DOWNLOAD EPUB ♴ Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse chinoise ♹

This story is cute, kind of odd, and without much plot or character development Dai Sijie s first novel tells the story about two teenage boys sent to the mountains in China for re education under the Maoist regime Sijie himself was re educated from 1971 to 1974, which is when this novel takes place While Sijie builds tension very well he never really delivers Towards the end the perspective changes for what feels like absolutely no reason and I found myself saying, what in my head and having to flip back to figure out if I missed something I didn t The story is told from the perspective of one of the boys, Ma, and is about his relationship with his friend Luo and their preoccupation with a young seamstress in a nearby village Luo decides that the seamstress is too uncultured and uneducated for him and he is determined to educate her and make hersophisticated so that they can be together In the end, the plan works but she ends up becoming too cultured for him and longs for the life of the city I don t ever feel anything for these people One of my biggest pet peeves is when male authors create two dimensional female characters, i.e the little seamstress She actually could have been a lotinteresting had the author bothered to exert himself with her development Which I guess makes me realize that Sijie seemed so concerned with showing off his erudition that he got too lazy to flesh out the characters or plot Sijie is confused about what he wants this book to be so the reader never figures it out and the ending, if nothing else, is solid evidence for this. Sweet charming story with a fable quality The story revolves around a part of history that I feel somewhat ignorant about, the story takes place during the Chinese cultural revolution a time in history where communism was a means to suppress and take away individuality Life is controlled under the regime of Mao Zedong chairman of the Chinese communist party and restrictions take place, where revolutionary literature is forbidden and higher learning is discouraged, a time when boys where taken away from their towns and then placed into primitive little villages with the sole purpose of reeducation The main characters the two boys in this book find a surprising escape from their harsh daily activities when they stumble upon a suitcase full of forbidden works of western fiction and their whole world suddenly opens up I love the simplicity of this story and the quirky narrative with lots of traditional Chinese elements and traditions sprinkled in, that I felt instantly enchanted by it Although the story is simple the message is a strong one, it shows the transformative power of books and literature and how it has the ability to change and provoke thoughts and thinking I love how the ending ties the little Chinese seamstress to the main theme of the book and I adored the ending which left me feeling uplifted and joyous. DOWNLOAD EPUB ♳ Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse chinoise ♠ In This Enchanting Tale About The Magic Of Reading And The Wonder Of Romantic Awakening, Two Hapless City Boys Are Exiled To A Remote Mountain Village For Reeducation During China S Infamous Cultural Revolution There They Meet The Daughter Of The Local Tailor And Discover A Hidden Stash Of Western Classics In Chinese Translation As They Flirt With The Seamstress And Secretly Devour These Banned Works, They Find Transit From Their Grim Surroundings To Worlds They Never Imagined . .. . On its surface, this book has all the ingredients for a really interesting read a fascinating historical period, potentially interesting characters, and the frequently quite compelling topic of the use or function of literature within literature Unfortunately, I felt like Sijie failed to live up to the greatness of his own project The Cultural Revolution is supposedly the force that propels this story forward It is, after all, the reason for which the main character and his best friend Luo are sent to the countryside for their re education however, I get the feeling that none of this could actually have happened during the Cultural Revolution, which presents an interesting dilemma and calls the entire book into question The Revolution, the Communist Party and their respective trappings are sometimes present, but often conspicuously absent from the story, giving the characters a convenient freedom when it is needed and the story a sort of lamely suspenseful tone when things seem to be lagging a bit In the end, it seems like the Cultural Revolution and the re education process are just sort of there to make the story interesting, in spite of the seminal role that they should be playing in the text One gets the impression that perhaps Sijie took on a bit too much.The characters and story are also woefully underdeveloped I read the book over the course of one day in part because it was a quick read that kept me vaguely interested, but also because the novel reads like a half fleshed out outline of a future project There is a lack of detail and development that I found particularly bothersome, especially as I felt like it would have been particularly interesting if the novelist had attempted to pay homage to the authors that his two young heroes admire Unfortunately, Sijie s writing was far too inferior to do such a thing Further, he often fails to maintain a consistent tone, which vacillates between casual and lofty without any real reason for a switch.I ve rated this book three stars in spite of my review, I did still enjoy it to a certain degree Enough, obviously, to plow through it in a day Would I read it again No Would I recommend it to anyone Probably not Was it decent Yeah, pretty much I mean, yeah, it was decent I enjoyed it, but I wouldn t say that it was a good book by any means To be honest, I was suspicious of anything carrying the label best seller prior to picking this one up I am now evenleery of that qualification. Imagine for a moment that all the books you own are taken from you, pulped or set ablaze, labeled as libelous, unworthy to what your new home now thinks and practices What would you do How would this make you feel Then, as if the act of destruction upon your books was not enough, you, too, are taken to a place where you can be re educated All the mysteries or romances or science fiction or literary fiction that you one vigorously pumped into your brain was now going to be methodically replaced with doctrines and laws and philosophies that you not only don t believe, but know are to be untrue In time, you have to make some difficult decisions Accept this new way of life and re enter society, or remain the stalwart believer and remain in this place indefinitely.I would like to think that I would remain the believer, dreaming of what I once had BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS has a similar backdrop The story is about Luo and an unnamed narrator who have been relocated to Phoenix Mountain where they are to be re educated The proletariat has deemed their parents as class enemies While performing meaningless manual labor upon the mountain, the boys discover that another of their compatriots, Four Eyes, has somehow smuggled a suitcase of books into the encampment Literature of any kind is seen as reactionary, so the two boys are instantly eager to read these novels After they have stolen a book by Balzac, they are whisked away to a world of limitless possibilities They wantnovels As a responsibility to their re education, they have to travel to different villages, sharing stories of the Chairman, but, in fact, they are trying to live the life they have experienced in Balzac s novel One of the few people they entrust with their secret of literature is a seamstress From the onset, Luo and the seamstress begin a relationship For the most part, this relationship is only rudimentary to the story, until Four Eyes has been seen fit as being re educated Four Eyes is now able to leave Phoenix Mountain And with Four Eyes leaving, the books are certainly to leave with him Luo and the narrator devise a plan to steal the rest of the books When they succeed, the world of literature explodes upon them like a starburst fired into a pitch dark night, illuminating Dostoevsky, Hugo, Dickens, Kipling, Emily Bronte, Tolstoy, Gogol, Flaubert, Dumas, Stendhal, Romain Rolland, and Rousseau They have the makings of a fine library and dedicate different volumes to each other during Christmas and festive celebrations Soon, the narrator develops a penchant for his own storytelling and is able to intertwine stories from the novels with stories of his own Life seems tolerable now Then Luo s mother gets sick He has to leave the mountain And the narrator is left to protect the little Chinese seamstress from all the suitors that lurk around her tiny hut I will not say what happens here, as it would give away the ending of the novel The author, Dai Sijie, has woven an intricate tale some autobiographical elements around the power and majesty of storytelling Sometimes nothing happens in the story, but that is Sijie s way of sharing with the reader the power and beauty of language When the plot does liven up, it is told with a steady hand Throughout the novel, I could not help but think Could I go from a world full of books to one without Would I be able to keep the treasure of novels secret In the end, these are personal questions that only the reader may answer In what many other reviewers have seen as quaint or schmaltzy, I find endearing A great read for lovers of books and the feelings they get after reading a remarkable story.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED This is a gentle, magical book, quite unlike any other I have ever read The author really gets into the minds of the two boys and the seamstress and the tiny, colourful life they create together despite the poverty of mountain village and the oppression of the Cultural Revolution The ending is just perfect too. Set during the early 1970 s, when Mao sent the intellectuals to the provinces to be re educated to life as peasants, two young men are assigned to a small, remote village One plays a violin The other has a gift for telling stories They endure the labors assigned by the opium growers who rule the area, and are desperate for any sort of intellectual stimulation The local chief assigns them to travel two days to the nearest town in which films are shown, then report back to the town the entirety of the films There is another reclamation project in the town, Four Eyes He has a hidden trove of books, and when they do him a service he allows them to borrow a novel by Balzac This is manna from heaven for them and they plan how they might acquirebooks from Four Eyes The Little Seamstress of the title is a beautiful young woman, who becomes lover to one of the young men both are in their late teens She is the uneducated daughter of a local tailor, a man of some status in this area They share their tale of Balzac with her Other characters enter the picture, a lice ridden hermit, Four Eyes mother, and the town leader Spoiler alert here do not read further if you want to learn plot details for yourself.Little Seamstress becomes pregnant While the responsible boy is away on town business the friend takes her to the nearest town to help her get an abortion He would like nothingthan to woo her for himself, but, ultimately, his kindness goes unrewarded, as, having gotten a sense, even if at one remove, that there is a world beyond her little village, the Little Seamstress leaves to seek her fortune in the big city The boys are left high and dry.The final few chapters are told from alternating points of view, the Seamstress, the old miller, the younger lad It is a bit jarring, if illuminating.The story has a beauty to it that bears some close inspection I am certain that I could dissect the many details of the story for symbolic payload I have not done that I get the feeling though that there is richness there beyond the surface simplicity of the tale This is a quick and pretty read, and is heartily recommended. A charming book, written with astute quickness, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is both erudite and approachable It is full of details that absolutely make the scenes pop with vividness, but it does not dawdle over what is not necessary It is a story with a point Which is where this book falls apart Despite its captivation of the reader, its quick pace, its interesting plot, this short novel begins to come apart when perspectives are suddenly shifted why and then again at the end I think that the problem is that this book gives great argument against the very thing that it lauds, only it does not seem to realize it It is a book so enraptured in its cute story, its nice little package, that it fails to truly consider what it is saying Alas, the ending is something of a disappointment that tempers the enthusiastic praise I can otherwise heap on it Don t expect much from this little book, despite its great efforts to convince you there is something to expect, and you shall enjoy it as you blaze through the pages Set aside a few hours to read this one non stop, and schedule something immediately afterward to wash the taste of the ending away.