volume nine

{literary lust : volume 9} via chevrons & éclairs

everything is illuminated, jonathan safran foyer

get the bookabout the author

As you can tell from recent narratives here on c&é, I’m finally accepting that I not “new” to London
and well, I’m becoming more settled in. That comfort is a bit of a strange one because my time
spent with friends and family in high school, college, work and beyond seem like particles of my
life that are distant, yet shape a grand picture. After mentally discussing the distant memories of
life and their way of piecing together to compile one beautiful story here in London, I realized
that I was living quite the life. I thought about about my future children and their children as
they will think about how my parents, from India, moved to America and I moved to the UK and
our roots in India, it’s all quite a puzzle isn’t it?

And so when I read through the pages of Everything is Illuminated (recommended to me by many
people), I couldn’t help but notice that my life is just like these little slivers of photographs,
notes and momentos of people that I’ve befriended along the way in Spain, the Middle East and
all across America. It’s a fascinating life we live and when you stop to think that the earth
is spinning through days with all these aspects of life encapsulated…

{literary lust : volume 9} via chevrons & éclairs
{literary lust : volume 9} via chevrons & éclairs {literary lust : volume 9} via chevrons & éclairs

the plot & context

The story is of Jonathan’s journey to Ukraine with a photograph in hand in search for the woman
who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. He hires a translator named Alex, a young exuberant
boy just younger than the main character. And the translator’s grandfather also joins the venture
as a driver that continues to be haunted by the nightmares of the war. Jonathan’s journey
and gradual introduction to his grandfather is told in different incarnations throughout the novel.

And though there are many themes within this novel that help bring it to light. One that I
couldn’t stop thinking about was the theme of memory. Memory plays a significant role as Jonathan
uncovers truths from his grandfather’s life. And though we think capturing a photo or holding
onto a letter is something that will continue to remind us of an event or person, it is
just as confining. The people of Trachimbrod, the town Jonathan went back to to search for answers,
are obsessed with memories that in turn paralyzes them to get anything done. Bearing the
memory of all the Jews endured during the war does not mean she’s a survivor.

Even though this is not the same, but I guess it helps me understand that my days should be
more about forward thinking rather than keeping onto what I used to do, who I used to be
and where I used to live…

what I wore

dress H&M shirt J.CREW trench SIMILAR flats ZARA tote THE WHITEPEPPER

{literary lust : volume 9} via chevrons & éclairs {literary lust : volume 9} via chevrons & éclairs
{literary lust : volume 9} via chevrons & éclairs
{literary lust : volume 9} via chevrons & éclairs