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The story enters violently, politics intervenes into it, there are social and cultural changes, but the main stream of events takes places in an airtight full circle of the local community as common as genuine human individuality. Even amidst the horrors of war and invasion, there is a touch of softness and mysticism.

He sat aside for him one of those single, random bullets that they say are carried by God.

Primeval and Other Times By Olga Tokarczuk

One gains a sense of the timelessness of all beings, the storm sweeps through the history. All chapters are preceded by "The Time of This time is not associated with events, but people and personifications. The village is both realistic and also magical, the story as much psychological as it is symbolic.

A mixture of realism and fantasy, rational description and magic, a story rooted in history while at the same time full of marvel. It is of course a story of the Polish countryside in a turbulent century of war and political transition but, and this is a very strong but, it is also a complicated parable of human fate.

Ode to the soul of the world: Primeval and Other Times by Olga Tokarczuk

The novel is simultaneously psychological and metaphorical. The key is myth. The very name, Primeval, brings one back into a mythical time of the beginning. It is the sacred center of the world around which the space is arranged precisly in a meaningful whole. This is the story of Genesis. Develop and describe the world.

This is the history of the world who, like all living things, are born, evolve and die" - says Olga Tokarczuk.

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Above all it is a fantastic story of human life and struggle with itself, the circumstances, moral and religious standards, history. A story full of tenderness for the world, despite its atrocities, and for people living on it who at any price they want, with varying effect, give meaning to their existence. Olga Tokarczuk tells her story in short, concrete sentences.

It is based on the observation of reality that underpins the philosophical reflection. The omnipresent narrator is sympathetic in the awareness of the residents and is a spokesperson for their rights.

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Many of the characters asks the essential questions; about themselves, about the world, about the meaning of life. The novel consists of three main themes: human, nature and God and together they form a whole entity. A strong symbolism is to be found for example in the description of the area occupied by Primeval. We can find it especially in the two rivers, The Black River and The White River , which separates the village from the rest of the world.

These two rivers metaphorically depicture the human fate. As mentioned above, it indeed a beautiful book. The grinder is not quite a talisman but one of its roles is to mark time because it is something which barely changes while people grow and age, wars are fought, and a lot happens.

Olga Tokarczuk : Primeval and Other Times

The grinder signifies endurance and continuity, much like the grist mill which, in a larger sense, anchors Primeval to the very basis of survival. Like every person, Misia was born broken into pieces, incomplete, in bits. Everything in her was separate — looking, hearing, understanding, feeling, sensing, and experiencing. People think madness is caused by a great, dramatic event, some sort of suffering that is unbearable.

They imagine you go mad for some reason.


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People also think madness strikes suddenly, all at once, in unusual circumstances, and that insanity falls on a person like a net, fettering the mind and muddling the emotions. But Florentynka had gone mad in the normal course of things, you could say for no reason at all. We follow a few families from beginning to end. Izydor, the wise fool; kindly Misia; grouchy Pawel; Squire Popielski who goes mad playing a game about life; Ukleja who beats Ruta; quick-tempered Boski; Cornspike who lives in the woods and sleeps with the men from the tavern. Ivan Muka telling Izydor, "Either God exists and has always existed, or" here he added the second finger "God doesn't exist and never has.

Or else" the third appeared "God used to exist, but no longer does. And finally," here he poked all four fingers at Izydor "God doesn't yet exist and has yet to appear. Life is less than bucolic, but even amidst the sounds and alarums of war and invasion, the author leavens all with a touch of softness and mysticism.

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