Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations > Book Clubs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-12-2018, 05:52 PM   #1
sun surfer
languorous autodidact ✦
sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
sun surfer's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,362
Karma: 40212234
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: finally someone let me out of my cage
Device: kindle voyage
Green Mansions by William Henry Hudson

'A failed revolutionary attempt drives the hero of Hudson's novel to seek refuge in the primeval forests of south-western Venezuela. There, in the 'green mansions' of the title, Abel encounters the wood-nymph Rima, the last survivor of a mysterious aboriginal race. The love that flowers between them is soon overshadowed by cruelty and sorrow.'

Goodreads

We're trying something new - discussion sections - as an encouragement to keep those reading on more of a similar timeline to foster more discussion. These are only softly recommended however and not required at all. Anyone can discuss any part or aspect of the selection at any time. We do ask that if you want to discuss something pertaining to a later section earlier that you put it in spoiler quotes, but if you happen to not then that's fine too.

Recommended discussion timeframe:

-Up to the first quarter of the selection (~60 pages)- Begins immediately

-Up to the first half of the selection (~120 pages)- Begins in seven days, around Thursday the 19th of July

-Up to the first three quarters of the selection (~180 pages)- Begins in fourteen days, around Thursday the 26th of July

-The entire selection (~240 pages)- Begins in twenty-one days, around Thursday the 2nd of August



This is the MR Literary Club selection for July 2018. Everyone is welcome so feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time; the more the merrier!


Click image for larger version

Name:	hudsonwietext97gmans10.jpg
Views:	102
Size:	40.8 KB
ID:	165004Click image for larger version

Name:	01-E.-McKnight-Kauffer--illus.-for-Green-Mansions-by-W.-H.-Hudson-(1944).jpg
Views:	95
Size:	244.9 KB
ID:	165010Click image for larger version

Name:	green-mansions-paperback.jpg
Views:	92
Size:	9.3 KB
ID:	165005Click image for larger version

Name:	817019.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	33.3 KB
ID:	165006Click image for larger version

Name:	24294563.jpg
Views:	99
Size:	41.5 KB
ID:	165003
sun surfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2018, 09:24 PM   #2
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,017
Karma: 28746979
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
I have had a late start this month due to business travel and an excellent week of baseball. I have read through Chapter 4 now. Lots of imagery to support the title "Green Mansions." I am enjoying the romantic and poetic prose in passages such as these.

Quote:
Flocks of birds, a kind of troupial, were flying past me overhead, flock succeeding flock, on their way to their roosting-place, uttering as they flew a clear, bell-like chirp; and there was something ethereal too in those drops of melodious sound, which fell into my heart like raindrops falling into a pool to mix their fresh heavenly water with the water of earth.
Quote:
as far as I went it was nowhere dark under the trees, and the number of lovely parasites everywhere illustrated the kindly influence of light and air. Even where the trees were largest the sunshine penetrated, subdued by the foliage to exquisite greenish-golden tints, filling the wide lower spaces with tender half-lights, and faint blue-and-gray shadows. Lying on my back and gazing up, I felt reluctant to rise and renew my ramble. For what a roof was that above my head!
I like the mystery and suspense that is building to Abel's discovery of the unknown forest "being" responsible for the charm of those enigmatic and captivating bird noises. Tension is starting to build with the Parahuaris, and he doesn't speak positively of them. There seems some obvious foreshadow of conflict to come!
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 07-23-2018, 02:24 AM   #3
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,017
Karma: 28746979
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
Here is interesting biographical information about W. H. Hudson. "The Naturalist Who Inspired Ernest Hemingway and Many Others to Love the Wilderness" by Smithsonian Magazine.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scien...ess-180962775/
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2018, 11:02 AM   #4
astrangerhere
Professor of Law
astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
astrangerhere's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,113
Karma: 26737654
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Missing my cat wherever I am.
Device: Kobo Aura One, KoboMini
I finished the book already, so I am going to sit tight until the full discussion opens. I am not sure I could limit my thoughts to individual page locations.
astrangerhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2018, 08:37 PM   #5
AnotherCat
Me
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,131
Karma: 12183664
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Anything
I finished this book a couple of days ago but have been away from home since.

That gave me time to reflect on it but for the moment, keeping with sun surfer's time frame for comments, I'll only say that I am pleased that I leap frogged it to the top of my "to read" list and it prompted much food for thought .
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 07-27-2018, 01:59 AM   #6
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,017
Karma: 28746979
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
I've scaled the mountaintop and crossed over the 50% point. The lovers have finally met face-to-face, and now it's truly "a romance of the tropical forest." Although it's a spiritual love with a healthy dose of religious imagery rather than a sexual passion. I wasn't expecting the duality of Rima's personality nor the introduction of her "grandfather" (who adds another characterization of civilization to the mix in contrast to both Rima and the Indians). I also wasn't expecting to have the role reversal between Abel and Rima. He's embraced the natural world, and she's ready to meet the big wide world beyond her heavenly forest. So now it appears that we're going on an adventure to find the origins of Rima's special race and headed towards an outcome that one surmises is most likely to end in tragedy.

The Hudson Memorial Bird Sanctuary is located in Hyde Park.
https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/...bird-sanctuary

Here's an interesting article about the 1925 controversy created by the carved sculpture of Rima on the memorial. Some interesting famous names on the petition against it.
https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php/Petition_against_Jacob_Epstein's_Rima
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2018, 10:42 PM   #7
bfisher
Wizard
bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,556
Karma: 25129040
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Ottawa Canada
Device: Sony PRS-T3, Galaxy (Aldiko, Kobo app)
Thanks for the links on the Hudson memorial.
bfisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2018, 01:37 AM   #8
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,017
Karma: 28746979
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
Here is a silly bit of amusement to me. I was just reading a book where a pilot listed some of his most memorable views from the cockpit. Look at what made the list.

Quote:
•The eerie, flickering orange glow of the Venezuelan oil fields—an apocalyptic vista that makes you feel like a B-17 pilot in 1945.

•Similar, but more depressing, are the thousands of slash-and-burn fires you’ll see burning throughout the Amazon. Some of the fire fronts are miles long—walls of red flame chewing through the forests.

Compensating for the above are the vast, for-now untouched forests of Northeastern South America. Over Guyana in particular the view is like nothing else in the world—an expanse of primeval green as far as the eye can see. No towns, no roads, no clear-cutting or fires. For now.
[...]

Excerpt From: "Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections" by Patrick Smith.
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2018, 10:11 AM   #9
sun surfer
languorous autodidact ✦
sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
sun surfer's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,362
Karma: 40212234
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: finally someone let me out of my cage
Device: kindle voyage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
I have had a late start this month due to business travel and an excellent week of baseball.
I'm a little behind where I'd hoped to be (hence my hesitancy in posting this month so far) but I am just about halfway through now and I usually read the last half of a book much quicker than the first for some reason. I'm really enjoying it so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astrangerhere View Post
I finished the book already, so I am going to sit tight until the full discussion opens. I am not sure I could limit my thoughts to individual page locations.
The recommended start to discussing the entire book is only two days away now, so not much longer to wait!
sun surfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2018, 01:05 PM   #10
astrangerhere
Professor of Law
astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
astrangerhere's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,113
Karma: 26737654
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Missing my cat wherever I am.
Device: Kobo Aura One, KoboMini
:cracks knuckles: Okay…here we go.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I did not like this book. At all. I always struggle with romance, straight romance, and especially romance from the point of view of a man who merely needs to take the woman to make her his. But I understand history and context, so I know what I am getting when I read a book from certain eras. Ditto on the horrendous racism both explicit and implicit. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, onward!

I find it interesting that Hudson did not like being termed an artist of any kind. He preferred to be known as a naturalist (one supposes the book was written to fund his actual scientific pursuits). He told Ford Maddox Ford: “I'm not an artist. It's the last thing I should call myself. I'm a field naturalist who writes down what he sees.” Odd thing to say given that Green Mansions is not an ode to Nature in my mind.

His descriptions of nature are lovely. Of course, his descriptions are lovely only to the extent of his cultural vocabulary. In the first chapter alone, he refers to the indigenous population as “savages” or “savage” 19 times. One of my favorite descriptions is that of the snake:
Quote:
It was a coral snake, famed as much for its beauty and singularity as for its deadly character. It was about three feet long, and very slim; its ground colour a brilliant vermillion, with broad jet-black rings at equal distances round its body, each black ring or band divided by a narrow yellow strip in the middle. The symmetrical pattern and vividly contrasted colours would have given it the appearance of an artificial snake made by some fanciful artist, but for the gleam of life in its bright coils.
Though he had no interest in being an artist, Hudson believed that artists and naturalists had a joint pursuit in unraveling the mysteries of nature. Amy Ronner wrote an entire article on the subject for the Twentieth Century Literary Criticism Journal (citation* at the end for those who care). She notes that Hudson believed that “[t]he new naturalist should strive to transcend both the spheres of art and science, should work to be “united, unconfined in a groove, free and appreciating his freedom, intensely interested in life in all its aspects and manifestations,” and should aspire to worship Nature and imitate its infinitude.

All that being said, I tend to agree with John Galsworthy, in his 1927 Forward to the text, when he called Green Mansions a “pure romance.” I did not feel like this was an ode to nature so much as it was about a man who is having a very hard time keeping it in his pants, as it were. He has seen a beautiful woman, savage though she is, and is driven the rest of the novel by obtaining her. I was particularly bothered by this passage:
Quote:
But the shame was as nothing in strength compared to the impulse I felt to clasp her beautiful body in my arms and cover her face with kisses.
He has arranged to take Rima to Riolama, but he seems to be holding out for some hope of trading this duty for having her bodily. After he has already promised to take her, he still says
Quote:
Touch my face with your hand--only that, and I will go to Riolama with you, and obey you in all things.
Didn’t you already promise that, buddy? That is what made the book so disappointing for me. The only men in the book (Rima’s grandfather, the villagers, etc.) are all evil save our dashing protagonist. But there is very little in the way of plot once Rima comes into the picture. Sure, there are some dangers for the hero, but they will be overcome in time. The tragic ending actually seems tragic to me only in a Pocahontas way. What would have come of Rima if he had been able to take her back to the city? She likely would have wilted and died once he removed her from Nature. Would he really have been able to resist going back to that life?

All in all, I don’t regret having read it, but I really did not enjoy the process.


*Ronner, Amy D. "W. H. Hudson: The Man, the Novelist, the Naturalist." Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, edited by Dennis Poupard, vol. 29, Gale, 1988.
astrangerhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2018, 09:59 PM   #11
AnotherCat
Me
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,131
Karma: 12183664
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Anything
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCat View Post
I finished this book a couple of days ago but have been away from home since.

That gave me time to reflect on it but for the moment, keeping with sun surfer's time frame for comments, I'll only say that I am pleased that I leap frogged it to the top of my "to read" list and it prompted much food for thought .
I will now not be making any further comment on this book.
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2018, 07:34 PM   #12
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,017
Karma: 28746979
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
I have finished the book! I am very interested to hear what others thought about the book. I agree with AnotherCat that this book is the type that you need to step away from and reflect on for a while. I think it has so many layers to it. I need to re-read the Galsworthy intro as well as the last book chapter and review my notes to refresh my memory. So for now I'm not going to post too many thoughts.

Overall I liked the book and am glad to have read it. I mostly struggled to get through Rima's tragic ending (how terribly sad and the shocking aftermath!) and the last 15% of the book. I felt it ended abruptly after all that mental & moral anguish, probably because I expected it to have more of a conclusion circling back to Abel in his old age talking to his government official friend.
Spoiler:
I also didn't anticipate the manner in which Rima died. I thought that Abel would be witness to it and perhaps it would involve his gun.

Hudson's naturalist training is definitely apparent and a highlight of the book. His descriptions are lovely. He has an eye for observation of the smallest technical details that most people would miss in nature and captures them well in the prose.

Astrangerhere has highlighted an interesting question about whether this was a romance or a nature novel. From my research it appears that most critics come down on the side of romance. I'm still thinking about it but probably agree.

I have a different perspective of the romance between Abel and Rima. I did not see it as a sexual conquest or that he wanted to possess her like material goods. I thought that it was very much on a spiritual level. She was the last survivor of a lost white race and was at one with nature uncorrupted by civilization. I thought that he held Rima up as more of a supernatural myth and idolized her innocence and perfection. I thought the descriptions of his passions for her used a lot of religious imagery to support that idea. His desires to me read more like typical lovers who want to embrace and kiss and have tender words rather than more base feelings. He is frustrated that Rima does not understand this new feeling of love and is unable to return these same types of gestures to him, even to communicate honestly and openly in a language that isn't her bird-speak. In the end, after her death, his thoughts of her approach sainthood as seen in the dedication in retrieving her bones/ashes and creating an urn and at the prominence of her memorialized remains in his house in the current times. When he returns to civilization he dedicates himself to living his life in a way that would honor the goodness of Rima's memory and spirit.

Last edited by Bookworm_Girl; 08-05-2018 at 07:40 PM.
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2018, 03:53 PM   #13
astrangerhere
Professor of Law
astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
astrangerhere's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,113
Karma: 26737654
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Missing my cat wherever I am.
Device: Kobo Aura One, KoboMini
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
I have a different perspective of the romance between Abel and Rima. I did not see it as a sexual conquest or that he wanted to possess her like material goods. I thought that it was very much on a spiritual level. She was the last survivor of a lost white race and was at one with nature uncorrupted by civilization. I thought that he held Rima up as more of a supernatural myth and idolized her innocence and perfection. I thought the descriptions of his passions for her used a lot of religious imagery to support that idea. His desires to me read more like typical lovers who want to embrace and kiss and have tender words rather than more base feelings. He is frustrated that Rima does not understand this new feeling of love and is unable to return these same types of gestures to him, even to communicate honestly and openly in a language that isn't her bird-speak. In the end, after her death, his thoughts of her approach sainthood as seen in the dedication in retrieving her bones/ashes and creating an urn and at the prominence of her memorialized remains in his house in the current times. When he returns to civilization he dedicates himself to living his life in a way that would honor the goodness of Rima's memory and spirit.
Funny how it reads so differently to each of us!

By the time he was fashioning what ended up being the futile urn, I thought he had lost his mind.

Though I did feel like the manner of her death would have been an excellent symbol for the destruction of the environment in a newer book.
astrangerhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2018, 09:48 PM   #14
bfisher
Wizard
bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.bfisher ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,556
Karma: 25129040
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Ottawa Canada
Device: Sony PRS-T3, Galaxy (Aldiko, Kobo app)
I found reading this book a mixed experience:

His writing is at its best when he is talking about the natural worldi:
“she appeared transformed and instinct with intense resentment—a beautiful human wasp, and every word a sting”
“there was no companionship, and we were fellow travellers only like birds flying independently in the same direction, not so widely separated but that they can occasionally hear and see each other”
Likewise, in his description of the making of native beer: “the result of much patient mastication and silent fermentation—the delicate flower of a plant that has been a long time growing”

I was left with the sensation that there is a great deal of irony in this novel. For example:
“he had lived there in former years, and, what was of great advantage, the inhabitants were ignorant of his worst crimes, or, to put it in his own subtle way, of the crimes committed by the men he had acted with”

“ It is hard for me to speak a good word for the Guayana savages; but I must now say this of them, that they not only did me no harm when I was at their mercy during this long journey, but they gave me shelter in their villages, and fed me when I was hungry, and helped me on my way when I could make no return. You must not, however, run away with the idea that there is any sweetness in their disposition, any humane or benevolent instincts such as are found among the civilized nations: far from it. I regard them now, and, fortunately for me, I regarded them then, when, as I have said, I was at their mercy, as beasts of prey, plus a cunning or low kind of intelligence vastly greater than that of the brute”

The first part is a paraphrase of Matthew 22:35 (“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in...”), so his protagonist is describing the savages as exemplars of Christian behavior, yet he regards them as “beasts of prey”. Later, when his protagonist is talking to Runi’s “grandfather”,
“For example, there is Runi and his people; why should they remain living so near us as to be a constant danger when a pestilence of small-pox or some other fever might easily be sent to kill them off?”
“And have you ever suggested such a thing to your grandchild?”
“He looked surprised and grieved at the question. "Yes, many times, senor," he said. "I should have been a poor Christian had I not mentioned it. But when I speak of it she gives me a look and is gone”

Hudson seems to me to be asking if there is any real difference between the civilized and the savage. He clearly doesn’t see the indians as Noble Savages, but implies that the civilized are no better morally, and possibly worst.

If there is any theme in the novel, it seems to be how destructive both Indians and Europeans are to the natural world. Hudson clearly was not impressed by the impact of Europeans on the ecology of the tropical world (nor of the exploitation of tropical ecologies by indigenous people ):
“it was mine, truly and absolutely—as much mine as any portion of earth's surface could belong to any man—mine with all its products: the precious woods and fruits and fragrant gums that would never be trafficked away; its wild animals that man would never persecute”

“I spent my time, glad that no human being, savage or civilized, was with me. It was better to be alone to listen to the monkeys that chattered without offending; to watch them occupied with the unserious business of their lives. With that luxuriant tropical nature, its green clouds and illusive aerial spaces, full of mystery, they harmonized well in language, appearance, and motions—mountebank angels, living their fantastic lives far above earth in a half-way heaven of their own.”
bfisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2018, 02:51 PM   #15
astrangerhere
Professor of Law
astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrangerhere ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
astrangerhere's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,113
Karma: 26737654
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Missing my cat wherever I am.
Device: Kobo Aura One, KoboMini
I was somewhat mortified to discover that Audrey Hepburn starred in a film adaptation of this novel in 1959. One review of the film states:

Quote:
One of Audrey Hepburn's few bad films, a pretentiously mythic and romantic tale, misdirected by her husband Mel Ferrer, and further suffering from lack of chemistry with Anthony Perkins.
astrangerhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
History Janvier, Thomas A: Henry Hudson. v1. 17 Mar 2014 crutledge ePub Books 0 03-17-2014 12:20 PM
History Janvier, Thomas A: Henry Hudson. v1. 17 Mar 2014 crutledge BBeB/LRF Books 0 03-17-2014 12:18 PM
Science Fiction Hudson, William Henry; A Crystal Age. V1. 10-Nov-2013 weatherwax ePub Books 0 11-10-2013 12:33 PM
Hudson, W. H.: Green Mansions v1. 9 Dec 07 tsgreer Kindle Books 0 12-09-2007 11:04 PM
Hudson, W. H.:Green Mansions ver.1.0 2 December 2007 Starfish BBeB/LRF Books 5 12-05-2007 11:43 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:26 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.