Via Brona's Books
Brona's Salon is a new meme which aims to gather a group of like-minded bookish people 'under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.'
[Brona] provides a few prompts to inspire our conversation. However please feel free to discuss your current read or join in the conversation in any way that you see fit. Amusement, refinement and knowledge will surely follow!
What are you currently reading?
I am reading Elie Wiesel's All Rivers Run to the Sea, which is one of his memoirs. Wiesel and his family were forced into concentration camps during WWII. His parents and a younger sister died in the camps. He was fifteen when he was liberated.
How did you find out about this book?
It is the last book on my Well-Educated Mind Reading Challenge biography list.
Why are you reading it now?
I am reading it for my Well-Educated Mind Reading Challenge.
|Elie Wiesel in the death camp|
In college I read Night by Wiesel, the short memoir about the author's survival in the concentration camp, in Poland. It is raw and brutal and angry, and I do not fault his tone.
All Rivers Run to the Sea is a completely different experience, written after Night. It is composed and long and sometimes rambling. He tells of his youth and the time leading up to deportation. Then he writes briefly about incidents with his father, inside the camp, and then quickly jumps to liberation and being cared for as an orphan.
He does not write in detail about his suffering like he does in Night, and that puzzles me, though I know there is a reason why he avoids talking about the horror. (Maybe because he already had written about it in Night.) And I was also curious why he instantly clung to his religion, when in Night I felt his anger and rage toward God. I am only half way through this particular book, so things may change, and I may find the answers to my questions.
Which character do you relate to so far?
Wiesel is my main character, and I obviously do not personally relate to him, but I do draw from his experiences. I try to look to others in order to learn or be encouraged about how to survive adversity. And when I complain excessively about small things, I think about Wiesel and people like him who endured war, poverty, hatred, and hell. Then I feel pathetic for whining.
|Elie Wiesel, 15, right before deportations|
Are you happy to continue?
Yes, I am happy to continue. I wish it were a little less rambling, but I appreciate that he has to tell his story. I am willing to listen and believe it is an important story to understand.
Where do you think the story will go?
Good question. Right now he is still pulling himself from the ashes of sorrow and pain, he is no longer a minor, and he is finding his place in the world - as a writer. Ten years after liberation, he has decided to write about his experience in the concentration camp. It is a painful journey, but he felt it was necessary to tell the truth.
I think the story will continue to move upward, and Wiesel is going to benefit from exposing the personal side and truth of the Holocaust - which up to that point had been avoided or quiet - and it will gain a lot of international attention. Sometimes the most difficult choices we make are the most beneficial and life-changing.
|Elie Wiesel, 1928 - 2016|
Be sure to visit Brona's Books to join the Salon.