One of Kethylia's Random Author Reads(tm), and, as I suspected, it was worthwhile.
Anyway, I'm going to try to catch up on a really painful reading backlog this month. Think I can do it? ^^;;;;;Morley, John David. The Anatomy Lesson. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.Summary
: Kiddo has always felt like he lived in the shadow of his older brother, the genius Morton. However, Morton develops terminal cancer and, influenced by his apparently inexplicable interest in Rembrandt's painting, insists upon having a public autopsy. It is only afterward that he learns that his brother was influenced as much by love as by hate and that he raped Pietje, the girl that both brothers loved.Comments
: A surprisingly elegant novel that reveals its complexities at a measured, leisurely pace in spite of the brevity (in actuality, the perfect word count for the author's intentions) of the text itself. This is a coming-of-age novel, so of course central to the novel's concerns is to show how Kiddo learns an important lesson growing up. In this case, he learns to let go of his brother, who looms large in his psyche even after he dies. He learns that his brother's soul was riven with hate and that that hate was corrupting him from the inside out. He learns that he never really knew his brother. And so forth. Yet, the way in which Morley weaves together images of death, of physics, of anatomy, of art, and of character development lends itself better to a wholly emotional, irrational immersion, not an impartial analysis. It'll touch you deeply even before you've figured out what message you want to take from it. In fact, one of the most interesting elements, for me, was also one of the least important--the Dutch ethos of social responsibility and how it influences, at least from the perspective of someone who does not fully approve of the welfare state, ambition and motivation.Notes
: hardcover, 1st American edition, out-of-printRating
- Lovely writing and just enough food for thought to make this short novel feel well worth your time.