This book catches a glimpse of Japanese court life in the 11th century that we’d never see otherwise, a look at the morals and values of a culture so far removed from Western thought.
While there are undeniably elements about the otherworldly in this book, it’s based in nothing more or less magical than the human soul.
What I’ve really seen is that a country who doesn’t learn from her mistakes is bound to repeat them, and Russia seems to be on the verge of repeating them.
This book is one of those that needs to be read because the suffering of the people needs to be remembered. And although it ends sadly, there’s too much triumph of the soul for it to be sad.
This is one of those snow-tipped fairytales that feature in my winter dreams, effortlessly combining magic, history, and the northern reaches of Russia where the winters are long, the forests are primeval, and life is enchanted.
Poland is an embodiment of the indomitability of the human spirit.
The Poles are a surprisingly resilient people, weathering adversity and powering through the storms of history.
I didn’t see this book as a failure of the class system, I saw it as a triumph over it.
The enmity between Germany and Poland and Russia and Poland isn’t a 20th century thing. It’s been going on for centuries.
I had no idea how deeply love of freedom is ingrained into the Western psyche thanks to the Greeks. For that alone, their heroism and humanity, I give them thanks.
There’s something beautiful in the self-sacrifice of those Spartans laboring at the Hot Gates, knowing that they would die in the blood and horror of war. Doing it anyway for their families and their freedom.
There’s something beautifully tragic about Greece—foreshadowed in the work of Euripides or Sophocles—that’s both enchanting and sad.