows as clients and…employees.


One of them looked from the first floor and would talk with buddies and laugh at me (one of the ‘trainers’ they encourage you to hire, they even include one free session in the membership, for which you obviously pay, and quite a lot, seeing as they have a sort of monopoly of this market) and then I would see him flirting with a rather off-putting manager, which I hope has moved in the meantime, to other pastures…

The trouble now might be connected with the boys that I have near me right now, Balzac and Puccini, the blue and gold and red and green macaws respectively, with which I spend most of my days now, even when writing, like now


They get two hours of sleep between two and four in the afternoon, they are released in the house at 10 in the morning and the spouse takes them over at about seven thirty in the evening, when she is at home.

And she is very often away, she has just left and would return late in the evening, for the scheme now is to Do Revenge and pay me back for all the philandering and going out that I have done through the years…


So what to do with the boys now, do you have any ideas?

Actually, you may, for there are few comments on our YouTube channel – incidentally, the boys and I have three videos every day, and you may wish to check them – and among them, there would be the ‘lose the birds man ‘kind of suggestion

That is not a solution and the exit might be around the hours in the morning before they wake up, as it is, I wake up a few minutes before five, get downstairs for a drink and then depart for a job at half past five or twenty to six.


Then there are about fifty minutes of exercise up to and around the Mogosoaia Park and ‘cultural Centre’, which includes the architecture and historical monument The Mogosoaia Palace, with a dreadful management.

Upon return, in summer there needs to be watering the lawn, still doing it these days in October, because there has been insufficient rain for months now, and then a sleep of about one hour and then releasing the beasts at about ten.


This could be replaced in the pie chart program of the days to come with a new subscription at the ‘world class ‘network and then cycle there at five thirty to the opening at sis, but not over the weekends



The Commie Days, Episode 10, The Tycoon as Apprentice

On Reading The Victim by Nobel Prize Wineer Saul Bellow

71 out of 100 for A Todo Tren Destino Asturias

miercuri, 26 octombrie 2022

The Reivers – A Reminiscence by William Faulkner, Winner of The 1963 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulitzer_Prize_for_Fiction - William Faulkner has won the won the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature - 10 out of 10


The Reivers – A Reminiscence by William Faulkner, Winner of The 1963 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulitzer_Prize_for_Fiction - William Faulkner has won the won the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature

10 out of 10



William Faulkner is one of the greatest writers – though apparently Clark Gable had no idea about this, and I think I will insert an anecdote on the subject, at the end of this note, which says a lot about both Gable and William Faulkner and actors, celebrities in general – and this reader has had the chance to be enthused, elated by masterpieces of this Magister Ludi, such as As I Lay Dying, Absalom, Absalom, The Sound and The Fury http://realini.blogspot.com/2012/12/absalom-absalomthe-sound-and-furylight.html


However, even if The Reivers has been dismissed as a ‘lesser work, while the author called it "Golden Book of Yoknapatawpha County", this glorious novel appears to be the most accessible among his magnum opera, notwithstanding the challenges, the art of writing which is manifest here – with refined details, the brackets where the wondrous writer explains who the subject is, avoids any confusions and adds exquisite humor to a story that has so many dramatic turns and reads altogether as a marvelous thriller

Lucius Priest is the eleven year old boy who is the protagonist of the narrative and we hear what has happened mostly from him, albeit when he tells the story he is an adult and may have gained some perspective on the saga, which involves some other characters, the most notable of which would be Ned McCaslin from Jefferson Mississippi (they are all from that small town, it is just that Ned is the one who tells his whole name, which includes some other relatives and the town he comes from, and he is dismissed by various racist, disgusting white folks, the most reviled would be Butch, the man with the badge from the town misnamed Possum a few times) a man of superb intelligence, of both the ‘established, traditional’ type and of the more important, Emotional kind, the EQ displayed here is astounding.


The Priest Grandfather is called Boss by all concerned, he is a banker, and when another man in the town, also a banker, issues a ban against driving cars (this is 1905, in Mississippi) in his town, Boss rebels and buys a car just to act against this injunction, notwithstanding that he has no intention to use the car and he hates them just as much…nonetheless, when he departs for a few days, the friend and employee of the family Boon Hogganbeck takes the vehicle away to travel to Memphis, and Lucius is on board for the ride.

While they drive through some difficult terrain, mud, holes, a river, they discover that Ned is hidden in the back of the automobile, where he has broken some wind (when Boon protests, he mentions the many bumps, which rendered his effort to be quite inconspicuous and futile) and Ned will not just come along, but play the most important role, next to that of Lucius, only first they have to extract the vehicle from the mud holes, with the help of an entrepreneur, who is using his mules to pull the cars that are trapped in his area, and he doubles the prices he charges and there is nothing clients can do about it.


In Memphis, Boon is febrile and desperate to see and get intimate with Miss Corrie, at the brothel where the imposing, fierce and brave (on the one hand, the women are in a despondent position, but they come out as formidable, extraordinary, strong, resilient personages) Miss Reba, and while Boon and Lucius are in the house (where the latter is impressive with his manners and the respect he shows for people, the promises he had made) Ned is exchanging the automobile for a…horse, and this is where we embark in quite a joy ride, which is also a thriller in that we wait with breathless anticipation to see if they get the car back, will they win the races, what retribution is in store, will they go to jail?

They have to get all their resources together, and enroll Sam, a flagman with the railways, to transport the horse to the small town of Pasham, where they will race (Insha’Allah) and win back the vehicle and maybe some collateral money on the bets, the trouble being that the horse had been in a contest before and refused to run, losing in a disastrous manner…Ned on the other hand is a special trainer, he has had a donkey race and win and this is where we have a charming, incredible depiction of mules, who come on top of the hierarchy, cats, which are next, then dogs and finally horses, the last of this pack in intelligence and the way they deal with humans, some of them with wisdom, others with silliness…


Everbe Corinthia (what a splendid name) has brought a nephew, thinking she is doing him a favor, moving him from the country (where today he would most likely vote for Trump, as a member of a cult of idiots) to the city, for refinement, only this fifteen year old named Otis is as corrupt as possible, thinking only of money (back hoe, he made a hole in the wall and would charge customers to watch Connie aka Everbe have sex with men) and blackmailing the woman that had taken pity on him…Everbe was forced by her own aunt into prostitution, when she was orphaned, but meeting Lucius would have a tremendous impact.

The latter fights with Otis because of the attitude he (Otis) had towards Everbe, and we can see here that the eleven years old hero has fallen in love for the first time, and it is reciprocated, albeit with maternal instinct, platonically mostly, and in the fight Otis takes out a knife and Lucius is cut on four fingers and would have to ride Lightning aka Coppermine with a sock to cover the wounds and protect him somewhat.


In Pasham, a huge crowd comes to see the race (we are told that wherever you have a couple of horses, people will come to see the competition and bet on it…come to think of it, William Faulkner was right, even as he was clearly using sarcasm and humor throughout, for today we see a multitude of betting firms, sponsoring and advertising on every possible channel, if I wait another few seconds, the YouTube channel in the background will be interrupted but one such ad, inviting me to bet on anything I want, on any race in the world) and one loathsome character, Butch, the man with the badge, representing the law (albeit not in Pasham, but nearby) tries hard to ‘dominate’, as a sort of small, avant la lettre Trump, and when he is refused, he will use blackmail and try to stop the race and send Everbe’s friends and admirers in jail…we have a complex ending, to a glorious novel that is enthusing…


“You’ve heard that thing about Faulkner and Clark Gable haven’t you? Howard Hawks was taking Faulkner out on a quail shoot and came by to pick him up a little before dawn to get to where they were going by first light…Clark Gable was in the car and Faulkner in the backseat…As they rode along, Gable and Hawks got to talking…Gable said, ‘You know, you’re a well-read man, Howard…I’ve always been meaning to do some reading…I never have really done it…What do you think I ought to read?’ And Hawks said, ‘Why don’t you ask Bill back there…He’s a writer, and he’ll be able to tell you.’ Gable said, ‘Do you write, Mr. Faulkner?’ Faulkner said, ‘Yes, Mr. Gable…What do you do?’ ‘’

The Commie Days, Episode 9, The Man From The Local Fortune 100

Learning From The Lucky Years by Dr. David Agus

86 out of 100 for Yield To The Night

joi, 20 octombrie 2022

The Old Men at The Zoo by Angus Wilson, author of the much more appreciated, fabulous Anglo-Saxon Attitudes http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/01/anglo-saxon-attitudes-by-angus-wilson.html - 7 out of 10


The Old Men at The Zoo by Angus Wilson, author of the much more appreciated, fabulous Anglo-Saxon Attitudes http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/01/anglo-saxon-attitudes-by-angus-wilson.html

7 out of 10



“The person who doesn't read lives only one life…The reader lives 5,000…Reading is immortality backwards’ – this is what Umberto Eco said and that is of such great help to one who does little except for reading, or having books read by others, as in audiobooks like Rabbit, Run by John Updike http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/10/rabbit-run-by-john-updike-may-make-you.html finished the other day -


We could laugh though when we arrive to the situation where we do not find the lives of some characters so fun to go through, such as these Old Men at The Zoo and then we can think of another great writer, Malcolm Bradbury and his chef d’oeuvre To The Hermitage http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/10/notes-on-to-hermitage-by-malcolm.html wherein he speaks of the advantage of the literary world over the physical one, the former has personages that are cleverer, more interesting, wiser, attractive, the events in there are more enticing, life is more exuberant (these are not the words of the author, but what I remember of the prose) and then we also have the advantage of getting access to these awesome characters and their beanos, from our room or bed.

The added advantage would be that in the artistic realm, we can also disengage suddenly, we are not forced to continue to participate as is the case in the ‘real’ realm – for instance, right now I have a serious crisis on my hands with the spouse, who is out there, maybe in the mountains, carrying with (my) car the family to who knows what spending shindigs and this at a time of crisis, when bills will reach extreme highs for energy, fuel and what not – and if we find The Men at The Zoo irritating, boring o just not appealing enough to stay connected with their saga, well, then we can just stop reading…


This is what I did, finding the term ‘Hideous kinky’, which I generally applied for wondrous, fabulous magnum opera, to be more suitable here for the first part – Hideous Kinky is a mesmerizing saga by Esther Freud, daughter of acclaimed painter (absent in the childhood of the writer, if we look into the novel) Lucien Freud and great-granddaughter of the titanic Sigmund Freud http://realini.blogspot.com/2020/06/hideous-kinky-by-esther-freud-10-out-of.html - though I am exaggerating for mirthful purposes…

There are quite a few passages that we can relate to in The Old Men at The Zoo, such as the perils of a world war that are so terrifying right now, when we face the almost certain arrival of a new crisis (and my wife is out spending god knows where, she has done over many months, in spite of the debts we have, the news that show prices rising, economic activity threated, bad results from the company that provides us with dividends, when the weather if fine) and Putin and his acolytes keep speaking of Armageddon…


This is so serious, for they even calibrate to say that they could use tactical nuclear weapons, in other words, smaller devices, but still devastating ones, for to my knowledge, they are still more powerful that what they used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for in the meantime, they have ‘pe4fected the capabilities, to the point where the H bomb and others have incredible powers to destroy and kill humans…

Thinking about it, maybe that was one of the reasons why The Old Men at The Zoo became somewhat redundant, and it is also way too long in my view, for the winding, rather uninteresting on so many pages story of the giraffe that kills a keeper at the London Zoo, sometime in the future, which is placed around the 1970s, and the consequent look for culprits, the evasion of the manager, the effort to avoid such cases in the future, competing with the need for a good image to be preserved, so that a new National Zoological Park could be established, and the priority for the latter matter would see that the death of the new, inexperienced keeper, killed by a sick giraffe does not affect the project


There are details to follow there, such as the fact that the giraffe has been sick, her liver was causing pain and she should have been euthanized, but in the name of that aforementioned vital issue, the new Zoological Park, the giraffe was kept alive, so that it can serve the ‘higher cause’, and the new man had not known so well how to approach the animal and thus the giraffe had been scared presumably and then such an innocent, peaceful being normally, took fright and defended itself with violence.

The nuclear aspect, or the prospect of war is so frightening at the present that its presence in the book could work to make it more interesting for some readers – after all, The Old Men at The zoo is included on the list of 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/jan/23/bestbooks-fiction - but it could deter others, such as the under signed


Finally, there is the aspect of the Zoo which I have had at home and reading about the Men at the Zoo did not bring back phenomenal memories…the same wife I was complaining about earlier has decided about fifteen years ago to have six…dogs, and not just any kind of pet, but borzoi, those that fit into ‘giant breed’ category, in other words, the equivalent of maybe north of one hundred Chihuahuas…

Therefore, with the financial crisis of 2008, this became such a burden that I became crazy, and hence you have notes like these – fortunately, I do know that those who stick around to reach this far into the nonsense clearly have similar, if not worse issues, so we are free to go ahead – and feeding all these beasts and well, anybody for that matter became a serious challenge, and it had to be done accumulating debt.

Indeed, it is not fair to play the IIWFY game detailed in the psychology classic Games People Play by Eric Berne http://realini.blogspot.com/2013/09/games-people-play-by-eric-berne.html a game which involves us blaming the consort for something we could not achieve, and the fact that we have two macaws is partly my choice (one was brought home by Throw Mama From The Train) and then we could all do this http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/02/unique-in-world.html?q=unique+in+the+world

The commie Days, Episode 3, Gratitude for Norocel

Musing about Epicurean Philosophy

74 out of 100 for The Watcher

luni, 17 octombrie 2022

Permaflow 20, Audi and yachts http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/03/realini-in-newsweek-participant-in.html


Permaflow 20, Audi and yachts http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/03/realini-in-newsweek-participant-in.html



Taking back the Audi was not so easy, never mind paying for the repairs to the wreck which had cost me the incredible twenty five hundred that Stefan has in fact stolen from me – we could say it was a case for court, to sue and prove he swindled, just like the police would suggest in the piece to come – because of a few factors, one was the ‘speed’ with which the mechanics worked, or rather did not, and then an unexpected incident…


They dragged their feet in the atelier, until one day, when I passed by to see the ‘progress’ they have made, there was no Audi – by the way, the mechanics were in a prime location, a few hundred meters away from the Victory Square, the seat of the government, in the area where they have some office towers now – and nobody knew where it was, hence I had to go to the police station, near the Neculce high school.

The response was baffling, though somehow in accordance with the reputation militiamen had -in the commie days, police was militia and those who worked there ‘enjoyed’ a reputation of being totally stupid (and indeed, one had to be, in order to join such a beano, rotten, or most likely, both) and the jokes with them include the likes of ‘how many militiamen do you need to replace a light bulb, answer five, one to keep the bulb and four to rotate the table, or how many policemen die in a traffic accident, eight, four in the initial crash and four when they reconstitute it’- for they said they would not look into the matter.


Since I had left the car in the mechanic’s atelier, which technically it was not true, for it was Stefan who had done it, the automobile was there on trust and if it is not there anymore, this is none of their business, I just have to take the matter to court, which might pronounce in my favor, and then I can claim the missing property, but for the militia, it is not a question of theft, just missing vehicle and an issue between me and the mechanic…

So the solution was one familiar to the corrupt ancient regime and quite clearly, very much ingrained in the ‘new aka the same system’ on so many counts, and it involved paying a bribe, finding the ‘sectorist’, the militiaman (maybe they were still called militiamen, for we are talking just some months into 1990, very soon after the revolution) that had the area of the repairs outfit in his portfolio…


I gave him an incentive, a reward if the car is found, not to call it paying for him to do his job and we went together to the man who had to fix the automobile and found that it was the son who took the car and somehow we were told whereabouts we could find it, which was near the bridge under which I pass quite frequently now, where Grivita ends and Bucurestii Noi begins, and there was some damage, but hey, I had the yacht.


An Audi was much like an yacht in those days, in terms of the prestige associated, not the navigation into the waters of the Atlantic and the effect was clear on the company we could get in that car, the speed with which it travelled (it could get up to 200 kilometers per hour and rather fast) and we took it to Germany for trade, where we had to replace the parts for the breaks at a high cost for us back then (it would be even now, what with the recession coming and a goddamn pressure increasing from this spouse of mine, who takes cash out, then takes regular trips to Snagov, takes the ancient borzoi to the vet and then buys medicine for it, and as if it is not clear what is going one in the world, with inflation, war in Ukraine, sky high energy prices and economies facing a fall, she buys every month shoes and clothes and has accumulated perhaps eighty pairs of shoes…she was supposed to start making and selling them, but as we can see, it has not happened, and yes she plays that fucking game described in the psychology classic Games People Play, the one frequently seen If It Weren’t For You

I am the one responsible, because I have stopped her years ago from getting a job, by saying look, if it means paying more for the car and the gas to get there, it is a loss and I see no point in spending to get work done for someone (besides, she would accumulate at one point a fantastic number of five (5) borzois, and mind you, this is a giant breed we are talking about, we could say about fifteen middle sized dogs, and a mutt to have about ten mouths to feed, if we count the humans, and then the cat and the ocean fish…the latter being a very fancy and expensive enterprise, the aquarium would eventually get a hole in it – it was maybe a couple of years back, some fish died and other have been donated to a fellow


The mad man in Mamaia crashed the windshield of the Audi, and maybe we could think ourselves lucky to have escaped without a scratch, but we would have a lot of trouble with the car, especially me, as the driver, who had to see through what was an almost opaque surface, the fool had beaten it until there were very few, if any transparent spaces there, and we had to go back to the police station and we drove dressed as Arab men, or maybe Berber, with sheets all around, just in case the frail windshield would fall…

To add insult to injury, when we parked the car in Costinesti, the militiamen came by and placed some notes on the windshield, telling us we have parked in the wrong place and however that could have been, the reason for placing the automobile in that spot had been to have it near a light, because it was easy for a thief to just push through and get the car, or whatever was in it, so we thought the police stupid and vile to have done that.


To show that I have learned little, if anything from this experience, when we went to Buzau to get a new windshield, at that time the only place making these was there (yes, you would have the alternative to order and have one shipped from Germany, but it would cost an arm and a leg, maybe as much as the vehicle itself) and as I met one young woman there, I took her to the edge of the town, where they had (maybe still do) some forest and we had sex there, and if it is true that the chances of an encounter with another serial killer are reduced once you have met one (which is in itself a rare occurrence) still, it seems somewhat reckless to try outdoor sex so soon after a near catastrophe and a big loss…the car would be again under attack, but the next time it was just for the stereo, and the window broken in the process was replaced temporarily with a plastic copy and then we had one, maybe from a car cemetery…we did go to get parts when we were trying to get small commerce going, on one of our trips to Germany



Stories From The Commie Days, Episode 10

A Note on Petrarch aka Francesco Petrarca

One of Realini's Best 1,000 Movies - Adam

duminică, 16 octombrie 2022

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov – the greatest author of short stories http://realini.blogspot.com/2021/02/short-stories-by-anton-chekhov-ladies.html - 10 out of 10


The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov – the greatest author of short stories http://realini.blogspot.com/2021/02/short-stories-by-anton-chekhov-ladies.html

10 out of 10



One of the best ways to meet The Three Sisters would be to search for the adaptation of the play that has been directed by Laurence Olivier, wherein he also plays Ivan Romanovich Chebutykin, the doctor that would reveal in a coup de theater reveal the affair that Natasha – what a loathsome character that, talk of good versus evil, you have that personified here, in a woman that cares only for herself and to hurt all around, ‘you give your room to my baby, and then about that old woman, who is a thief, all she does is sits around, she will be sent out and what if she has been with the family for thirty years’…she maries Andrey and enters the family as quite a social climber and once inside, she takes over, she becomes the small Putin of the house, orders all about and imposes her cruelty on everyone.


Olga is the eldest of the sisters, she is a spinster that has a good heart, she is traumatized when Natasha tells her – no, this should be edited to read Natasha screams at her – that the old servant must go, just after Olga and the old woman had had a conversation, with the spinster assuring the servant that nobody would send her out, which is just what mean Natasha has in mind, she wants everybody to march to her tune, and f one is too feeble to do that, too bad, for she is the despot now, in control and what she says goes, to the point where she takes the money from the mortgage, albeit the house is not hers, not even her husband’s, when there are more heirs, property is divided if justice is done…

Olga is a teacher and Fyodor Ilyich Kulygin, who is also a teacher of Latin, says at one point that he would have married her, if it had not been for Masha…as it is Masha, the middle sister, is married to Fyodor Ilyich, she had been enthused at the beginning, admiring the knowledge of her husband, thinking him destined to achieve great things, but now she is disappointed, insists on the fact that she is bored and in that, she reminds one of Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano http://realini.blogspot.com/2020/02/an-unfinished-piece-for-mechanical.html and seems to represent so much of the Russian soul, looking for the Meaning of Life and then dejected putting Putin in power…


Aleksandr Ignatyevich Vershinin is the lieutenant colonel that is in charge of the military unit stationed in this small town, played by wondrous Alan Bates in this adaptation that I talk about here, he had known the sisters when they were very little and they called him the Lovesick Major, for he was a major back then, and later, he would represent the hope that Masha has a for a different future, one that has promise, it could be animated by love, instead of the tedious, bleak present that she has, in the house where Natasha takes the reins at one stage and everything becomes oppressive, especially when Andrey plays at cards, loses a fortune and the home is endangered because of debts and the fact that the small tyrant, Natasha, had taken over…


Irina Sergeyevna Prozorova is the youngest of the sisters, the one who is only twenty years old when we meet her, as she celebrates her name’s day, the doctor brings a samovar as a gift – he is a bachelor, but used to love the sisters’ mother decades ago – and they have guests in the house, the future seems bright, but what happens is not…she hopes they move back to Moscow, away from this backwater, where all their skills, knowledge, reading, foreign languages seem to be good for nothing, for there is nobody to talk Italian, German or French to here and nobody could appreciate the piano music – well, a few could, but this is a very small town and if the military is moved, there could be no one left at the same level as Vershinin – but her exclusive concentration on the move to Moscow could be deceptive.

First, I cannot remember who said that the problem with travel is that we take ourselves along, or something like that, but more importantly, second we have the Hedonic Adaptation phenomenon, described in the psychology classic Stumbling On Happiness, by marvelous Harvard Professor Daniel Gilbert http://realini.blogspot.com/2013/06/stumbling-on-happiness-by-david-gilbert.html where we learn that we know so little about what makes us happy, just like Irina, we assume that we would be mirthful, if only we were to move to California, an island in the Pacific or the Caribbean, not Moscow, no way…


Only once we move in one of those paradisiacal places, we adapt to the good things and start noticing and getting annoyed by the many flaws, such as the terrible wild fires in California, where there has been such a draught for many years – due to Climate Change, there are so many places affected by calamities – that water use is limited and in places, taking a bath is forbidden and usage is restricted, whereas the islands have their own problems, from hurricanes, to power cuts and ultra expensive items, electricity and many others…on the other hand, with the war in Ukraine, prices have rocketed almost everywhere.

We could change lenses and take a perverse, debauched view of the whole thing and say that this beano proves that ‘there is something rotten in the state of Russia’ (not Denmark as in the original quote from Hamlet) and take these characters and say that the feeble Three Sisters show why they have gone from one mad, cruel czar – Ivan the Terrible for instance, but even the glorified Peter the Great has tortured and killed his own son, together with many others, and the then look at the many crazy things he did abroad and his own lands – to another and ended up with perhaps a couple of decent rulers, one of them Catherine the Great and even about her we have quite a few controversial stories…as for tyrants, I took part in the 1989 Revolution that took one down, check this out: http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/03/realini-in-newsweek-participant-in.html


Masha is rebellious, Irina keeps dreaming hopelessly for the much cherished Moscow, while Olga is so vulnerable as to break down when Natasha screams at her and orders the poor old servant to go and die elsewhere (in the country) equivalent to saying let her expire in the street, for how can she tell if there is a place for her ‘in the country’, the poor old woman had been with this household for decades, it is all she has, and looking at the narrative of The Three Sisters and the other figures involved, we could have an explanation for…Putin, the desperation, the boredom, the sense of futility, the Learned Helplessness that seems to plague the Russians – we learn about this and Learned Optimism from a marvelous book by the co-founder of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, who talked about how dogs used in experiments learned to stop resisting or looking for a way out, once they got used with abuse and having no exit from the situation http://realini.blogspot.com/2013/07/learned-optimism-by-martin-seligman.html


The alternative is to Learn Optimism, perhaps using the technique exposed here:


Stories From The Commie Days, Episode 9

One of Realini's Best Reads - Rabbit Redux

86 out of 100 for The Office

vineri, 14 octombrie 2022

Permaflow 19, Selling fashion - http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/02/unique-in-world.html?q=unique+in+the+world


Permaflow 19, Selling fashion http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/02/unique-in-world.html?q=unique+in+the+world



We went into the fashion business in the late nineties, with the local House of Gucci, with Paul from Pitesti, the fellow I had met about ten years before, in the story that I have abandoned, itself a tangent on the Audi saga, but do not worry, sometime this year, or the next, I will probably return to the topic, and the chap and his wife would show us the ‘atelier’,  the shop where they had had maybe ten or fifteen workers making dresses, jumpers, skirts from wool and some other material, and a partnership was proposed.


It involved us buying half the shares or so, and then take care of the selling part, or at least a large part of the enterprise, and it meant going to Unirea, Cocor and other outlets (the former was the biggest and probably the only massive mall of the time) and talk to individual proprietors and try to have them place our wares on their shelves and put them on display and sell them, sharing the profits on some scheme…the huge ‘magazin’ was in fact crowded with more than a hundred small shops…

For some time, some of the dresses, skirts, blouses sold, but nowhere near the numbers needed to make a decent profit, if any money at all, and in due time, we had to throw in the towel and say this is not working and we are refused when we try and bring in more stuff, after they return what we had not sold in the previous batch and we had to say that we need out of the deal, since it is not working…


I do not remember if we recuperated anything from that investment, but I know I still have one sort of wool coat and perhaps a couple of pullovers, but let us return to the trip to Mamaia, and the first encounters with Pitesti Paul, who was famous in the circle for a joke he was making when we had a vacation together, still on the Black Sea Coast, but in Costinesti, before the 1989 Revolution, in the first encounter with Paul, when we were staying five to a room, Sherika, her brother, Adrian and I, with Paul one of the tow who were supposed to be in the room, the other was Adrian, but this was a sort of tradition.

Indeed, from that Costinesti vacation, we would travel to Predeal, where I had a ticket from the university, and we would use it for four people, the same Sherika, her brother and Adrian, this time I would be the possessor of the papers, the official guest at the villa which was higher than the Orizont Hotel, on the way to Trei Brazi, where the official girlfriend, Sherika, would soon leave for home, with her brother, allowing the Despicable Me to bed with one woman, then move on to her friend, and then the third in this circle (however, just two of the three would go all the way, to Carnal Knowledge, the third would just agree to platonic intimacy)


Returning along the thread of the story to the Audi and the horror story connected with it, we were visiting Paul aka Paulica, in Mamaia, and I think Adi was with the daughter of the big shot from the National Radio, Mr. Sun, who in herself had a bit of a story with us, or maybe two, we met her on the beach for nudists and Adi made the first move, when I had been absent, and ignoring their arrangement, I would approach her as well, and later, when we returned from a disco night, she would stay on with the women I had invited with me and intended to fuck, only the chemistry between Miss Sun and this prospect was much better and we can only assume the tow had carnal relations together.


I had met many women in Costinesti, another case jumps to mind, while with Sherika in her official consort capacity, I would scan the beach and everything else for targets, and while going to get food, I arranged a date, but Sherika found out and she went out to the place where I was supposed to meet this bint and said ‘you are waiting for Realini…he is not coming’…on this fatidic trip to Mamaia – I know this is all confusing, but let us place this part of the story in the context of wild parties and beanos, where it is hard, nay, impossible to make head or tail, but then it was such a wild ride, what with the end of communism, a frenzy of liberation, a hunger, lust for sex, getting wild, recuperate the years of darkness, albeit within those Dark Ages, one of the few, maybe the only, venues to let off steam and feel free to do something was the bed, or quite often just an enclosure or a bush…I would fuck quite a few women in the open lockers of the Student Park, a sort of small beach, near a quite dirty lake, which one of the exclusive, classy places today the Pescariu Club, and they had some cabins where girls would agree to oral sex, if they received it mostly and sometimes it was felatio

The calamity with the Audi took place near the beach, we went to see Paul and his girlfriend, with Adi and miss sun, and the four of them stayed in the restaurant and I took this spectacular girl from Resita, in the car, north of Mamaia, where the vegetation was (and is maybe)  thick enough to allow for some coitus in the ‘wild’ and then we stopped, I started eating her fanny, then we had missionary sex and suddenly, a wild noise broke out and something started kicking the windows and we saw a Savage near.


This pervert would know that people come there for the same thing (would this be called the ‘lovers’ alley’ in some places, I wonder) and so he had his spot in waiting and he had something like a baseball bat with which he started trying to smash the windows and then we left the car, ran away near the main road, and eventually, I would get the car back and what with the trauma, the fear and everything, I would lose contact with the girl, I mean, we all went back to Costinesti and then said goodbye, instead of trying to get her address, which I now regret having missed, albeit these were days when there ‘were so much fish in the pond’ that there was no worry about finding someone else, just as enticing, if not more, and there was the Coolidge Effect in full display, explaining much of what happened.

Coolidge was an American president, I think in the twenties, in the last century, and he went to visit this farm, with his wife, and she saw a very active rooster, jumping on the hens nearby…the first Lady asks somebody how many times does the bird do that, and the answer is some very high figure (would that be over one hundred) and she says ‘tell that to Mr. President’ and when they do, the latter asks if it is always the same hen, and they retort that ‘no, it is always a different hen’ to which the president indicates ‘tell that to the First Lady…hence the Coolidge Effect, and I have suffered badly from it…




Stories From The Commie Days, Episode 7

A note on Russian Writers and Putin's War

86 out of 100 for Voir La Mer

miercuri, 12 octombrie 2022

Rabbit, Run by John Updike may make you do this http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/02/unique-in-world.html?q=unique+in+the+world - 10 out of 10


Rabbit, Run by John Updike may make you do this http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/02/unique-in-world.html?q=unique+in+the+world

10 out of 10



Some years back, the under signed has read this wondrous novel and rated it with just three stars out of five, only to take it up again, about a week ago, and find it enchanting – this proves that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, which is paraphrasing Plato, and there is also the truth related by Marcel Proust, in his chef d’oeuvre, the greatest book that I know, A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, that we are a different person with the passing of time, and while there seems that the forty years old me found little to relate with Rabbit aka Harry Angstrom, now that I have added a couple of years, I find him quite like me.


This master work does not have a hero, in that he could also be seen as an antihero (after all, he is in large part responsible for a tragedy, the decline of his wife is her responsibility, but he did not stop it, arguably contributed to that, and however likeable he is, there is a sense that he is superficial, selfish, ready to…well, Run) and we see him Running from the very first chapters, after he plays basketball with some youngsters (he is twenty-six), he takes the car and drives through Pennsylvania, heading south.

There is no definite aim (this in itself could be a shortcoming, he is a father and husband, but appears to be undecided, confused over the duties he has and thinks he is free to just take off and disappear into the sunset) in his driving, but he contemplates a long, long trip to the beach, in the south, perhaps to Florida, Texas, one of those red states that are associated with the cult of personality these days, and what a monster that personality is, orange and idiot, in ignorance of the Happiness Myths exposed in the psychology classic Stumbling on Happiness by Harvard Professor Daniel Gilbert http://realini.blogspot.com/2013/06/stumbling-on-happiness-by-david-gilbert.html wherefrom we learn that we think we would be happy if only we were to live in California or a Pacific, maybe Caribbean island, and once we move over there, we discover that happiness is elusive because of Hedonic Adaptation…


Nonetheless, Harry Angstrom does not travel all the way to Mexico or Florida (devastated by hurricane Ian these days, and more generally, by a governor who acts as a mini-Trump), he returns from his initial escape trip and looks for his former basketball coach, Marthy Tothero, the latter speaking of the days when Rabbit was a star, scoring record points and promising an outstanding future – this also shows the complexity of our main character, who combines extraordinary qualities with equally remarkable shortcomings and flaws, at one stage, he thinks about what he can do, and he does not have many, or any skills, except for putting the ball through the net, he sales a magic kitchen instrument when we meet him, and though his standing will improve, for we know that Rabbit Is Rich is the name of a title in the trilogy, in the first part, we see him as pretty much a lost soul, doing a rather less than rewarding job, facing unhappiness at home, where his wife is almost, or already an alcoholic.


In Harry’s defense, the guilt is not completely his to carry, because if both spouses have clear responsibility when one is in decline – the tendency is to blame the partner, as we learn from another magic psychology classic, Games People Play by Magister Ludi Eric Berne, where one of the most common interactions is called If It Weren’t For You http://realini.blogspot.com/2013/09/games-people-play-by-eric-berne.html only it appears that we select the other, better half to blame him/her/they for the things we do not think we can do anyway, but a scapegoat comes in handy – then Janice Angstrom is an adult who should not indulge in drink to this point.

Harry finds some solace in the arms of Ruth Leonard, who used to be a prostitute (or sex worker in the parlance of our age) and though Rabbit declares himself ready to marry her (supposedly in a harem) his superficiality, lack of involvement, seriousness make him hesitate between staying in this affair and returning to Janice – incidentally, let us quote yet another psychology classic (they help us understand human interactions) and say that the affair is not the cause of the breakup in marriages, but the symptom, the marital troubles have reached the point where an affair is investigated to resolve the solitude felt within a ‘stable relationship’ but ne suffering because of one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as named by John Gottman in his quintessential The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work http://realini.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-seven-principles-of-making-marriage.html


When Janice is giving birth – they have already a son, Nelson, and she is expecting another child when Rabbit drives south and then settles for some weeks with Ruth – they call him to go to the hospital, and this is the occasion when the bond between Harry and Ruth is broken, and the modern day Ulysses returns to his awaiting Penelope, but it is a rather unstable situation, though some folks try to help, one of them is the clergy Jack Eccles, who becomes a sort of friend – in spite of these efforts however, our anti-hero slaps Jack’s wife on her ‘fanny’ and envisages erotic games with her, imagines that she winks at him (maybe she did, but with just humor in mind) with the intention to have coitus

Ruth may give birth to a daughter – I am now already reading Rabbit is Rich, which is the third part in the trilogy, having finished Rabbit Redux, thus a note will be coming in the next few days on the latter, an announcement which presumed with infatuation that somebody might be interested in the notion, and Harry is already well, rich, as the title puts it clearly and when a young woman enters the Toyota dealership where he is boss now (a spoiler alert might be missing) he thinks this might be the daughter he had not met, given that she mentions that her mother owns a farm, and then Rabbit had met Ruth in Redux and she mentioned that, just as she made it clear that she does not want Harry to come anywhere near – but the tragedies in the life of the hero, or perhaps antihero of this narrative, mix with the happy events


Rabbit Run and some of the other volumes in the tetralogy have been well received (‘a masterpiece’ is one comment) and two went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature…as a personal comment, they make for a very entertaining reading, and this is the second time that I meet with Harry Angstrom and the characters that people his saga…



Stories From The Commie Days, Episode 5

Note 2 on Memoirs by Kingsley Amis

74 out of 100 for C'mon C'mon

luni, 10 octombrie 2022

Permaflow 18, Ataraxia, Spire http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/03/realini-in-newsweek-participant-in.html


Permaflow 18, Ataraxia, Spire http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/03/realini-in-newsweek-participant-in.html



Revenons a nos moutons, to come back to where we left on a tangent, some episodes ago, I was talking about the period of June, in particular the days of 13, 14, 15, when the miners came down to Bucharest, and we were driving around - without a license, but what is this act can still be prosecuted…well, there it is, as the emperor of Austria-Hungary was saying in the effervescent Amadeus, directed by marvelous Milos Forman, with Tom Hulce and Abraham Murray (the latter winning the Oscar, against the odds) http://realini.blogspot.com/2020/08/100-out-of-100-for-amadeus-on-realinis.html - the city in Stephen’s car, which was left as guarantee while he roamed the West.


So I left off, explaining who Stephen aka Stefan was, then talking about Claire, Linda and miss Romania for about two hundred and fifty six pages, but now I am back baby, and we continue with Stefan, who called someday, asked for money and I gave it to him, for I am such a fool and always have been (what was that I was saying with us being different after decades, or just the passing of enough time…well, it was not me, it was Proust http://realini.blogspot.com/2013/10/albertine-disparue-by-marcel-proust.html who came with the notion) but insisting that only one thousand needs to be spent for me.

The details are not clear after all this time, but then they are not relevant and let us say he had about twenty five hundred dollars from me, with the instruction that he is to use the 1,500 that he says he needs, then return it as promised, and then for me, he could buy a car with the maximum price tag of one thousand.


People were going to the West back then, to buy things that they had missed for so long, in the dark ages of communism, but also the first entrepreneurs would think of the trade and bring the goods for sale, to which we need to add a different category, that of Stefan, those who thought to attack on multiple fronts, why not get money from others, buy things to get back and then also trick the fools in the process.

After he left and said he comes back in a few days, weeks would pass and no word from our Stefan, and when he finally answered the phone, he started on another weeks’ long delaying tactic, saying he has the car, which is a wondrous vehicle (anticipating, it would be true, for an Audi, even twelve years old or more, would be the equivalent of an yacht in this age, there are plenty, but nobody on your block has one…oh, they do, well, so you are the rich guy who leaves comments with links to porn sites on my feed, goddamn it) and it just needs some work at the mechanic, for it got involved in a minor accident…


Minor incident my ass, the car had been totaled in Switzerland and our goodfella had bought it for 10 dollars, if they did not even pay for him to get it out as metal garbage and it spent long weeks in the mechanic shop because it need to be built back from the ashes, come to think of it, I should have called the baby Phoenix and use it thinking about the legend, but in the meantime, the Phoenix was absent…


Confronted with the prospect of a major loss, I had to take some action, for I was looking at a major confidence trick played by this made guy, who agreed to the terms presented above (and after all, he had initiated the ‘deal’ calling for a favor, he needs money and he would make a profit, so will return the investment and buy the one thousand or half that car and come in/with it) and now he says that he had spent all the money on the car, which was not in the terms we detailed, and then that vehicle is not in view…

It looked like he is lying one hundred percent, not just in the parts with the ‘oh, I thought you deserve a better car than just one worth one thousand’ or some such bulshit, and then I called in the special council of our own famiglia, with the consigliere – as in one of the top five best movies ever made The Godfather http://realini.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-godfather-written-by-francis-ford.html - and decided to visit our con man


I mean, if one tries to con you, you need to try and outfox him, or you get played all the way, isn’t it, and thus we took a ride to his place, with uncle Sandu, his friend Bono, cousin Adrian and Socrate, telling the goodfella that these individuals have claims on the money and he would need to talk to them from now on, which was not an intimidation, nothing on the lines of ‘you have such a nice place here, it would be such a shame if anything happens to it’, but still, it was enough to have us see the car in the mechanic’s  shop…

It was a disastrous situation, at least in the beginning, because the car had been totaled, probably bought by my friend, the crook, for zero dollars, maybe he had even been paid to take the junk out and dump garbage out of squeaky clean Switzerland (we know this is a thing even today, with advanced economies sending trash to ‘shit hole countries’ to quote the most disgusting fellow on earth, Trump…well, next to Putin and a few others) and we were looking at my 25 hundred bucks, all piled up and painted green…


It turns out that the vehicle would do some magic, eventually, for after it would be fixed, it worked as a…vacuum cleaner, this was the expression used back then, this car is a vacuum cleaner for…women, they are so enthused, exhilarated by the look of it, which said money, not so much inventive, Bauhaus design, that they would love to be invited to jump in, and they were, and then told to take off any inhibitions and clothes and a lot happened inside it, and then wherever the automobile would depose the driver and occupants…

There is at least a grim story about the events taking place and that would us going to Mamaia, where we were visiting some friends (I keep using the term, but it is very relative, for I would be a business partner of the fellow there, and after some initial enthusiasm, the clothes selling outfit would have us divided over the way it worked, which it actually didn’t so much…they were making some outfits out of wool or something and we were supposed to place, sell them in the capital, and they did not fly from the shelves…




Stories From The Commie Days, Episode 3

Note on Memoirs by Kingsley Amis

87 out of 100 for Uncle Vanya

sâmbătă, 8 octombrie 2022

The Victim by Saul Bellow, winner of The Nobel Prize for Literature, author of Herzog http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/04/herzog-by-saul-bellow-has-redoubtable.html and at least three other novels that are on the lists of best books - 10 out of 10


The Victim by Saul Bellow, winner of The Nobel Prize for Literature, author of Herzog

http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/04/herzog-by-saul-bellow-has-redoubtable.html and at least three other novels that are on the lists of best books

10 out of 10



It is hard to say who The Victim is in this astounding novel, for we have Kirby Allbee who is clearly claiming that spot for himself, but the fact that he approaches Asa Leventhal – arguably the hero, or maybe better said the main character of the saga – and then harasses him throughout the story - oops, would that constitute a transgression on the spoiler alert rule, I mean I have not mentioned what happens and who has falls victim, I was just wondering about that, isn’t it, but maybe some would deduct an outcome…well, don’t, it is all relative, as it has just been emphasized – would make the latter a more likely injured party in this Game People Play, which incidentally is a classic of Psychology, written by wondrous Eric Berne http://realini.blogspot.com/2013/09/games-people-play-by-eric-berne.html


Asa Leventhal is alone in New York, as his spouse, Mary, has gone to Baltimore to be with her now widowed mother, who has had to sell the house and is in the middle of a difficult transition, and as the man suffers from the absence of his wife, he will have to face…The Victim and this, I just realized is part of the humorous side of this narrative, where the suffering inflicts perhaps more pain on the one he picks on, because he is sure that he had been targeted and made to suffer, even if this is subject to debate and readers will find that Asa had had no intention to harm Kirby, when, during a job interview, he had lost his patience and responded in anger to the man that had the power to offer or deny the position, and because Kirby had recommended him, the boss would boot Allbee and thus the grudge.

In the first part, Asa receives a call from his sister-in-law, Elena, an Italian woman that had married his brother, Max, and she is asking for his urgent help, because one of her two sons is very sick, and her husband is away, working and trying to have all them move out of New York, when Leventhal is going out for this emergency, he hears his boss and the son-in-law discussing his departure and alleged lack of loyalty in anti-Semitic terms, as if ‘this is how they are, they stick to each other’ or words to that effect…


Indeed, this is one of the main themes of the saga, if not the most important one, for the antagonism between Asa and Allbee is the result of yet another anti-Semitic stand, and the latter is actually using prejudice, racism and the anti-Semitism that was prevalent – and clearly is in many segments of land in the world alas – to justify his hostility, the position he takes and attributes to Leventhal all manner of thoughts, attitudes, and keeps quoting from the holy texts, to abuse and serve his purpose ‘go forth and multiply’ is just one of the many things he says and he is sure that Asa had wanted to take revenge…


Some years back, the two had met at a party, where Allbee had mocked Dan Harkavy, a friend of Asa and a man of Hebrew descent, and showed his anti-Semitism there, and when Leventhal has that outcry of rage during an interview for which Allbee had recommended him, the latter is sure that this was just an orchestrated attempt to take revenge, with the knowledge that the boss would not accept this furious response and in his turn, he would take action against Kirby, who would be let go, if for this or another reason.

We doubt with Leventhal if it was not his drinking that did it, for when we meet him, Allbee is drunk and admits to having a problem with alcohol, if it attributes it to the state he is in, what Asa had done and also, to the death of his wife, who had been killed in a car accident, as she was driven by her brother, during her stay with the parents – Allbee had been separated, his spouse had gone to live with her parents, and he keeps lamenting this aspect, though he uses the money he received from her insurance policy to keep drinking and at one stage, Leventhal finds him with a woman – perhaps a whore, sex worker as we call that today, or just a stranger, it is not clear – in Leventhal’s own apartment.


However, it is hard, if not totally wrong to paint the two and other figures in this story with pure white and one hundred percent black, they are in fact complex, and though we loath Allbee for most of the or some time, he has some sides to him that allow for a different perspective, he is a man that has read books (and that is rare today, when seventy million Americans and countless others in different lands worship Absolute Idiots and thus show how limited and primitive they are…this is placed strategically here, where few, if any reach, since if placed in the first lines, there is still a [slim] chance that somebody will read it form that camp, and then enter a rage and comment on it…it has happened twice anyway) his pain at having lost his spouse seems genuine, he is near the bottom and then we now know that alcoholism is an addiction and a disease, which must be cured and not despised…

Asa Leventhal has made a mistake during his interview, but that has been a period in his life when he was very angry and frustrated, he lived on the edge, looking for a job in desperate circumstances, when it looked like he could face destitution as a pauper, and the fact that his clash would lead to the sacking of The Victim was not intentional, but still, even if accidentally, we could argue that he was responsible at least to some extent to what would happen to Allbee, and he would pay for it, because the latter shows up to confront the man he accuses of his whole ordeal, and though this is total nonsense, he would insist on retribution http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/03/realini-in-newsweek-participant-in.html


Eventually, Kirby would take money from Asa, and would come to live in his apartment, while the spouse is away and transform it into a pig sty almost, for he leaves it very dirty and he may even try the ultimate punishment against his host, who would slowly give in, trying to offer some compensation for his act, coming to terms with the fact that without knowing it, he had hurt the man who is harassing and abusing him, The Victim changes places with the one that had harmed him and we are challenged by this narrative where we see one and then the other showing vulnerability, attracting sympathy, only to change and then show a darker side