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Download Youth Without Youth (Univ. of Chicago) epub

by Matei Calinescu,Mac Linscott Ricketts,Francis Ford Coppola,Mircea Eliade

Bucharest, 1938: while Hitler gains power in Germany, the Romanian police start arresting students they suspect of belonging to the Iron Guard.  Meanwhile, a man who has spent his life studying languages, poetry, and history—a man who thought his life was over—lies in a hospital bed, inexplicably alive and miraculously healthy, trying to figure out how to conceal his identity. At the intersection of the natural and supernatural, myth and history, dream and science, lies Mircea Eliade’s novella.  Now in its first paperback edition, the psychological thriller features Dominic Matei, an elderly academic who experiences a cataclysmic event that allows him to live a new life with startling intellectual capacity. Sought by the Nazis for their medical experiments on the potentially life-prolonging power of electric shocks, Matei is helped to flee through Romania, Switzerland, Malta and India.  Newly endowed with prodigious powers of memory and comprehension, he finds himself face to face with the glory and terror of the supernatural.  In this surreal, philosophy-driven fantasy, Eliade tests the boundaries of literary genre as well as the reader’s imagination.Suspenseful, witty, and poignant, Youth Without Youth illuminates Eliade’s longing for past loves and new texts, his erotic imagination, and his love of a thrilling mystery.  It was adapted for the screen in 2007 as Francis Ford Coppola’s first feature film in over ten years. “A wonderful blend of realism, surrealism, and fantasy, [Eliade’s novellas] suggest the importance of the mythic and the supernatural to finding meaning in the everyday. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal “Youth Without Youth reads like a surreal collaboration by Jorge Luis Borges, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Carl Jung. Mircea Eliade left me with the rare sense that I had been entertained by a genius.”—William Allen, author of Starkweather and The Fire in the Birdbath and Other Disturbances
Download Youth Without Youth (Univ. of Chicago) epub
ISBN: 0226204154
ISBN13: 978-0226204154
Category: Literature
Subcategory: History & Criticism
Author: Matei Calinescu,Mac Linscott Ricketts,Francis Ford Coppola,Mircea Eliade
Language: English
Publisher: University of Chicago Press (November 30, 2007)
Pages: 140 pages
ePUB size: 1486 kb
FB2 size: 1357 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 956
Other Formats: azw doc rtf mobi

This is a very off-beat novella written by one of our greatest experts on the topic of religion. I can't say I really enjoyed it in a literary sense, but I have to say it was provocative enough to hold my attention and consider a second reading!

This book attempts to meld eastern mysticism with western science and poses many questions which go unanswered. Yet all of the philosophical attributes are infused with early second world war history, Nazi scientists, hidden documents, intrigue with a beautiful spy for the Gestapo, miraculous recoveries and ancient languages. Reincarnation is also involved, which supplies enough romance to make the story a story rather than a vehicle for the writer's own philosophy.

The protagonist, Dominic Matei, is a former language professor who experiences what is referred to as the "rejuvenation by electricity" as a very old man and becomes young again just as he is on his way out of his home country, Romania. The reasons for his decision to leave turn out to be tragic, then fortuitous and ultimately, sensational. Years after his experience, he falls in love with a young woman who reminds him of an earlier love and who, after having been struck by lightning, is able to speak in ancient but heretofore unknown foreign tongues. This thrust into ancient times even before the Buddha, comes towards the end of the book - certainly within the last one third and well after we've seen the results of our hero's own transformation.

There is much rich philosophical material here, that I admittedly need to do some additional research as to content - first, on the philosophy of Chantrakirti, next, the Butterfly Dream as presented by Chunang Tzu and then, the philosophy of Nietzsche, whose theories apparently coincide with the ancient Chunang Tzu. The "double" is introduced in the book as well (I call it the "doppleganger"), as is reincarnation, a theory I'm extremely comfortable with. At last, I would like to read more of Mircea Eliade's own work including "The Sacred and the Profane," "Shamanism," and "The History of Religious Ideas."

So, my three and a half stars is directed towards the literary merit of the story which I found unnecessarily difficult to follow, and four stars for the challenge in the material which, I have to admit, I find irresistible in any writing.

I may change my review upon the second reading.
I purchased the novel "Youth Without Youth" because I was already familiar with the nonfiction books by the author Mircea Eliade on the history of religions and languages. Because of the erudition of his nonfiction books, I was curious how the author would approach the writing of a novel. I was not disappointed. The plot of the novel is unusual and not one I would have thought of myself. It involves the story of an aged scholar of languages who is one day struck by lightning, which causes him to pass out for a few days, but which also causes him to awake as a young man who not only has renewed youth but who also has unheard of powers of mind, such that he is able to learn foreign languages (even ancient dead languages) by merely willing himself to know the languages. He can also learn history and the sciences in the same way. The character uses his new powers to research certain problems which have always eluded his efforts to solve--such as the origin of human languages and the relationship between the waking state and the dream state in the human mind. I got the feeling that the author wrote the story of a man who had experiences which the author himself wishes he could have--i.e., a man who had unlimited time and unlimited abilities to learn foreign languages and the sciences with hardly any effort at all. The book is very interesting and has helped me to understand the author. I would recommend this book, and all of Micea Eliade's other books, to anyone who is trying to understand the origins of human language and human religion. In my view, the reader will always learn something from Mr. Eliade's books, and will not be disappointed.
I like the movie very much, so I thought to read the book, but surprise! This is one of the rare situations where the movie is far superior than the book's writing...
AMAZING film. Love it!
A good tale of remarkable effects rippling through a life in the most unexpected ways. It has a surreal quality to it and adequately captures the war time fear of the early 40s.
Eliade's story is breathtaking, with a deep hidden message, a story that works on so many levels. Read it and you shall not regret it. The movie, while good is confusing and misses the main point of the story.