July 31, 2011

Quotes From "Under a Cruel Star"

A few of the books I read in May and June. The one mentioned here is the purple one.

In my Sitzbook project I recently read Under a Cruel Star by Heda Margolius Kovály. It was really good, and I actually had already read it about 5 or 10 years ago. It's a memoir written by a Czech woman who survived the concentration camps. Later in her life, she got married, only to have to suffer while her husband was wrongly accused and put on trial by the later Communist government. That's the two sentence synopsis that doesn't give too much away so if I'm not making it seem like a great book, that's completely my fault.

I've gotten a bit behind on Sitzbook reviews and commentaries, and I can't write a review for each weekly book, but I wanted to at least put up some quotes from this book. Maybe they'll entice you to check it out:

p. 52: “It was becoming evident to many that while evil grows all by itself, good can be achieved only through hard struggle and maintained only through tireless effort, that we had to set out clear, boldly-conceived goals for ourselves and join forces to attain them. The problem was that everyone envisioned these goals differently.”

p. 68: “In order to be able to live and work in peace, to raise children, to enjoy the small and great joys life can offer, you must not only find the right partner, choose the right occupation, respect the laws of your country and your own conscience but, most importantly, you must have a solid social foundation on which to build such a life. You have to live in a social system with whose fundamental principles you agree, under a government you can trust. You cannot build a happy private life in a corrupt society anymore than you can build a house in a muddy ditch. You have to lay a foundation first.”

p. 131: “She was young and pretty and she accepted life with all its trials cheerfully, like a bird in the sky. She was yet another proof to me that nothing limits a person more than what was then called “a clearly-defined world view.” The people who, in my experience, proved the most astute and dependable in a crisis were always those who professed the simplest ideology: love of life. Not only did they possess an instinctive ability to protect themselves from danger but they were often willing to help others as a matter of course, without ulterior motives or any heroic posturing.”

So, that's all for the moment. Angela and I are back in Costa Rica catching up on stuff, but I'm hoping to put up some Colorado pictures soon (there are some on flickr already, but it's a process, you know). And it seems that I've gotten almost two months behind on posting Pictures of the Day! How is that even possible?! Plus, I've got to do a few posts for Sitzman ABC and Sitztoast, so I'm keeping busy!

Thanks for reading; have a good one!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

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