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The Vulnerables (2023)

por Sigrid Nunez

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18812144,507 (3.8)17
"Elegy plus comedy is the only way to express how we live in the world today, says a character in Sigrid Nunez's ninth novel. The Vulnerables offers a meditation on our contemporary era, as a solitary female narrator asks what it means to be alive at this complex moment in history and considers how our present reality affects the way a person looks back on her past. Humor, to be sure, is a priceless refuge. Equally vital is connection with others, who here include an adrift member of Gen Z and a spirited parrot named Eureka. The Vulnerables reveals what happens when strangers are willing to open their hearts to each other and how far even small acts of caring can go to ease another's distress. A search for understanding about some of the most critical matters of our time, Nunez's new novel is also an inquiry into the nature and purpose of writing itself"--… (mais)
  1. 00
    Flaubert's Parrot por Julian Barnes (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: In beiden Romanen geht es um das Schreiben und ein Papagei spielt eine wichtige Rolle.
  2. 00
    Allein por Daniel Schreiber (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Über das Alleinsein während der Pandemie und das Schreiben.
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Dieses Buch führt uns in die Anfangszeit der Pandemie und spielt in New York. Die namenlose Erzählerin kümmert sich um den Papagei ihrer Freundin in deren Wohnung. Dort trifft sie eines Tages auf einen jungen Mann, der psychisch nicht stabil ist und aus dem gleichen Grund da ist wie sie. Nichts verbindet die beiden Personen, welche die Umstände in dieser Wohnung mit dem Papagei zusammengebracht haben.
Die Autorin Sigrid Nunez springt in ihrer Geschichte, die eigentlich gar keine ist, von Gedanken zu Gedanken und von einer Erinnerung zur nächsten. Auch wenn die Personen in einer Wohnung zusammentreffen, so dauert es doch eine ganze Zeit, bis eine Annäherung stattfindet. Es werden die unterschiedlichsten Themen behandelt, wie Gesellschaft und Politik, psychische Krankheiten und Alter, die Umwelt und einiges mehr, das alles aber immer nur bruchstückhaft. Immer wieder geht es auch um Literatur und die Kunst des Schreibens, was mit vielen Zitaten unterlegt ist. Diese Gedanken und Gespräche sind nachdenklich und tiefgründig, auch wenn immer wieder Humor durchscheint.
Der Roman lässt sich nicht einfach weglesen, der Schreibstil ist anspruchsvoll, aber gut zu lesen. Dennoch konnte mich diese Erzählung nicht wirklich überzeugen, da mir der rote Faden fehlte.
Es ist ein Buch, auf das man sich einlassen muss. ( )
  buecherwurm1310 | Mar 25, 2024 |
There are connections in life, even a life in the midst of a pandemic, that tie our personal joy and pain to those of others. The narrator of The Vulnerables is a writer trapped by circumstance (the circumstance of not owning a second house in the country as it appears most of her friends do) in New York City during COVID. If you recall those early months of 2020, you may also have had the sense that nothing was beyond strange. Even finding oneself in a friend’s palatial Manhattan apartment taking care of their parrot while one’s own apartment was being used by a doctor from Oregon volunteering her services in New York City. If a volatile youth joins you in the apartment — the former caretaker of the parrot — then that too is just one of those things that happen in life. And eventually, perhaps, one’s writer’s block will ease. Maybe.

Filled with beguiling discussions of art and life and seemingly random enthusiasms, Nunez’ novel takes its time to form a clear picture. Like the brain fog often identified as both a symptom of the illness and of isolation anxiety. But give it time and it will reward your patience. A gentle, thoughtful, very human take on vulnerability in uncertain times.

Recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Mar 16, 2024 |
"The Friend" is one of my favorite novels of all time; it and "What are You Going Through" were both 5 stars for me. I was very much looking forward to reading this novel, as I like (perhaps oddly) reading books set during the pandemic. But I'm sorry to report that this just fell short for me. The writing was good, of course, but the removed, discursive style just didn't work when there was no plot to move it along. There was just too much detail about people I really didn't care about - except for Vetch and the parrot. ( )
  bobbieharv | Feb 22, 2024 |
De kwetsbaren. Door Sigrid Nunez.

Oh, wat hou ik van alles dat Nunez schrijft!

Op de één of andere manier ademen haar boeken allemaal dezelfde sfeer uit; ze dragen overduidelijk het Nunez-stempel. Haar hoofdpersonages lijken op elkaar, lijken op hoe Sigrid Nunez, in mijn hoofd, echt is. En dat allemaal zonder dat het saai, voorspelbaar of op elkaar lijkend is. Een ware kunst!

Vanaf de eerste pagina word je meegesleept in de wereld, en vooral in het hoofd, van het hoofdpersonage: een eenzame babyboomer die tijdens de pandemie op een appartement belandt met een jonge Gen Z’er en een papegaai. Klinkt als het begin van een mop, en hoewel het boek vaak heel grappig is, is dit toch een indrukwekkende roman en geen flauwe mop.

Pandemieboek; klinkt niet als iets dat je wil lezen maar dat is het wel. Nunez schrijft over wat het opgesloten zitten met mensen (en dieren) doet. Ze gaan meer nadenken over het/hun leven, over hun job, (verloren) liefdes, de toekomst en zo veel meer. Schrijven, schrijvers, boeken zijn ook onderwerpen die veelvuldig aan bod komen. Ik heb zo veel onderlijnd!

De kwetsbaren is een boek van nu: met taal en onderwerpen die heel hedendaags zijn en toch draagt het een klassieke schoonheid in zich. Je moet het jezelf gunnen om dit boek te lezen want dan gaat de Nunez-wereld voor je open en ga je al haar werk willen lezen. U weze gewaarschuwd! Maar bovenal: geniet ervan! ( )
  Els04 | Dec 27, 2023 |
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There lies behind everything [...] a certain quality which we may call grief.
—James Saunders, Next Time I'll Sing to You
Life is not what is lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.
—Gabriel García Marquez, Living to Tell the Tale
How do you reveal yourself without asking for love or pity?
—Margo Jefferson, seminar on writing Negroland
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"Elegy plus comedy is the only way to express how we live in the world today, says a character in Sigrid Nunez's ninth novel. The Vulnerables offers a meditation on our contemporary era, as a solitary female narrator asks what it means to be alive at this complex moment in history and considers how our present reality affects the way a person looks back on her past. Humor, to be sure, is a priceless refuge. Equally vital is connection with others, who here include an adrift member of Gen Z and a spirited parrot named Eureka. The Vulnerables reveals what happens when strangers are willing to open their hearts to each other and how far even small acts of caring can go to ease another's distress. A search for understanding about some of the most critical matters of our time, Nunez's new novel is also an inquiry into the nature and purpose of writing itself"--

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