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A Mad Desire to Dance por Elie Wiesel
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A Mad Desire to Dance (edição 2009)

por Elie Wiesel (Autor)

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2471285,179 (3.74)24
Sixty year-old Doriel Waldman, a Polish Jew born in 1936, is on the verge of insanity until Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt draws him out with his story of surviving the Holocaust in hiding with his father while his mother made a reputation for herself in the Polish resistance--only to die in an accident shortly after the war.… (mais)
Título:A Mad Desire to Dance
Autores:Elie Wiesel (Autor)
Informação:Knopf (2009), 288 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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A Mad Desire to Dance por Elie Wiesel

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While I very much enjoyed readng this novel of madness and self-discovery, I'm not sure that I see the point. The protagonist, Doriel, has various reasons for his alleged madness (among them his cousin, the death of his parents, religious confusion, and possible more intelligence than he knows what to do with), but the "solution" is almost too simple. Falling into a typical and predictable Freduian scenario, Doriel's relationship with his psychotherapist becomes toxic but he finds a final refuge in a young woman who reflects his madness back to him rather than trying to figure out what's wrong with him. This conclusion seems incredibly ludicrous to me, since it perpetrates the myth that all humans just need to pair up and procreate to find happiness. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Review: A Mad Desire To Dance by Elie Wiesel.

This book was not what I expected but it turned out to be interesting with a lot of emotional insane desires written about Doriel Waldman, a holocaust survivor, in a desperate need for dramatizing everything he did and said with emphases of what he called madness within himself. His therapist, Therese Goldschmidt thought he was a complicated person and wanted to help him. The entire book is dedicated to just him and his therapist. Therese husband was also a character within the story but usually just placed in the background with little to say. There were many other characters but they only materialized through Doriel’s stories, thoughts, and imagination from the past.

Doriel was born in 1936. He and his father hid from the Nazis during the invasion while his mother was part of the underground Polish resistance. During this time he lost a sister and brother openly slain and later his parents. This loss takes root in his soul and never leaves….

After the war Doriel had been adopted at a young age by a loving uncle and lived in an Orthodox community in Brooklyn struggling with his faith and identity, his past, especially the memory of his parents and tries to find answers outside his community. During his search he is taken what he feels to be a spiritually dangerous path in his life through insanity. Than he ends up needing emotional help and was sent to a therapist.

Through Doriel’s therapy he takes the reader from Polish forests to the dry heat of Jerusalem, from past-war France to religious Brooklyn neighborhoods. Doriel is the primary narrator yet he is unreliable. He thinks he is crazy but also cultivates his illness and realizes that the key to his health is locked in his memories but does little to release them. This is what his therapist has to put up with and feels she cannot help Doriel. The treatments go on for some time and many stories are bared but he still feels depressed, lost, alone, and crazy. He just wouldn’t allow himself to feel the right emotions and kept himself at a very low state, saying, “being mad (insane) was what his life was all about”…The book was essentially sad but Doriel was an interesting person with deep intense memories to keep the reader turning the pages…Well written…
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
I will always remember seeing Elie Wiesel speak in person when I was at university. For a Holocaust survivor, he was remarkably filled with the essence of hope in the human spirit. He had a sense of the world that was baffling from where I sat after what he had been through but there was a definite wholehearted wisdom there that I wanted to believe in.

The main character of this novel, Doriel, is not a Holocaust survivor himself but was a child and lived through being hid and then after having to cope with the death of siblings and parents. He carries a tumultuous weight and most of his inner soul is explored through sessions with his psychiatrist, whose parents also survived the Holocaust but don't want to talk about it. More than anything, the book explores madness and also interestingly enough missed chances in love. Though I am not Jewish, I found myself relating quite a bit to Doriel's musings on madness and the state of the world. He feels he is possessed by a Dybbuk and he fights against a true healing. Or course, Wiesel wouldn't be himself if he couldn't interject his own sense of philosophy in.

This book is rich with riddle and story, of life choices and memories examined and re-examined. It is interesting in its examination of religion and the soul, of it's relationship with God and the human language.

Favorite Quotes:

pg 5 "But who is to say whether guilt and madness are compatible or incompatible? And who decided that I'm not entitled to both madness and despair? That madmen are beyond redemption, thus hopelessly condemned, except in the privileged area of art? Van Gogh before dying, whispered "Sadness will last forever." Sadness. No. Madness lasts much longer."

pg 7 "And the heavy breasted woman said to him: 'It is not you we are taking away, but years off your life; we';; sell them at the market." ... "We're in a theater, we're putting on a play about madness. It's a world overrun by madness. Everyone has a part. And so do you. You can choose: you can be the executioner or the condemned man."

pg 12 "The truth is there is no truth."

pg 43 "Sometimes, always unexpectedly, a word vanishes; it's impossible to recapture it, for it has already become a face. And this face, stunningly beautiful and fascinatingly ugly, at once young and decrepit, coarse and majestic, enjoys attracting and repelling me, and I say to myself, laughing and crying: it is the face of a god struck by the madness of demons and the madman is me."

pg 54 "Is e just suffering from a pathological nostalgia for a lost paradise, filched by strangers?"

pg 78 "You live only your life, whereas I inhabit the lives of others. Like a novelist, a madman is embodied in several characters simultaneously. He is Caesar and Cicero, Socrates and Plato, Moses and Joshua. True, you have to allow for consciousness and the imaginary. Don't bring it up , please. I have both. But between yours and mine, there is an abyss"

pg. 135 "You and your stories...You know too many of them; you become attached to them; they've already imprisoned you. Eventually, they'll be the ruin of you. Stories are dangerous; even the most beautiful come with arrows, and you don't know that you're the target."

pg. 163 "When a soul is involved, one should be able to break into it gently. With the proper word. A gesture, a sign, a look. A handshake. A silent pause, why not?"

pg. 181 "What meaning can be drawn from a sentence that is necessarily devoid of meaning? But, on the other hand, could the absence of meaning have some other meaning? And what about the ever-changing layout of words? Sometimes a comma travels: it runs, runs between the words, and is impossible to catch. Is the comma insane too?"

pg. 216 : "...human beings have migraines, whereas history undergoes convulsions."

pg, 235 "But writing has an animus towards me. To write, though you have to love words, they also have to love you. Mine scoff at me. As soon as I choose one, ten others spring up and chase it away."
The poet smiled and said, "The opposite happens to me. Ten words turn up before me, because of the richness of my language but I just want one. And that one often stays hidden."

pg. 237 "Admittedly, more than once, on many occasions, upon meeting a young woman with a voice I liked, I could have started a family. Each time, almost at the last minute, I retreated in fear. U said to myself: I;m not ready, not yet ready to express my trust in man and his humaneness. Not ready to say to the world: I believe in you and in those who mold you: I want to participate in your undertaking and be included in your future. Not ready to give the world my children doomed beforehand."

( )
  kirstiecat | Mar 31, 2013 |
This was a difficult book to get into and also to work through, but, ultimately, it was satisfying. As usual, Elie Wiesel reaches back into his personal experience of the emotions of time of the Holocaust in Europe and brings these to life in his novel.

The story begins with Doriel, a Polish man who is a Holocaust survivor, on an extended rant. Is it because he is “mad”? Most of the rest of the book deals with Doriel’s encounters with Therese Goldschmidt, his Freudian psychoanalyst, who tries to make that determination. Throughout the book, we learn about the bits and pieces that have been the whole of Doriel’s life. When Doriel’s therapist gets too close to the truths of his life, he responds with angry outbursts. In the course of his therapy sessions, we learn about Doriel’s parents and that his mother had been a much respected partisan fighter. We find out what happened to his brother and sister. In addition, we begin to question if the relationships he describes with women were even real and wonder why he tended to be a loner.

This is a book that takes a bit of work. You may, like I did, feel that the ending was a bit too rushed and contrived. Nevertheless, the book is meaty, and, if you have the time to delve into it deeply, you’ll find much to like within its pages. ( )
2 vote SqueakyChu | Feb 19, 2011 |
A New York, à la fin des années 90, Doriel Waldman va consulter une psychanalyste. Juif polonais, assez âgé pour avoir connu la guerre, il tente de se débarrasser de ses fantômes.

Qui a dit que lire devait être facile? Que j'ai eu du mal avec ce bouquin, moi qui suis pourtant du genre cuirassé. Le récit, surtout dans son premier quart, explique très peu et rhétorise énormément, dans ce style particulier que, faute de mieux, j'appellerai judaïsant: pratiquant l'ellipse et maniant la métaphore, répondant à une question par deux autres, discutant chaque énoncé et illuminant une obscurité d'un conte encore plus obscur... Bref, entièrement dans une tradition où, en l'absence de dogme, on interprète éternellement les intentions divines. Rien d'étonnant donc si, au bout d'une semaine de lutte, j'oubliai mon livre chez ma coiffeuse. Après cet heureux répit d'un mois, je décidai d'accorder à Waldman une seconde chance, et bien m'en a pris. Passées les difficultés de démarrage, le récit prend sa vitesse de croisière avec l'entrée du Dr. Goldschmidt, psychanalyste de Doriel, et ses comptes-rendus de séances avec son client. Grâce à son acharnement, un peu de bon sens pénètre peu à peu dans la tête de ce dernier, et nous soupirons de soulagement au fur et à mesure que se déroule l'histoire de la vie et de l'enfance de celui-ci, où se cachent, ô surprise, les éléments qui... Mais ne dévoilons pas l'épilogue. Souvenez-vous seulement que, comme on vous l'a sans doute répété maintes fois dans votre enfance, la récompense est proportionnelle à l'effort. ( )
  ccf | Feb 13, 2011 |
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2006 ( [2009])
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She has dark eyes and the smile of a frightened child. I searched for her all my life.
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In this ambiguous universe, full of pitfalls and boasts, strength lies in the act of creating one's own lucidity and mastering one's own truth. The person who loves, who creates or re-creates if only for a split second, has already won a victory over the absurdity of fate.
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Sixty year-old Doriel Waldman, a Polish Jew born in 1936, is on the verge of insanity until Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt draws him out with his story of surviving the Holocaust in hiding with his father while his mother made a reputation for herself in the Polish resistance--only to die in an accident shortly after the war.

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