Month: October 2015

Asylum – Madeleine Roux

Asylum has a creepy vibe even before you open the book. The cover photo is of a girl or woman who turns her head just as the photo is taken, or maybe there is something sinister about her. That atmosphere is unease that continues through the book is Asylum’s forte. The book includes disturbing photos that tie into the story. You know there are there, but they creep you not nonetheless. And the peculiar thing is, I looked at the photos before I read the book, and didn’t find them scary, but as I turned the pages and saw e.g. the girl dressed in her Sunday best, staring into the camera with empty eyes and with a jagged scar across her forehead, I was definitely scared. Dan Crawford attends the summer programme at New Hampshire College and just happens to be housed in the old mental institution Brookline. Dan and his newfound friends Abby and Jordan explore an old office and find a disturbing photo that Abby feels strangely drawn to. Dan on the other …

Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac was born in 1799. Balzac came from an up and coming family. His father was a self-made man who married for wealth. Balzac was privileged in many ways, but from what I have read, he did not seem content in his youth. After studying at Sorbonne, he was apprenticed in law, but gave it up as it was too much of a grindstone. He proclaimed he wanted to be a writer. On his way, he thought up and participated in a number of business ventures that left him in debt. The early works are of varied quality. Today he is revered as one of the founders of realism in European literature with his monumental La Comédie Humaine and is compared to Charles Dickens. Parts of his life do read like a novel. In February 1832, Balzac received a letter from a stranger in Odessa. He replied through a classified ad in Gazette de France – and that sparked a long, passionate correspondence between Balzac and Ewelina Hanska. After the death of her …