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valoraciones:
4/5 (54 valoraciones)
Longitud:
98 página
1 hora
Publicado:
Apr 1, 1997
ISBN:
9788433928016
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

El autor presentaba la edición italiana de este libro, que tuvo un éxito extraordinario, con estas palabras: Ésta no es una novela. Ni siquiera es un cuento. Ésta es una historia. Empieza con un hombre que atraviesa el mundo, y acaba con un lago que permanece inmóvil, en una jornada de viento. El hombre se llama Hervé Joncour. El lago, no se sabe. Se podría decir que es una historia de amor. Pero si solamente fuera eso, no habría valido la pena contarla. En ella están entremezclados deseos, y dolores, que no tienen un nombre exacto que los designe. Esto es algo muy antiguo. Cuando no se tiene un nombre para decir las cosas, entonces se utilizan historias. No hay mucho más que añadir. Quizá lo mejor sea aclarar que se trata de una historia decimonónica: lo justo para que nadie se espere aviones, lavadoras o psicoanalistas. No los hay. Quizá en otra ocasión.

Publicado:
Apr 1, 1997
ISBN:
9788433928016
Formato:
Libro

Sobre el autor

Alessandro Baricco (Turín, 1958), además de numerosos ensayos y artículos, es autor de las novelas Tierras de cristal (Premio Selezione Campiello y Prix Médicis Étranger), Océano mar (Premio Viareggio), Seda, City, Sin sangre, Esta historia, Emaús, Mr Gwyn, Tres veces al amanecer y La Esposa joven, publicadas en Anagrama, al igual que la majestuosa reescritura de Homero, Ilíada, el monólogo teatral Novecento y los ensayos Next. Sobre la globalización y el mundo que viene y Los bárbaros. Ensayo sobre la mutación. Dirige, además, la Scuola Holden de Turín.​


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Dentro del libro

Mejores citas

  • Ella leía un libro en voz alta y eso le hacía feliz porque pensaba que no había otra voz tan bella como aquélla en el mundo.Cumplió treinta y tres años el cuatro de septiembre de 1862. Llovía su vida, frente a sus ojos, espectáculo quieto.

  • Vio hombres armados y niños que no lloraban. Vio los rostros mudos que tiene la gente cuando es gente que huye. Y vio un árbol al borde del camino. Y colgado de una rama, ahorcado, al chico que le había conducido hasta allí.

  • Puesto que la desesperación era un exceso que no le pertenecía, se volvió hacia lo que había quedado de su vida y empezó de nuevo a ocuparse de ello, con la inquebrantable tenacidad de un jardinero en su trabajo la mañana siguiente a una tempestad.

  • A su mujer, Hélène, le trajo de regalo una túnica de seda que ella, por pudor, nunca se puso. Si se sos- tenía entre los dedos, era como coger la nada.

  • Se detuvo, dio gracias al Señor, y entró en el pueblo a pie, contando sus pasos, para que cada uno tuviera un nombre, y para no olvidarlos nunca más.

Vista previa del libro

Seda - Alessandro Baricco

Créditos

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Aunque su padre había imaginado para él un brillante porvenir en el ejército, Hervé Joncour había acabado ganándose la vida con una insólita ocupación, tan amable que, por singular ironía, traslucía un vago aire femenino.

Para vivir, Hervé Joncour compraba y vendía gusanos de seda.

Era 1861. Flaubert estaba escribiendo Salammbô, la luz eléctrica era todavía una hipótesis y Abraham Lincoln, al otro lado del océano, estaba combatiendo en una guerra cuyo final no vería.

Hervé Joncour tenía treinta y dos años.

Compraba y vendía.

Gusanos de seda.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Para ser más precisos, Hervé Joncour compraba y vendía los gusanos de seda cuando ser gusanos de seda consistía en ser minúsculos huevos, de color amarillo o gris, inmóviles y aparentemente muertos. Sólo en la palma de una mano se podían sostener millares.

«Es lo que se dice tener una fortuna al alcance de la mano.»

A principios de mayo los huevos se abrían, liberando una larva que, tras treinta días de enloquecida alimentación a base de hojas de morera, procedía a recluirse nuevamente en un capullo, para evadirse luego del mismo definitivamente dos semanas más tarde, dejando tras de sí un patrimonio que, en seda, se podía calcular en mil metros de hilo en crudo y, en dinero, en una buena cantidad de francos franceses; siempre y cuando todo ello acaeciera según las reglas y, como en el caso de Hervé Joncour, en alguna región de la Francia meridional.

Lavilledieu era el nombre del pueblo en que Hervé Joncour vivía.

Hélène, el de su mujer. No tenían hijos.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Para evitar los daños de las epidemias que cada vez más a menudo sufrían los viveros europeos, Hervé Joncour se lanzaba a comprar los huevos de gusano de seda más allá del Mediterráneo, en Siria y en Egipto. En esto consistía la parte más exquisitamente aventurada de su trabajo. Cada año, a principios de enero, partía. Atravesaba mil seiscientas millas de mar y ochocientos kilómetros de tierra. Seleccionaba los huevos, discutía el precio, los compraba. Después, retornaba, atravesaba ochocientos kilómetros de tierra y mil seiscientas millas de mar y volvía a Lavilledieu, generalmente el primer domingo de abril, generalmente a tiempo para la misa mayor.

Trabajaba todavía dos semanas más para preparar los huevos y venderlos.

Durante el resto del año, descansaba.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

–¿Cómo es África? –le preguntaban.

–Cansa.

Tenía una gran casa en las afueras del pueblo y un pequeño taller en el centro, justo frente a la casa abandonada de Jean Berbeck.

Jean Berbeck había decidido un día que no hablaría nunca más. Mantuvo su promesa. Su mujer y sus dos hijas lo abandonaron. Él murió. Nadie quiso su casa, así que ahora era una casa abandonada.

Comprando y vendiendo gusanos de seda, las ganancias de Hervé Joncour ascendían cada año lo suficiente como para procurarse a sí mismo y a su mujer esas comodidades que en provincias se tiende a considerar lujos. Gozaba discretamente de sus posesiones y la perspectiva, verosímil, de acabar siendo realmente rico le dejaba completamente indiferente. Era, por lo demás, uno de esos hombres que prefieren asistir a su propia vida y consideran improcedente cualquier aspiración a vivirla.

Habrán observado que son personas que contemplan su destino de la misma forma en que la mayoría acostumbra contemplar un día de lluvia.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Si se lo hubieran preguntado, Hervé Joncour habría respondido que su vida continuaría de ese modo para siempre. A inicios de los años sesenta, sin embargo, la epidemia de pebrina que había destruido los huevos de los cultivos europeos se extendió a través del mar, alcanzando a África y, según algunos, incluso a la India. Hervé Joncour volvió de su habitual viaje, en 1861, con un cargamento de huevos que se reveló, dos meses después, casi completamente infectado. Para Lavilledieu, como para muchas otras ciudades que basaban su riqueza en la producción de seda, aquel año parecía representar el principio del fin. La ciencia se mostraba incapaz de comprender las causas de la epidemia. Y todo el mundo, hasta en las regiones más alejadas, parecía prisionero de aquel sortilegio sin explicación.

Casi todo el mundo –dijo en voz baja Baldabiou–. Casi –vertiendo dos dedos de agua en su Pernod.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Baldabiou era el hombre que veinte años atrás había llegado al pueblo, se había encaminado directamente al despacho del alcalde, había entrado allí sin hacerse anunciar, había depositado sobre su mesa una bufanda de seda de color dorado y le había

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Reseñas de lectores

  • (4/5)
    it's very enjoyable
  • (5/5)
    What a gorgeous little book this is! It is only 91 pages and most of those pages are not completely filled because each new chapter starts on a new page. I read most of it while sitting in the Assiniboine Park conservatory surrounded by lush vegetation and beautiful flowers. Truly a perfect setting for a lush and beautiful book. At the core this is a love story but there is also a mystery and a travelogue and history worked into it. Herve Joncour lives in a small town known for weaving silk. He provides the silk worms that produce the silk thread for the mills. When he first started he was able to travel to around the Mediterranean for the silk worms. Then those places started having epidemics that killed the worms so he had to travel to Syria and Egypt. The time came when those worms were also infected. In order to get untouched eggs Joncour took the long road to Japan which was just starting to open its doors to westerners. In Japan he met a silk worm merchant who had a non-Oriental woman as a companion. Joncour could not speak Japanese and the woman spoke only Japanese but they managed to convey their feelings of love to each other. Four times Joncour went to Japan and saw the lady but they never touched each other. Who was this woman? We never find out. And that's just one of the mysteries.
  • (5/5)
    A tale, but not a tale. A novel, but not a novel. A sad story, but not a sad story. A love story, but not a love story. Silk is everything summed up in a few lines. A masterpiece.
  • (4/5)
    Simple but effective prose.Recommended.
  • (5/5)
    More a prose peon than anything else,of short story length. a french man engaged in the silk trade travels regularily to the close world of ?19th century Japan , falls in love with a Japanese woman and she with him but they are barley able to talk and are culturay and socially seperate.Exquisite work.
  • (4/5)
    Rather depressing, but very well written. Reminds me obstrusely of Melville's 'bartleby the scrivener'.
  • (4/5)
    This slight book, which can be read in an hour or so, is possibly the most romantic love story I've ever encountered. In spare, beautiful prose,Allessandro Baricco tells the story of Herve Joncour, a French silk merchant, who in 1861 establishes the first silkworm trade of its kind between Japan and France. While in Japan, he meets a lovely young woman who haunts his very being, although they never say a word to each other.What transpires between this young woman, Herve and his wife, Helene is a beautiful story of love, tenderness and sacrifice. I found myself holding my breath through most of the lovely passages. Fable-like in its simplicity,historically accurate, beautifully told and highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    A slight (88 small pages) but rich novella of a 19th century silk merchant who travels to Japan and falls in love with a concubine, without ever exchanging words with her. "Silk" is like a beautiful piece of music with motifs repeated throughout and each of the merchant’s journeys to Japan is a variation on a theme. The language is spare but lyrical and caught me up completely. A quick but very satisfying read.
  • (2/5)
    Most readers seem to find this book haunting and poetic, but I'm not so sure. It is certainly clever and elegant in its presentation of the story: the folktale-like structure with short chapters and extensive use of repetition, the delicate use of blank pages (where the publishers really make their profits), the imagery of birds and silk, etc. I haven't seen the film, but the book is clearly drafted in such a way that you could slot in a few headings and have a ready-made filmscript, so I'm sure it works very well on the screen.On the other hand, it seems to be little more than a shameless recycling of the old cliché of the industrial West and the passive East, dolled up with a few ironic touches to make it respectable. The eroticism struck me as no more convincing than that of a lingerie advertisement - again, cleverly done, building up slowly, and with an ironic get-out clause so that the author can't quite be accused of sexism or orientalism, but it still seems to be exploiting all the ways of representing women (passive, mysterious, sensual, silent,...) that go with the classic orientalist approach.
  • (5/5)
    This is a spare, lyrical prose poem that you will read all too quickly and then want to start over and read it again at a more leisurely pace. Lovely little read.
  • (3/5)
    Silk is a short novel—so short that I finished reading it within the space of an hour two. It’s the story of Herve Joncour, a French merchant of silkworm eggs, who travels to Japan. While there, his attention is caught by a young woman, with whom he has an affair.As I’ve said, this is a pretty short novella—my edition is only about 90 pages, most of which is white space. There are lots of short chapters in this book, lots of short sentences, ideas half realized. The love affair between Herve and the young woman in Japan is so muted and mysterious that it’s nearly indiscernible. There’s not much characterization, so we don’t ever really get to know Herve or any of the other characters in this book (his love interest isn’t even given a name!). This makes it very hard for the reader, in the end, to really care about the characters—or the love story.For such a short book, there’s a lot of repetition, too; the author mentions over and over again how Herve’s paramour doesn’t have oriental eyes, or Herve’s numerous trips from France to Japan and back again. And what's with the obsession with Lake Baikal, which has nothing to do with the story? I’m sure there’s a lot of emotional wealth to this book, but I just didn’t “get” it, I guess. I lived in Japan for a while as a child, and the details on Japanese culture are a bit suspect and sketchyt—as are the descriptions of the West in the 1860s. It’s not that this is a bad book, it’s just that I didn’t particularly care for it.
  • (5/5)
    I found myself totally captivated by this odd yet hauntingly beautiful story of love. This short little book fills its pages with so much mystery, suspense and love that I found myself wanting to read it again and again, gaining more from it with each reading, yet never quite knowing it completely, never quite finding answers to my many questions, but able to accept that. I loved the author's use of repetition as emphasis as well as his sparse style of writing with prose that smoothly moves the story forward with a dream-like quality that lingers in your mind long after you finish it. I'm very eager to now search out other books by this author. Highly recommend.
  • (5/5)
    A short read, even a slow reader could probably finish it in a day. The language is rhythmic and compelling in its repitition of phrases, and the story is sad and sensual.
  • (4/5)
    This is a jewel of a book. Poetic and sensual. A short novella. Very spare - hardly any descriptive details, but SOooo much is said! A love so intense it unhinges the mind is how the book was described and that is certainly true. So much is made of Herve’s love for the mysterious woman in Japan, but so little is said about Helene’s love for Herve --- just as passionate, just as intense, just as all-consuming. And her sacrifice is greater, I think.Also saw the movie – gloriously filmed but the actor is miscast as Herve.
  • (4/5)
    Beautiful, if somewhat mysterious, short tale of man who travels to edge of the known world, Japan, to procure silkworms, and who mysteriously falls in love.
  • (3/5)
    Ok book. Not as good as advertized.
    Read it in about 1.5 hours.
  • (4/5)
    a small, very poeticly unexcitedly novella, to be read slowly. I liked it a lot.
  • (5/5)
    Having gorged myself on a diet of weighty Russian and India novels recently I scanned my bookcase for a palate cleanser. With no anticipation I began reading Silk.Reading the sparse pages in one sitting of almost poetry like prose, the often repetitive narrative captivated me. It drew me in much the same way as Herve Joncour was drawn to the round eyed, child faced concubine of Japan.The back story of the French – Oriental silk trade held my interest but mostly I was overwhelmed by the light, almost non-existent nature of the tale, silk like, you could say. I closed the book, sated, having been part of an evocative, sensual world, with a tear on my cheek.
  • (3/5)
    Silk is a novella told in the spare style of writers like Paulo Coelho and Italo Calvino. It is about Herve Joncour, a frenchman who buys and sells the eggs of silkworms in the mid-1800s. Because there is a blight in the European silkworm eggs, he is sent further and further abroad, eventually ending up in Japan. There he meets a women that he falls in love with, without ever hearing her speak or being intimate with her.

    Most of the chapters are less than a page, and the author uses a lot of repetition in his prose to set a dramatic pace for the story. It is very eloquent in its compressed nature, and the writing is quite powerful at times. At other times, it feels a bit forced.

    I can't say I loved this book, and I can't say I'll go back and read it again and again, and I can't say that it's an especially heart-rending love story (as purported from the front cover). I can say that it is a very interesting book and worth the hour that it took me to blow through it.
  • (4/5)
    Beautifully written, simple story about an Italian man who finds adventure and learns about himself traveling to Japan to buy silkworms for his community.
  • (5/5)
    Easily the most affecting novel (novela) I've read in years. Baricco's meditations on yearning, desire, and love are poetic. They words are romantic. The story is addicting. Notions of truth and devotion are conveyed in more subtle ways. I am less clear how to understand those thoughts as told. But at roughly 100 pages in length and having thoroughly enjoyed the romance and flow of both the language and story, I feel certain I will read this again. Perhaps, again and again. This is a beautifully told story. Recommended.
  • (3/5)
    A very short but beautifully written story of a French man who has to go to Japan to bring back silkworms. He meets a Japanese noble man and falls in love with his concubine even though he never speaks to her or touches her. She sends him notes in Japanese that he cannot read. a very quick read for our Xmas choice.
  • (5/5)
    Perhaps the most amazing book I have ever read. Take the hour and read this rich novella.
  • (5/5)
    A small and perfect jewel of a novel told in poetic vignettes. As guileless as a folk tale but paced like an action novel – brilliant but compressed. The theme is silence:From the silence of M Jean Berbeck who shut up one day and never spoke a word until he die. To the imposed silence when two people do not speak each other’s language. To the silence between people linked in intimacy, but estranged from one another. To the silence jealous people keep to guard their hearts.Almost a wordless book spanning years in the life of Herve Joncour, silk worm buyer, native of France, husband, lover of a western-looking Japanese mistress who belongs to Hara Kei, and designer of a garden with aviary for the house he now owns that once was M. Jean Berbeck’s.Most beautiful is the symbolism of the aviary, which cages the rarest birds in the world, gathered by Hara Kei for his mistress to celebrate her loyalty to him. Upon the subsequent return of Herve to Japan because (as his lover believes) of her note to him that read, “Come back, or I shall die,” translated by the Japanese brothel owner in Nimes, the mistress opens the aviary and releases all the birds.The mistress provides Herve a surrogate mistress whom he makes love to all night, fantasizing that it is her -- the woman he loves.Back in Lavilledieu, never to return to Japan, Herve designs an aviary for his garden, explaining to his wife, “You fill it up with birds, as many as you can, then one day when something good happens to you, you throw it open and watch them fly away.”I should like to read everything Baricco writes.
  • (3/5)
    A book of few words. A book about love and loss, and the silk trade. Luminous.
  • (4/5)
    So many of the reviews about this book say it is a love story, but if it is, it isn't a love story with the main character, Hervé Joncour, as its lead. I found this story to be incredibly sad, miserly and too true. Without giving away plot, I will quote Joni Mitchell, a bit out of context..."Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got 'til its gone."This is a translation but I can say something about the words, even though the words I read are not ones chosen by Baricco. In Ocean Sea, Barrico positions paragraphs so they remind the reader of waves lapping a shore. At least that was my impression. In this book he leaves lots of blank space...the silence that so permeates this story. He also uses lots of repetitive passages, though changing one details each time, and I have not figured out why, but would love to hear ideas.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful quick read of the book, set in the world that was most fully imagined by Flaubert, this novella is about a silkworm smuggler who travels to a newly opened Japan to get non-diseased silkworms to bring back to French silk merchants. In Japan the married smuggler finds a Western-looking woman and develops a passionate but silent and largely unexplained relationship. Coming back to France he is changed and falls into a new pattern with his wife. The writing is beautiful and the story is moving--highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    I would have loved to have been able to read this in the original Italian, but as I can't I have to celebrate Ann Goldstein's translation which is beautifully delicate, just like the material it describes. I don't want to give too much of the story away, but just as a silkworm spins its thread, this book spins the tale of French silkworm merchant Herve Joncour's obsession for a Japanese concubine This is definitely a book where 'less is more', the chapters are extremely brief, the longest runs to four pages the shortest is just two lines and, like a poem, every word, every chapter break has been carefully considered.
  • (3/5)
    softcover132 pgnovella translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein.delicate... translated with simplicity...subtle...thought provoking...obsessive...clandestine...deeply emotional"woven like silk"....
  • (3/5)
    Ik geef eerlijk toe: ik weet niet goed wat ik moet denken van dit boekje. Het bevat tal van aantrekkelijke aspecten: de poëtisch aandoende stijl, het levenswijze verhaal, de ingehouden spanning in de scenes op Japanse bodem (die erg aan de stijl van de Japanse grootmeester Kawabata doen denken), de prachtige natuurbeelden, de vlotte vertelling… Maar tegelijk zijn er verschillende dingen in het verhaal die me echt wel doen aarzelen: hoofdfiguur Hervé is in het begin een man die het leven “over zich laat komen” en onbewogen blijft bij het vrij avontuurlijke leven dat hij leidt; het is dan ook erg ongeloofwaardig hoe hij plots zo gepassioneerd geraakt door een concubine in Japan die hij alleen maar van zien kent; ook de relatie met zijn eigen vrouw Hélène, die zo cruciaal zal blijken voor de plot, wordt helemaal niet als slecht voorgesteld, integendeel; en zo zijn er wel meer zaken die het verhaal doen haperen. Ook aan de reviews op deze site is te merken dat dit korte verhaal wel heel verschillende interpretaties uitlokt. Sommigen zien er een prachtig liefdesverhaal in, voor anderen draait de intrige om het absurde van het hebben van verlangens naar dingen die nooit kunnen zijn, of om de tragiek van het verlangen naar iets veraf, terwijl je geen oog hebt voor wat vlakbij is; en nog anderen interpreteren het als een symbolistisch verhaal over de spanning tussen realiteit en droom. Voor elk van die invalshoeken valt wat te zeggen, en dat is natuurlijk een prestatie op zich. Maar nog eens, helemaal overtuigd ben ik niet. Ik schort mijn definitief oordeel op, tot ik meer gelezen heb van Baricco.