Each of the 12 has a tale to tell; each tale illuminates one aspect or another of the mystery at the novel's heart. It is impossible in a review such as this to account for the incidents, characters and narrative strategies of this immense novel. Remarkably, Catton manages to maintain lucidity in the face of great complexity and in spite of - in truth as a consequence of - a time scheme that revolves around a number of precise dates in and , settling at length on January 14, , as the node at which the many narrative strands come together. Apart from a handful of anachronisms, Catton's prose is carefully calibrated to give an impression of 19th-century diction.https://rayretumu.tk
The Luminaries: A D―ned Fine Tale, but of What?
The descriptions of the land and seascapes around Hokitika are vivid and eloquent. The characters are carefully delineated, their personalities minutely analysed.
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For instance, for the Maori Te Rau Tauwhare - one of the 12 men gathered in the saloon of the goldfields hotel - the ''conception of prayer was constricted to the most ritualised and oratorical sort''. That ''sensation was quite distinct from the love he felt for his family, which he experienced as a private leaping in his breast, and distinct, too, from the pride he felt in himself''. This is typical of the way in which Catton depicts her characters.
Many pages are taken up with careful analyses of their personalities, yet these analyses are almost always impersonal, even abstract. We are told how these characters feel, how they react to their circumstances, yet rarely, if ever, is there a sense of empathy between the reader and the characters whose fortunes are observed.
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- The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton.
- By Bren McClain.
- The Sydney Morning Herald.
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This characteristic of The Luminaries might be deemed to be a flaw. Nevertheless its use is quite deliberate, I think; in harmony with the novel's extraordinary structural and conceptual ambitions. The narrative focuses on 20 people: the 12 seemingly ill-assorted men in the hotel saloon, seven others whose encounters describe an elaborate pattern of conjunctions and separations, and one man, Crosbie Wells, whose death forms the centre of the mystery The Luminaries seeks to resolve.
The novel's title, an author's note about the precession of the equinoxes, a list of the principal characters, and astrological charts at the head of each of the 12 parts give the game away. This is an astrological fable. This is just another of their fine books for the student of Astrology. I find their work very valuable. Wish Howard was still alive, he's someone I would have loved to meet in the flesh. An amazing, insightful, and brilliant man, wish I could have attended one of his lectures.
The Mountain Astrologer
Anything by them is worth the read in my view. I bought Liz Greene's other books on Saturn a new look at an old devil and Neptune the astrological neptune I couldn't put them down and they helped me to understand the influences of these planets. I was really hoping this book would do the same but I guess I should have known that wouldn't be the case since it is in the Seminars format.
Every time it came to something I really wanted to know they said That's why I bought the book. I got some helpful information out of it but not what I was hoping for. If you are into psychological astrology this book is fundamental. In fact most of the books by Liz Green and Howard Sasportas are exceptional.
John Mullan on The Luminaries – Guardian book club
The only drawback is that many of them are transcripts of lectures and so lack an index, so if you are reading them to learn, take notes. Excellent stuff. Go to Amazon.
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Thoughts on Literature, Expressing Creativity, Being Authentic
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