The History of Love Epub Ç The History PDF \

The History of Love ❰PDF❯ ❤ The History of Love Author Nicole Krauss – An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found hereFourteen year old Alma Singer is trying to find a cure for her mother's loneliness Believing she might discover it in an old book her mother An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found hereFourteen year old Alma Singer is trying to find a cure for her mother's loneliness Believing she might discover it in an The History PDF \ old book her mother is lovingly translating she sets out in search of its author Across New York an old man called Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer He spends his days dreaming of the lost love who sixty years ago in Poland inspired him to write a book And although he doesn't know it yet that book also survived crossing oceans and generations and changing lives.

  • Paperback
  • 255 pages
  • The History of Love
  • Nicole Krauss
  • English
  • 06 March 2016
  • 9780393328622

About the Author: Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss is the author of the international bestseller The History of Love which was published by WW Norton in It won the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing France’s Prix The History PDF \ du Meilleur Livre Ėtranger was named book of the year by com and was short listed for the Orange Médicis and Femina prizes Her first novel Man Walks Into a Room was a finalist for the.

10 thoughts on “The History of Love

  1. Cecily Cecily says:

    “ He was a great writer He fell in love It was his life” The Simplest uestions Are the Hardest to Answer 1 What is love?2 Who am I?3 Is there a word for everything?4 What sort of book is this?5 What is a palaeontologist?5 What is a Palaeontologist?“ If he took a complete illustrated guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art shred it into a hundred pieces cast them into the wind from the museum’s steps let a few weeks pass went back and scoured Fifth Avenue and Central Park for as many surviving scraps as he could find then tried to reconstruct the history of painting including schools styles genres and names of painters from his scraps that would be like being a palaeontologist” This beautiful book is a similar cornucopia of fragments The narratives have different textures colours size shape weight mood and style They connect in often unexpected ways pieces may split run parallel then diverge or be reunited And yet The result is wondrous strange and deceptively simple4 What Sort of Book is This?“ A kind of half light in which the reader can project his or her own imagination”It is ostensibly about love but is at least as much about surviving loss and postponing death It’s also about identity And yet The book itself has no single identity love stories investigative journal self help book memoir philosophical musings historical fiction bildungsroman uest survival manual teenage diary spiritual metaphorIt is like Newton's Third Law interpreted as poetic allegory Every force is counterbalanced by an eual and opposite force writing and reading truth and lies taking and giving youth and age future and past hope and despair hiding and being seen and ultimately life and death 3 Is There a Word for Everything?“ When will you learn that there isn’t a word for everything?” a reader says to a writer Long ago “sometimes people felt things and because there was no word for them they went unmentioned” Trying to describe the emotion of being moved “must have been like trying to catch something invisible” Years later the writer calls a book “Words for Everything” Many characters read and all the main characters write whether for publication or not one “because an undescribed world was too lonely” And yet The bigger issue is the things that cannot be said are not said or are lost in transit or translation whether by accident or design Silence Gaps Absence Loss“ So many words get lost They leave the mouth and lose their courage wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves”There are three main narrators but secondary sources paratexts? often with unknown or misattributed authorship are key to the plot letters photos obituaries drawings and books that may be “not unlike the truth” Things are further muddied by mentions of real life people JL Borges for instance people who are real in Krauss’ book and are central to works of fiction within it and a couple of characters who may not be real even in that fictional realm Where is truth?2 Who Am I?I thought I knew who I was I don’t need to investigate or assert the truth of my identity in any legalistic sense but like Alma S I’m named after someone Unlike her I chose to claim my name for myself rather than learn about the one whose name I bearAnd yet Of all the labels I can ascribe myself many are in relation to others mother daughter wife friend even English British European I am not myself alone even when it might feel like it I can claim membership of numerous collective identities Even as a reader I am connected to other readers as well as authors and their creationsSilence Gaps Absence Loss“ I lost the sound of laughter I lost a pair of shoes I lost the only woman I wanted to love I lost years I lost books I lost the house where I was born And I lost Isaac So who is to say that somewhere along the way I didn’t also lose my mind?”The characters on these pages have variously lost lovers a parent a child their homeland their health their mission and acknowledgement of their authorship and some are concerned with extinctions at a species wide level And yet Like Tennyson’s Ulysses they continue To strive to seek to find and not to yieldSurvival may happen by accident but it usually continues by will While some focus on practical skills most concentrate on ways to enhance and prolong life and thus delay death whether their own or someone else’sAnd yet Krauss offers no easy answers or even any definite ones Just as there are many permutations to define who we are so there are many sometimes contradictory ways to endure lossNotice and be noticed or hide to survive? Keep things the same or change everything?Acknowledge and remember or forget in order to live?Tell people you love them or ask them to “Love me less”?Look forward or look back?Develop rituals and superstitions or apply cold logic? “Sacrifice the world” to “to hold on to a certain feeling”Fill the gaps with facts or fiction orLearn to appreciate the beauty found in absence the silence between notes of music the pauses of punctuation Where he saw a page of words his friend saw the field of hesitations black holes and possibilities between the words Where his friend saw dappled light the felicity of flight the sadness of gravity he saw the solid form of the common sparrow Image of leafbird by Ukranian architect Oleg Shuplyak This isn’t a trite message about seeing the silver lining but about finding a different way to see to experience to live while acknowledging and appreciating who or what is missing “ He learned to live with the truth Not to accept it but to live with it”1 What is Love?I am fortunate that the tragedies in my life have been minor compared with those experienced by the characters here The cultural context and the smattering of Yiddish words are largely unfamiliar to me too And yet Krauss spoke to me from these pages to me of me and of others“ I tried to make sense of things It could be my epitaph”Sometimes even if I've really enjoyed a book I find myself thinking And yetNot with this Not even a little bitI guess that means it's perfect even if I can’t adeuately explain why nor answer this final uestion I am a reader Krauss is a writer I am in aweuotes• “Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl and her laughter was a uestion he wanted to spend his whole life answering”• “The boy became a man who became invisible In this way he escaped death”• “At times I believed that the last page of my book and the last page of my life were one and the same”• “The truth is a thing I invented so I could live”• “All I want is not to die on a day when I went unseen”• “The words of our childhood Yiddish became strangers to us Life demanded a new language”• “The traffic lights bled into the puddles”• “Life is a beauty and a joy forever” Later “Life is beautiful and a joke forever”• “In the most important moment of his life he had chosen the wrong sentence”• “What is not known about Zvi Litvitoff is endless These things were lost to oblivion like so much about so many who are born and die without anyone ever taking the time to write it all down”• “Holding hands is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together”• “Some were bought and read many were bought and not read some were given as gifts some sat fading in bookstore windows serving as landing docks for flies some were marked up with pencil and a good many were sent to the paper compactor where they were shredded to a pulp along with other unread or unwanted book their sentences parsed and minced in the machine’s spinning blades”• A writer imagines books “As a flock of homing pigeons that could flap their wings and return to him to report on how many tears shed how many laughs how many passages read aloud how many cruel closings of the cover after barely reading a page how many never opened at all”• “Only now my son was gone did I realise how much I’d been living for him”• “I’ve always arrived too late for my life”• “I thought it would be strange to live in the world without her in it And yet I’d gotten used to living with her memory a long time ago” • “The door between the lives we could have led and the lives we had led had shut”• “The grammar of my life wherever there appears a plural correct for the singular”• Not everyone stays in loveJM married young “before we knew enough about disappointment and once we did we found we reminded each other of it”Another says “It’s hard to imagine any kind of anything happiness or otherwise without her I’ve lived with Frances so long”• “She seemed to pull light and gravity to the place where she stood”• “Perhaps this is what it means to be a father to teach your child to live without you If so no one was a greater father than I”• “At the end all that’s left of you are your possessions Perhaps that’s why I hoarded the world with the hope that when I died the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived”• “To paint a leaf you have to sacrifice the whole landscape”• “After my Uncle Julian left my mother became withdrawn or maybe a better word would be obscure as in faint unclear distant”• “In another room my mother slept curled next to the warmth of a pile of books”• “FOR MY GRANDPARENTS who taught me the opposite of disappearing and FOR JONATHAN my life“• “Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl and her kiss was a uestion he wanted to spend his whole life answering”Further NotesI have jotted down lists about the story characters and themes showing the many and complex connections HERE but it is not a review this one is and it’s full of spoilersRereadRead in January 2016 and again in July 2016 This review was updated slightly and my further notesappendix one significantlyThe reread was a bit like watching The Sixth Sense for the second or subseuent time at least as good but utterly different The multi threaded plot is so cleverly woven and once you know the pattern you spot all the little threads early on In particular on first reading I didn't pay much attention to the irritating and self important little brother so his actual importance came as something of a shock Knowing the outcome meant I was interested in and sympathetic to him and even appreciative of the book as a wholeImage sourcesA heart like the one used to represent Leo Gursky

  2. Jason Jason says:

    I need to cut the crap with my preconceptions Although I almost unfailingly launch into a new novel with great enthusiasm like a kid on Christmas morning anxious to discover what hidden treasure awaits for some reason I held out little hope for Mrs Foer’s book about a book about love Maybe it’s because books about books about love aren’t usually my thing? Maybe it’s because I read her husband’s bestseller last year and was less than impressed? Maybe it’s because I had heard somewhere that they wrote their books together oh how a dorable bouncing ideas off one another and giving each other high fives so naturally I assumed that if Mr Foer’s book was gimmicky which it is then The History of Love would surely be a major eye roller as well right?WrongWhatever the reason I was clearly out of line and for that I owe Nicole a huge apology In this book she weaves three intersecting storylines all under a cloud of intriguing ambiguity so even though it is understood that the stories are related it isn’t exactly clear how until about two thirds of the way through And as the stories of Leopold Gursky Alma Singer and Zvi Litvinoff are told to us they leave an imprint on us even before we learn for sure who they are The History of Love is a gorgeous novel with gorgeous characters who do what characters do best they love and they lose they struggle and they fail and if lucky they learn how to pick up the pieces and survive For them survival is not a destination but a journey There’s no magic cure and there’s no end all But taken one day at a time it is possible to live a life worth living Krauss reminds us that all we really want is to remain visible—to be known to be loved and to be remembered by those who knew and loved usI won a copy of this book through World Book Night a program begun in the UK last year to spread the love of reading That program has now arrived in the US and even though I technically shouldn’t have ualified for receiving a copy of this—WBN books are supposed to have been given only to “light” readers in the hopes that they become “moderate” readers—I will make sure that it will have been worth their while by spreading my love for this book about a book about love

  3. Violet wells Violet wells says:

    The great tragedy of life is this then our friends are not allowed to finish their stories My second reading of this book bore out my feeling the first time I read it The first two hundred pages are a stunningly beautiful and moving account of love and loss and the stories hidden within stories and then of a sudden it’s as if Krauss handed the novel over to her distinctly less talented husband to finish off the book She ruins it with the fourth of her narrators the entirely preposterous whimsy of Bird who is a kind of identikit of Foer’s eually irritating cutesy cutesy little boy narrator in Extremely Loud Bird is a mistake and the attempt to add still madcap tomfoolery and another search for a missing person a person who doesn’t exist is just daft Bird as a character is a joke that simply isn’t funny And to make another mystery of a mystery to create another story with the honeycomb of stories backfires horribly so late in the novel I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel that punctures so catastrophically towards the end and has left me feeling so angry and cheated I'd forgotten how beautiful most of this novel is How poignantly and succinctly Krauss conveys the childhood love of two Jewish children before the Nazis arrive How magically she recreates Leo’s memory And how alive and full of the heart is the old man recollecting himself as a boy in the narrative Leo is a brilliant and heartwarming depiction of old age just as Alma is a fabulous evocation of adolescence Krauss writes brilliantly about love in all of its forms She’s got a marvellous eye for epiphanies and evokes them with searing poetic simplicity And the multi layered form of the novel where three narrators are each telling missing parts of each other’s stories is brilliantly achieved It also works great as a literary detective story Almost you have to keep a list of the clues as you’re reading So absolutely brilliant until Krauss’ ultimate recourse to whimsy as if she and her husband were sharing some private joke and which comes very close to spoiling the poignant moving emotional fabric of this novel

  4. Ian "Marvin" Graye Ian "Marvin" Graye says:

    Original Comments Pre ReviewI would like to review this novel formally in the near future but to do so I'll have to flick through it and refresh my memoryMy reaction at the time was that it was one of the best novels I had ever readNicole Krauss understands people and love and feelings and she writes about them in a word perfect wayAs a reader I am prepared to go wherever she wants to take me I will trust her judgementI have recently watched a few of her videos and interviews on Youtube and she's also someone who I enjoy listening to when she speaks about her craft and her choice of subject matterThis probably sounds very gushy and naive but I promise to write something consideredReview September 26 2011Warning about SpoilersI have tried to minimise and identify plot spoilersHowever this is an emotional response to the novel and might reveal significance that you might want to enjoy by way of your own detectionI hope that my review doesn't spoil anything for you or if it does that you uickly forget itLives Lived and Measured by the Deli CounterNicole Krauss’ “The History of Love” is one of my favourite novels of all timeI read it once pre Good Reads and have just re read it so that I could review it And I will read it again OftenThat doesn’t count the numerous times I have fingered through the book seeking out passages and expressions and meanings and significances that stimulated or appealed to meIt’s an exuisitely crafted tale of love loss longing hope defiance resilience and it has to be said delusionI love its Jewish wisdom and concern with the family I love its Yiddish rhythms and expressions and humour and playfulness I love the window it offers into the millennia of Jewish culture and enrichment of the worldWhen I open the pages of this book I feel like I am walking into the best delicatessen or pastry shop in the worldEverything is there on display everything is on offer we can eat in or take awayIt’s all been made with consummate skill and affection it’s designed to satiate our appetite to enrich our livesI look at it all knowing it will feed us it will sustain us it will revive our energy It’s food for thought it’s food for lifeI'm sure it will help us live our own lives and tell our own tales it will euip each of us to tell our own History of LoveI am wearing my Second Avenue Deli t shirt as I think and type thisLegend“The History of Love” is written from four different perspectives each of which is represented by a different symbol at the beginning of the chapterLeo Gursky a heartAlma Singer a compassOmniscient Narrator an open bookBird Alma’s brother an arkOnce Upon a TimeOnce upon a time there was a Polish boy named Leo Gursky who loved a girl across the field named Alma Mereminski “Her laughter was a uestion he wanted to spend his whole life answering”He asked her to marry him when they were both still only ten “He promised her he would never love another girl as long as he lived What if I die? She asked Even then he said”He carved “AL” in the bark of a tree and had someone take a photo of the two of them in front of that tree He writes three books for her all in their native Yiddish the last being “The History of Love”Book 1 this one was about Slonim Alma says “she liked it better when I made things up”Book 2 he made up everything for this one Alma says “maybe I shouldn’t make up everything because that made it hard to believe anything”Book 3 “The History of Love” Leo says I didn’t write about real things and I didn’t write about imaginary things I wrote about the only things I knew”In July 1941 that boy who was now a man of 21 avoided murder by the German Einsatzgruppen because he was lying on his back in the woods thinking about the girl “You could say it was his love for her that saved his life”Alma’s father had already saved her by sending her to AmericaUnbeknown to either of them Alma was pregnant with their son Isaac when she leftOblivious to the birth of his son Leo lives in hiding surrounded by Nazi atrocitiesLetters back and forth fail to reach their destinationHe even writes his own obituary when he is in the depths of illness and despairBy the time Leo finally escapes to New York himself five years later he has become an invisible man in the face of deathHe traces Alma only to learn that she has had their child and that believing he was dead she has married another manHe is ecstatic that “our sum had come to eual a child” ALIHe asks her once to “come with me” she can’t and he does the hardest thing he’s ever done in his life he picked up his hat and walked awayHe has little involvement with Alma or Isaac after that except as an occasional remote observerAnd yet He continues to love Alma though he now has another uest to determine whether Isaac who becomes a famous writer in his own right ever knew about his father and that he wrote “The History of Love”Once Upon Another TimelineOnce upon another time it is the year 2000 when Leo is 80 and believes he is approaching death a precocious 15 year old girl goes by the name Alma SingerHer mother Charlotte a literary translator who specialises in Spanish literature named her after every girl in a book Alma’s father David gave her mother called “The History of Love”It is written in Spanish and the author is Zvi Litvinoff a friend of Leo’s who after Leo left Poland escaped to Chile carrying with him the original Yiddish manuscript of “The History of Love” for safekeepingAlma’s father died when she was sevenLike Leo Charlotte has continued to love him “my mother never fell out of love with my father” and has never felt the need or desire to love another manWhen Charlotte disposes of some of his possessions Alma rescues an old sweater and decides to wear it for the rest of her lifeShe manages to wear it for 42 days straightAlma is on her own uest to know her own father better to help her younger brother Bird to know him too to find a lover for her mother and to learn about her namesake in “The History of Love”In the midst of this assortment of delicacies Charlotte receives a letter asking her to translate “The History of Love” from Spanish to EnglishFamily PlotI have included the above plot details despite my normal reluctance to summarise plots in reviewsPlease don’t construe any of the details as spoilers Most of them are revealed in the first forty pages only not necessarily in that orderAnd I have left out a lot of the back story so that I could set up this context that family is fundamental to the plot to “The History of Love” not to mention history itselfThe Paleontological DetectiveEvery crime needs its own detective and every detective needs their own methodology even a child detectiveNicole Krauss twice mentions the task of paleontologists “Bird asked what a paleontologist was and Mom said that if he took a complete illustrated guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art shred it into a hundred pieces cast them into the wind from the museum’s steps let a few weeks pass went back and scoured Fifth Avenue and Central Park for as many surviving scraps as he could find then tried to reconstruct the history of painting including schools styles genres and names of painters from his scraps that would be like a paleontologist “The only difference is that paleontologists study fossils in order to figure out the origin and evolution of life “Every fourteen year old should know something about where she comes from my mother said It wouldn’t do to go around without the faintest clue of how it all began”Here the historical uest the puzzle depends on your perspective And there are two the young and the old the present and the past joining together to construct the futureFor Alma the young the puzzle is what happened before “The History of Love” found its way into her family?For Leo the old it is what happened after he wrote “The History of Love”?Both have to sit down sometimes patiently sometimes impatiently and work their own methodical way towards a solution of their own puzzleIn a way their problem is the same the problem of familyLeo loses a prospective wife and a son Charlotte loses a husband Alma loses a fatherThey have all lost the story of their family of their loveHere the novel is symbolic of the fate of the Jewish Family in the face of the Holocaust and the Jewish DiasporaThe Jewish Family has been dispersed all over the world family members have been separated the spine of their love and connections and cultures and books and stories has been severedTheir book has been shred into a hundred pieces and cast into the windSomebody has to scour the world to find the surviving “scraps” piece it all together again and reconstruct their history and their cultureAnd it will take a paleontologist Or twoYou Can Only Lose What You Once HadLeo once had Alma He had a lover whom he loved and who loved himHe lost her but he kept his love alive just as he hoped that the object of his love was still alive she actually lived until 1995The novel is almost mythical or mythological in the way it tells this taleCharlotte tells young Alma “The first woman may have been Eve but the first girl will always be Alma”So Leo and Alma are almost posited against Adam and Eve as the first boy and girl the first to have mortal parents the first children who ever fell in love with each other the first to create a new familyWithout the object of his love he wrote about itHe kept his love alive his love kept him aliveAs he wrote in his own obituary “He was a great writer He fell in love It was his life”And yet His life stalled when he lost the object of his loveHe ceased to live for any purpose other than the preservation of his loveHis love became a fabrication that substituted for and subsumed his lifeHe appears to be in two minds about thisOn the one hand what to life is there but love? “I thought we were fighting for something than her love he saidWhat is than her love? I asked”On the other hand he recognised that he needed his invention in order to survive that reality would have killed him “What do I want to tell you? The truth? What is the truth? That I mistook your mother for my life? No Isaac I said The truth is the thing I invented so I could live”And again his confrontation of the truth “The truth is that she told me that she couldn’t love me When she said goodbye she was saying goodbye forever And yet I made myself forget I don’t know why I keep asking myself But I did”And “And now at the end of my life I can barely tell the difference between what is real and what I believe”Perhaps the truth is whatever works for you“My Friend Bruno”Leo constantly refers to his friend BrunoI have only one head but I am in two minds as to whether he is real or make believeHe might be a self generated survival toolHe is modelled on Bruno Schulz the Polish author of The Street of Crocodiles which is referred to a number of times in the novelHe died in 1942 and Leo even mentions that he died in 1941 in the novelHe attempts suicide in the novel unsuccessfully so there might be a sense in which he is a darker twin of Leo who nevertheless manages to prolong his life in the same way Zvi Litvinoff manages to prolong his life by confiscating and caring for Leo's obituary when he seemed like he was about to dieHis role diminishes as Leo embraces reality over the course of the novel“And Yet”And yet “And yet”These two words are so important to the novelThey express Leo’s defiance his determination not to accept the hand dealt to him his determination to avoid and evade the evil and the crime and the misfortune around himIt is his imagination his ability to believe in something else that allows him to achieve this “I remember the time I first realised I could make myself see something that wasn’t thereAnd then I turned the corner and saw it A huge elephant standing alone in the suare I knew I was imagining it And yet I wanted to believeSo I triedAnd I found I could”He has to imagine a better world than the one he has inherited or the one that his world has becomeIt was his love that enabled him to stop thinking and worrying about death to stop worrying about the inevitability of his fateTo this extent love is what keeps us alive it is our heartbeat it is the reason our heart beats even if occasionally it causes our heart to skip a beatLove is the defiance of deathIt’s not just something we do while waiting to die it’s something that keeps us aliveIt keeps individuals alive it keeps families alive it keeps cultures alive and it keeps communities alivePutting Your Legacy into WordsThe great tragedy within Leo’s life after Alma is that he believes his greatest creation “The History of Love” has been lostIn fact it has been misappropriated albeit without ill willAgain I don’t mean this to be a spoiler We the readers already know that it must exist in some form if Alma’s family can read it and Charlotte can be asked to translate it from Spanish to EnglishObviously part of the resolution of the puzzle for Leo must be the recovery of his legacyIt is one of the things that will bond him with the family he had but wasn’t really able to haveThe other thing we find out at the beginning of the novel is that Leo has had a heart attack that has killed one uarter of his heartThis reinvigorates his fear of death and the concern that he might die an invisible man survived only by “an apartment full of shit”And yet it also reinvigorates his creativity which had stalled as wellWithin months he starts to write again 57 years after he had previously stopped possibly when he had finished The History of Love and had become an invisible man during the War?What he writes ends up being 301 pages long “it’s not nothing”It’s his memoir starting off “once upon a time” in the manner of a fable or a fairy tale which he almost calls “Laughing and Crying and Writing and Waiting” but ends up naming “Words for Everything”It’s a polite but defiant retort to Alma’s childhood challenge “When will you learn that there isn’t a word for everything?”Maybe there isn’t a word for everything but as “The History of Love” itself illustrates in the hands of the right person it is possible to say everything in wordsLeo sends the novel off to the address he finds for Isaac in the hope that he will read it only to read soon after that his only child has died view spoilerAnd yetwhat Leo accomplishes over the course of the novel is the knowledge that his son had learned the truth of their family by reading “Words for Everything” and that the true authorship of “The History of Love” had finally become knownHis legacy has become concrete and he can die content hide spoiler

  5. Michelle Michelle says:

    “Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl and her laughter was a uestion he wanted to spend his whole life answering” I found this uote from a listicle please don't judge me of 50 of the most beautiful sentences in literature This one particular sentence left me with a heaping serving of the feels and so without a second thought I chucked the book I was reading at that time and started reading The History of Love A few chapters later I realized that this was not the sappy romantic book I was hoping for The story is heart breaking in a way I'm uite happy to be proven wrong though Sad as it may be the prose could take your breath away I discovered another work of art beautiful than that one sentence that lead me to it The History of Love is not really much of a history at all It's like a meditation on love or an exploration of love It's the story of a bunch of people who are not only searching for love but also searching for themselves and trying to find their places in the world Once the characters' lives intertwine the ending introduces uestions of fate destiny and the things that connect us to each other and to the universe More than that though the ending reaffirms the power of love no not the sappy 80's song It sustains through the years and unites people across decades miles and circumstances In the end even though it isn't the romance I was hoping to read I still came away feeling pretty darn good about love and love stories How is it that even the people who have suffered the most from having fallen in love still remember it as the most precious thing in the universe? How do the folks who have not yet experienced it know it when they see it? And what in the world would be in the pages of the actual history of love? I don't think one volume would cut it The book unfortunately doesn't give simple answers—but of course love is nothing if not complicated

  6. Matthew Matthew says:

    Nicole Krauss is married to Jonathan Safran Foer They both live in Park Slope Brooklyn and they both write clever critically acclaimed novels featuring preciously innocent narrators magical realism and some safe postmodern experiments blank pages pictures excessive repetition etc that you'd notice just by flipping through I loved Foer's Everything is Illuminated liked his Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close okay and liked Krauss's History of Love a little less I'm wondering now if my appreciation for Everything is Illuminated and my waning appreciation for the other two books is due to the fact that I read it first I hope notHere there are three narrators Leo Gursky a Holocaust survivor and sometimes writer living alone in New York waiting to die; 14 year old Alma Singer a precocious girl who has to deal not only with her father's death but with her mother's subseuent depression as well; and a third person omniscent narrator who relates the story of a little known book called wait for it The History of Love It goes without saying that these characters are connected in ways they don't understand hint by the mysterious book and that somehow this connection once made will help everyone involved That's all fine Things however don't come together as well as they should at the end despite some beautiful writing and the book that lies at the core of this story the book that has lived on for generations changing lives along the way is really just an annoyingly simple allegory about the genesis of love and other feelings Krauss has obvious talent but it isn't enough to corral this messy pastiche of a novel I try to make a point of being seen Sometimes when I'm out I'll buy a juice even though I'm not thirsty If a store is crowded I'll even go so far as dropping my change all over the floor the nickels and dimes skidding in every direction

  7. Brina Brina says:

    One of the last books I read in 2017 was Virginia Woolf's A Room of One Own In this series of essays Woolf maintains that if a woman has a room of her own in which to write then she is than capable of producing the same if not greater works than men While pondering my 2018 classics bingo and what book to use as a free suare my thoughts turned to Nicole Krauss I finally discovered Krauss last year having read both Great House and Forest Dark The prose in both novels was superb leading literary critics to dub Krauss as one of the greatest Jewish writers since Kafka Krauss has a desk of her own in which to write discussing it at length in Great House I decided it would be appropriate to use my bingo free suare for her History of Love another of her novels that weaves together multiple plot lines in Kafka like fashion Leopold Gursky is approaching the age of his death As he nears his final hour he can not help but reminisce about his childhood home in Slonim near Minsk and his boyhood friends Bruno Schulz real life author of Streets of Crocodiles and Zvi Litvinoff All three men decided upon careers in writing in their youth before the Nazis invaded Poland and shattered their dreams Before Jewish life in Slonim ended young Leopold Gursky fell in love with Alma Mereminski With a name meaning soul and a body strikingly beautiful Gursky decided at age ten that Mereminski would be the one true love of his life even carving their initials into a special tree The young lovebirds knew that their love was something special; however the Nazis posed an even greater threat and the Mereminski family fled to New York in 1941 not before Alma became pregnant with Leo's child; something neither was aware of Hiding in the forest for the duration of the war Leo reached New York years later and learned about his son's existence Named Isaac after a great Jewish Russian writer the boy would go on to become a prolific writer in his own right yet pain Leo for the rest of his life Prior to going into hiding Leo had written a manuscript that was close to his heart entitled The History of Love He entrusted Zvi Litvinoff with this book for safekeeping knowing that Litvinoff was fortunate enough to be leaving for the safety of Chile Little did Gursky know that years later Litvinoff would change the language from Yiddish to Spanish and pass off this elouent book as his own Years later fourteen year old Alma Singer named for the protagonist in History of Love stumbles across a letter from one Jacob Marcus who is asking Alma's mother Charlotte to translate the book from Spanish to English The Singer family has been grieving over the death of their husbandfather Daniel for the last seven years and Alma believes that translating this book would make her mother happy again As she discovers discarded translations in the trash Alma undergoes a personal uest to discover who her namesake was and why this protagonist named Alma profoundly moved her father to gift his copy of The History of Love to her mother In this process of self discovery Alma unearths many answers as well as uestions about both her father her namesake and their past In true Krauss fashion she weaves together these three plot lines without either protagonist knowing of each other's existence Gursky lives inside his memories hoping for one chance meeting with his son who has know idea who his real father is Alma is also searching for Alma Mereminski or someone who can provide clues as to who she was Encouraged by her uncle to stop constantly grieving for her father she is urged to step outside of her comfort zone of writing and books As she matures Alma learns clues about the History of Love her father and herself Meanwhile Krauss intersperses the sections about Gursky and Singer with the story of Litvinoff's life in Chile and how History of Love came to be All three stories are moving and eventually come to a nexus toward the novel's denouement As with Nicole Krauss' two other novels that I have read in History of Love I experienced mature literary fiction which had a profound impact on me I think I was moved the most by this novel because I have a daughter named Alma and I was touched by the protagonist Alma's capacity to love amidst her grieving This added personal twist seems to be a page out of Krauss' mature style of writing that I have come to love and look forward to She has certainly done well given a room of her own in which to write and has become a leading contemporary literary fiction author Having caught up with her novels I happily anticipate the day she publishes her next novel whenever that may be 5 stars

  8. Emily May Emily May says:

    I tend to be an emotional reader and my ratings reflect that I finish books filled with excitement or sadness or intense dislike and write eually passionate reviewsrants often including snazzy gifs to make my point This is why some classics get 1 star and JK Rowling gets 5 stars and even Twilight gets 2 stars I feel it's almost impossible to objectively judge uality of writing and literary value so I usually rate based on the emotional effect the book had on me That being said I occasionally think there are some books that are just built on a clever concept and become better the you sit and think about what you've just readIn my opinion The History of Love is one of those booksFor one thing this novel is something of a work of art The graphic design even of the dedications page feels important to the novel without seeming overly gimmicky I've actually always loved the concept of a book within a book when a book which forms part of the plot also ties in with the physical book in your hands or ebook perhaps In this case the story features a book entitled you guessed it The History of Love which carries an obituary at the end identical to the one at the end of this book The real message behind the story is that by writing about things and stories people who are dead and experiences that are long past are given the opportunity to live on through words The fictional The History of Love in the story stays alive across time and continents because people read it and keep the memories alive The implication with the ending of this book is that Krauss is doing the same and encouraging readers to keep Leo and his story aliveAnother thing I love is having very different stories that run parallel to one another and intersect in ways you wouldn't imagine I like the exploration of how small subtle things can shape people's lives and how one unsuccessful author can have such a huge effect on the life of someone they never met I guess in some ways it did make me feel uite emotional but it took some thinking about firstI found Leo Gursky to be exactly the kind of character who evokes sympathy from me but especially within this kind of context We are introduced to him as an aging and extremely lonely man who is preoccupied with his own mortality and impending death Once upon a time Leo lived in Poland fell in love with a woman called Alma and wrote her a book he called The History of Love which he believes was lost in a flood But with fascism on the rise in Germany however Alma's father sends her to the United States where she builds a new life that Leo isn't a part ofWhen Leo finally makes it to the USA he has no place in Alma's life and must forge a new lonely existence in a strange country Meanwhile another story is taking place somewhere completely different A teenage girl called Alma was named after the character in The History of Love her parents' favourite book that was in fact published and she is currently trying to deal with the death of her father In yet another parallel story Zvi Litvinoff is the man who stole and published Leo's manuscript and now feels a terrible guilt for doing so All these lives move alongside one another rarely actually touching but making waves for the others all the sameFor me the real message here is about the power of words and stories How they can shape lives and have long term effects that most of us don't recognise as they're affecting us It's about the power that lies in being able to tell your story and having it be heard It took me a while to compile my thoughts but I highly recommend this book for those looking for a thought provoking little readBlog | Leafmarks | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  9. Adina Adina says:

    One of the most beautiful and saddest “experimental” love stories I’ve ever read I’ve had this novel on my TBR since January 2014 a very long time The main reason it stayed there was the author’s ex husband Jonathan Safran Foer I did not enjoy his book Everything is Illuminated and I wrongly presumed that I will not like History of Love either A stupid idea I know but from the description it felt similar Both are Jewish authors writing a book with multiple plot lines and the blurb also reminded me of Foer’s strangeness Glad I finally got the courage to read this beauty I have no idea how to review this book I also have no time at all to think so again it will be a short one There are a two main narrative voices and two episodic one Leo Gurski my favourite character is an old sad man of Polish origin living in NY He once loved a woman named Alma and wrote a book about her which was lost in the war Or was it? Alma is a little girl who lost her father to a disease and her mother to grief still alive but barely She is desperately trying to make her mother feel better One day the mother receives a reuest to translate in English her favourite book which was a gift from her dead husband and which gave Alma her name As you might have already figured out there is a connection between the two characters namely the book called The History of Love I loved the structure of the novel the multiple plot lines the characters the snippets from History of Love inserted in the novel The characters live in the past back when there was no loss which makes them incapable to also live in the present I think the name History is well chosen taking that in consideration History of loss may be an even better title as another reviewer wrote That’s all my sleep deprived brain can come up with Read this novel is beautiful

  10. Katie Katie says:

    Leo is the obvious charmer of this novel an elderly man who escapes the Nazis as a boy and eventually follows the love of his life to America where he discovers she has married someone else Leo holds the torch for Alma throughout his long life He has also written a novel The History of Love the manuscript of which he entrusted to a friend and believes forever lost His novel is the holy spirit of this novel Every character is profoundly affected by it Leo didn’t uite charm me as much as Krauss wanted I found some of the humour too slapstick It was Alma who won me over Alma is the second narrator She is named after the heroine of Leo’s book which her father loved Except the book isn’t credited as being authored by Leo and it was published in Chile in Spanish The first mystery in a succession surrounding this book Her father is dead when the narrative begins Alma is a brilliant humorous portrait of an adolescent girl who has lost her father and is dealing with a grief stricken mother and a traumatised younger brother Her mother is a translator and is excited when she is commissioned to translate The History of Love into English All the characters live obsessively in the past It's a novel about lost edens about coming to terms with the present when the past is inspiring magical But because of its humour and vitality Krauss does a fabulous job of making the present a constant cause for celebration It’s one of those novels that despite its fabulous labyrinthine structure and fresh lively prose relies very heavily on its charm It’s up there with A Gentleman in Moscow as the most charming novel I’ve ever read Krauss probably overeggs the mystery within a mystery or book within a book motif especially towards the end when she drafts in Alma’s brother to contribute some barmy detective work But ultimately a lovely heartwarming novel written with fizzing joie de vivre about the joys sorrows and compensations of love

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