The Vegetarian by Han Kang

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    Thank you, @kerouregan, for recommending this book to me.
    I’m about halfway through and am impressed by the dynamics at work here.
    Disgust is the first word, but also the idea of ownership and individual freedom…
    I am sure it will stay with me for a very long time…. and make me stronger.

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      That’s why I keep it in the toilet, because otherwise I would do something… The husband’s first description of his wife got me so angry and I was like “so that’s what really some guys are thinking…?!” I don’t eat meat and it’s quite complicated for some society to accept but it never went to this extent. What are Buddhist monks considered like, when they don’t touch the most beloved dishes and don’t drink alcohol in korean society?

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        This goes so much farther than meat or no meat for me.

        My first thought was about gay or lesbian or queer kids who are put into indoctrination programs to make them straight.

        This story is about anyone who is a little different and the group mentality that feels it is only right and good to force (beat, rape, coerce, bully, emotionally blackmail…) them into being just like everyone else (according to the same arbiters of social standards).

        One of my brothers has a serious mental illness. He’s my favorite brother because he has such a kind heart.

        I get more than a little upset (okay, I’ll be honest, I get extremely angry) about the kind of behavior this book is dealing with.

        But apparently some people can just say ‘lalalala’ and not hear a thing. They can avert their eyes and not see anything. They would never rock the boat to say anything.

        They are probably really nice.

        I don’t want to be nice. I want to be kind.

        Sorry. End of rant.

        I’ll probably finish the book this evening. It is horrifying and riveting and I want to become a militant of some sort while I am reading it.
        I will be militantly kind. 💕

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          Maybe we’re little puppets in the hands of god’s like in greek mythology… Sometimes it looks like that, it’s so sad and then comes my depression 😉 Didn’t have it for a while, I’ll fight it , can’t think too much otherwise it could hunt me for a while.

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            I understand that things can be too difficult to deal with. I get that. But sometimes we make things worse when we don’t confront the issue which is bothering us. This happens a lot in our beloved k-dramas, doesn’t it?
            I am the same. I do this too. But I find that I feel much better when I am actively trying to be part a positive, constructive response to the things that I dislike. Usually I know that I will have little real impact. It doesn’t matter. I think that every little bit helps. Perhaps the only one I’m saving in the end is me. But hopefully We are all saving each other… someday…
            🤔

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        I also come out in hives at the way that she is never treated as a person. She is only an object that men can hang their wishes, desires, weirdness onto.
        How come no one tries to listen to her or understand her or just respect her choices ??

        This is an important book. I can understand why it won a literary prize.

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          It is an important book and I was surprised it didn’t shake korean society too much. All cultures have different standards and you shouldn’t cross them if you would like to go with a flow, like robots. I watched the movie version of Little Prince with my little son not long time ago and it was wonderfully made. There was the same message but softly put: If you’re different you’re something bad, not normal. Me and my sister were all the time very revolutionary in my family and sometimes I do to myself more harm than good but I don’t like the uniform society and try to fight against the wooden mills like Don Quixote. It’s hard to read this tiny big novel for me as well, because we have empathy and certain experience but for somebody it can be boring because he/she thinks the same as the unjust society well pictured in there.

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            I am so grateful that you suggested it to me!!!

            I hope that when a writer sheds light on an issue with as deft a hand as has been done here, it helps to tip the balance. The choice of telling her story from the the perspective of those around her is BRILLIANT.

            I better get back to the book. I’m wondering where the story will go. Wondering and dreading…

            [Quick question: I am reading the English translation, which is wonderful. Do you think that it is as good in French? Have you read both versions? Should I read it in French before suggesting it to my acquaintances? Also, have you read the other book that has been translated by this author??]

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          I would buy it in english when I’ll go to Ireland or UK, I’ve read only some passages in english, that’s why I ordered it in my nearest bookstore. Because I’m living in France and it was first translated to french I think, but not too recognised, I’m reading it in french. I don’t know why but the syntax of translated books into french is more easy to go through as the ones of french writers.

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          It reminds me of lot of other books dealing with simmilar issues and one of the classics ones would be Idiot by Dostoevsky or Boule de Suif by Guy de Maupassant.

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          I’ve read Maupassant in my language when I was like 17 and it made my day at that time. It was very well translated. Oh,17! I would like to come back sometimes to that time. Would change some unwise decisions and would read again Tolstoy’s War and Peace with such appetite as back then 🤧 .

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      Have a good night! It was pleasure for me too. Bisous

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    I started it and am having a hard time getting through it, even though the reviews are good. The writing is excellent, however! Maybe I’ll take it up again.

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    I haven’t read the book, but i did see the movie.
    The movie was disturbing enough, am not sure I want to read it. Let us know how it goes.

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    sigh…that’s such a beautiful poster

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