John Irving. ‘Until I Find You’

It was a few years ago when I first took the novel and quickly went through the first fourth, being completely captivated by the North sea capitals, their cathedrals, organs and dark tattoo parlours, red lights of Amsterdam and first sexual experiences of Jack Burns, Emma Oastler and others. I reached St. Hilda’s period with the great enthusiasm and then left Jack alone surrounded by elder girls. I can’t explain why I gave up reading. For many times since then I’ve been returning to the point and asking myself why, but neither my mind nor my memory offered the answer. Nevertherless, though I stopped (I’d rather say escaped), the novel wasn’t going to let me go. And I returned.

Like any first-class novel, ‘Until I Find You’ is about so many things we think about or never mind, so many places all around the world we’ve been to or only dream to visit, so many people we know well or never meet. Sacral organ music, boxing, gothic architecture, tattooing, boarding schools of North America, theatre, literature, acting, cinema, miraculous Los Angeles and even more illusive Hollywood and sex, above all.

John Irivng is leading the reader through the contemporary world web, along the roads his characters choose, step by step, in and out of their consciousness. Confidently, talentedly, sincerely, intriguingly (the screenplay is superior, as well as other elements), understanding everything in this world, of this life, existing here and now. At least, it’s easy to believe he does.

Modern literature should do so: speak about feelings, ideas, thoughts just around us, alarming us, upsetting us, touching us and hurting us  – not about those ones lost in past, looking like ghosts and shadows much more than like burning, pulsing, bleeding reality.

At the same time, art and glory, pain and memory, love and friendship, life and death, parents and children and, well, sex again go nowhere from the pages of the novel: they still remain the most exciting things of all.

The space of ‘Until I Find You’ is endless, long-lasting and alive and it’s so great to live in it for such a long time and finally come to its end and find it such a gorgeous full period!

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