Solipsism in a book

Solipsism

Solipsism:
1. theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified
2. theory that the self is the only reality

Solus – alone

I found this on the last page of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi when I bought it recently from a second-hand bookstore sale. It took me a while to decipher the scribble because it was a little hard to read, only to realize that solipsism was a foreign word to me.

I did a bit of research online and realized solipsism espouses the philosophical idea similar though not entirely identical to Rene Descartes’ “Cogito ergo sum” or “I think therefore I am.” Continue reading

Book review: The sense of an ending

The Sense of An EndingThis is going to sound ironic but when I first read the ending of “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes, I simply did not make much sense out of it. It was too convoluted for someone reading it on the subway.

So I went back to re-read it again and the ending, which was supposed to provide an answer to the mystery delicately crafted in the book, continues to elude me. It is always the same cluelessness when I reached the last few lines,

“There is accumulation. There is responsibility. And beyond these, there is unrest. There is great unrest.”

I admit I had to search on Google for the answer and only then did the various pieces fall into place. I swear that it was so much harder to wrap my head around this book than any Dan Brown’s books. So as not to be a spoiler, I am not going to unveil the ending here, but here is the link that provides a great explanation.

Otherwise, the overall plot wonderfully explores the life of retiree Tony Webster, focusing on his high school days and the camaraderie amongst his clique in school. The highlight though was the suicide of one of his mates Adrian Finn.

“What did I know of life, I who had lived so carefully? Who had neither won nor lost, but just let life happen to him?”

Continue reading