Author: the nearest door

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

source: haruki-murakami.com
source: haruki-murakami.com

Ok, the good news is that, by the end of this year, I will be reading new Murakami’s novel. And no, it is not going to be an English translation

“The English translation of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s newest book (the title literally translates to Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and the Year of His Pilgrimage) won’t be out until 2014, Knopf Doubleday publicity director Paul Bogaards tells GalleyCat. The novel has inspired frenzied coverage in Japan, where it became the “fastest-selling book ever on Amazon Japan” (The Daily Beast)

Sometimes, it is good to speak/being able to read more than one language. By the end of this year, I will be happy owner of the new Murakami’s novel. I will be enjoyed the new book hopefully by the end of November or by the early December this year. Just like with the rest of the books by Murakami, I will try to read the new one in 2 languages as I have realized that different translations help me to look at his novels from different angles. I promise myself that, whenever I will have more spare time I will come back to learning Japanese, and one day, perhaps, I will be able to try to read Murakami’s books in original.

For those of you, who are interested in particular translations publishing dated (approx.) here is the list, which you way find useful!

English: 2014
Korean: Released!
German: January 2014
Spanish: 15th October 2013
Dutch:
 12th January 2014
Hungarian: Fall 2013
Catalan: 1st October 2013
French: September 2014
Polish: 2013
Serbian: December 2013 –
(source: http://www.haruki-murakami.com/)

France, Part 1 – Paris

Paris Nord

I guess it is finally time for me to write something about my recent trip to France. It wasn’t a long trip. It way way shorter than it supposed to be, but I have really enjoyed it, and I tried to take the most of it. It is not a suprise that many people prefer to travel by trains instead of plains. It is a easy choice, especially when traveling to your destination by train is so convenient. You don’t need to book endless number of airport coach buses. You go straight, from one city center to another. When I was booking Eurostar, back in July, I didn’t even think for a sec to check flight connections between London and Paris. It was a great opportunity for me, to finally experience that travel.

The whole experience of traveling with Eurostar can be described as a one, single word: smooth. Starting from the check-in at St. Pancreas, through boarding, getting off in Paris Nord, it went so smoothly, that I didn’t even realize when the staff member has been announcing our arrival in Paris. And yes, it was my first travel to France. I was about to go to Marseille or Nice last year, when I was planning my 3 weeks trip to Spain and Italy, however, due to expensive flight tickets to France at that time, I have settled for exploring Spain longer. Hotel which we had booked was very close to the main rail station, so even though we have arrived after midnight we didn’t have any problems with finding directions.

Arc de triomphe
Arc de triomphe

Our First day we have started with visiting Arc de triomphe. The view from the top of the Arc is breathtaking, allowing you to see the whole city from every possible angle (highly recommended to visit when the weather is nice, and the sky is clear. It is also good to be a European Union Citizen, and get a free pass there! Next stop was Eiffel Tower – an obvious must see in Paris. From Champs de Mars we have gone to Musée de l’Armé which is situated in a walking distance from musee d’orsay.

First day was definitively A museums Day. After we spend over 2 hours going around in Musee d’Orsay we went to see the Louvre. It was a very exhausting day, however, I was more than happy that I have managed to see so much in so little time. Paris, as a city is so beautiful that even when you get lost for once, and just go any direction you feel like, you will end up admiring gorgeous architecture of the town, while forgetting completely where you were meant to go.  I gotta admit, it happened to me, more than once actually! A Museums day have ended with a brief visit to Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (Museum of Jewish Art and History)

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mouline rogue – too bad I didn’t take a picture of the queue

During the evenning time, the only place we have managed to visit was mouline rouge. Mouline rouge was nothing like I have imagined. It is easy to say that the famous theatre is way popular than any other musical theatre in london. We happen to be there, in front of the entrance at the admission time. We spend some time walking around the main street on which the theatre is situated, being amazed by the number of sex-shops which are open till very late, even during week days.

The next day, we have taken a train journey to Versailles, came back later in the afternoon to Paris, to say goodbye to the beautiful city however, I will write more about in the next post… Thanks for reading!

Couple of thoughts about history

I haven’t read a single book in about 4 months. I think this is the first time in many years, that I got through such a long time without turning a single page of a book. But yeah, sometimes life goes in the way stopping your from doing what you really love. What made me even more upset is that I haven’t been reading history books for about a year now. Since I stopped at Antony Beever’s The Second World War summary, I haven’t touched a history book.

I’ve studied history at university for about 8 moths before changing my major finally to law. I have more than enjoyed those months. Up to now, I wonder whether my choices that I made were the right ones. When I was leaving my local university before coming to London, I have promised myself, that no matter what, no matter how old I will be by that time, I will, eventually finish my history degree. It may have been influenced by many factors. My family is deeply involved with modern polish history ( a great story which I may explain in details eventually, but it deserves to be told in details). It may have been because of my father, who love history as much as I do, or even more. Regardless of the reason, through muy whole education I was always interested in history as my favorite subject.

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Norman Davis

There are couple of books which I consider as my main sources of influences when it comes to history. As someone who haven’t’ got any academic background and, at the moment treat history simply as a passion, I had to make my choices, and establish my views based on books, rather than academic discussion which usually takes place at universities’ classrooms. Year after year it started to become more clear to me, that as with everything, there is no straight answer, there is no black and white situations, and just like with almost everything, politics is involved. History views that have been introduced to me once I was 8 years old, are completely different to the ones that I have now, as 22 years old. I do understand that even though history is based on facts, logical connections between them. During months that I spend on studying history at university I have only managed to get through ancient history. And even though, I try to approach history from “wide angle” my main interest remain focused on modern history, eastern front of second world war. Numbers of books have been written on that topic. It is hard for me to point to the one which is my favorite, but it is very easy for me to choose the one which was most influential to me. It is now about 5 years since the first time I was holding Rising ’44  by Norman Davis in my hands. The book which made me cry and gave me goose bumps more that any other book. The book which, for me was the beginning in my long journey in creating and establishing my very own views on the topic of Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

ZJAZD ZALOZYCIELSKI ROADU jan nowak jezioranski we wroclawiu
Jan Nowak-Jeziorański

It was a long journey in which i have lost my faith in validity of the decisions made by Polish Home Army. Decision which lead to total destruction of one of the main European capitals. Decision which have lead to death of hundred of thousands.  Decision which have influenced the world, and showed everyone around the globe that Polish Patriotic Spirit is simply unbreakable. For people whose nation have never experience the fear of biological destruction of its nation, it is hard to imagine the risk of the decision. It is so controversial that it still remains as the issue which is splitting the nation in half and leads to stormy discussions even after almost 70 years.

I have been always trying to justify my views based on sometimes more, sometimes less biased opinions of numerous authors of books through their own political analysis of the circumstances of the uprising as well as methodical analysis of a division political powers back then. I tried my best to find the best arguments to justify my views, I have realized that during my long discussion with my father. He, as my mentor when it comes to II world war history, have similar views as I do,  bases his views on logical reasoning. Many times we have exchanged different theories, tried to find a that one, rock-solid argument which could have been a closing-case argument behind full legitimacy of the decision. Sadly, given the number of factors behind the decision it will remain impossible to give a straightforward answer. Political reasoning was my main field of interest, until very recently, when I received a very unusual present from a very special person. I dont usually get history books as a present, as people know how fussy I am with my choices. The book which I have received somehow opened my eyes and helped ralised something very important which I have been failing to see during those 5 years.

milosc-w-powstaniu-warszawskim-b-iext23019642The book “Love and Warsaw Uprising 1944” (Miłość podczas Powstania warszawskiego)  takes competently different approach regarding main issue of Warsaw Uprising. Instead of describing in details political decisions which have lead and have been made before, during and after the fail of The Uprising, it focuses on stories of a people who have taken part, fought and died. It forgets about people making decision behind strong walls, miles miles away from actual front line, instead trying to define the faith of polish nation during 63 days of glory. It shows the daily routines, the daily struggles, and most importantly, the normal side of life – which, even at the eve of total death remains as much powerful as usual – falling in love. The writer- Sławomir Koper describes the faith of people, couples. Stories which includes people well know to all more or less interested in modern history of eastern Europe (like Jan-Nowak Jezioranski), or one of the most talented polish writers Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, as well as people who remain anonymous to a common reader. For the first time, while reading a book which is based on the Uprising I have found myself in the situation of total forgetfulness about the betrayal of soviet army, about betrayal of  British Empire. I have been focused on wonderful stories, wonderful people who during the impossible – for us, people born decades after the war to imagine – times, while facing incomprehensible evil remained human, and were able to love, smile and be happy even for a split of a second.

I want to thank everyone of you who managed to get through those long and boring thoughts of mine. I hope that at least one of you, who is not familiar with fate of polish nation during WWII, will google Warsaw Uprsing 1944 and learn something new about how strong and unbreakable human spirit truly is.

I’m still alive!

It has been so long since the last time I have written anything in here. I guess, too much has been going on lately. Changes in personal life, changes at work, at uni, to put in simpler: too many changes. Due to so many things happening recently, I didnt have enough time to catch up with reading, to be honest the last book that I have actually managed to finish was Cloud Atlas ( it still deserves a proper review – it was just toooo good!). I have tried to Finnish Pelican Brief during my flights home last month. Still home like a half of the book left.

I have finished my 2nd year, hopefully, I will be able to take intellectual property law as my additional subject starting from 3rd year. Finally, I would be able to concentrate more on what exactly I want to do with my degree in the future.

I have so much to tell about my recent trips, however during past few months it was so hard for me to find  enough time to get to it properly. I hope, that with October, I will finally find time to explain all the big changes that have been going on for a while now. Before that, let me share one of the best photos I managed to take this summer (and yes, SURPRISINGLY, this is from Paris, France!)

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It’s hard to walk tall when you’re small

It’s hard to walk tall when you’re small

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It was a very emotional week for all FCB fans, including myself. What can I say, eh? Dani Alves in his interview said that even though Bayern Munich have deserved their place in the final, in his opinion Barcelona is still a better team. Is it?

We got smashed, demolished. Yeah sure, it was 7-0. No one ever got beaten so bad in the semi finals of UCL. True, but does it matter whether we lost 4-3 or 7-0? Defeat is still a defeat, but the question is if the team is willing to bounce back and take it as a lesson, very painful but still a lesson to improve. Despite the UCL I still think that the season ending was relatively good. We have secured our victory in the league before the end of the season. We have lost the chance to win Copa Del Rey to a Real Madrid, and Jose Maurinho who showed us once again that he knows how to play against Barcelona.

It is time for changes. Strong defense, support in the attack which should not be focuses only on Messi. Neymar is coming  Good, let’s make him another Eto’o Ronaldinho or Henry. And for god’s sake, Tito, you have not matured as a manager to be in charge of a team like FCB. You may have a great opportunities waiting for you in another team in Europe, however, it was too early for you to take over  Blaugrana