Architecture, dreams, life, lines and asphalt is where Magdalena Tulli takes the readers of Dreams and Stones. Along for the ride of a city, where the stones of reality will fall, but only the dreams survive. Life will always be imperfect, but dreams they can be what you make of them.
Magdalena Tulli could take the most hideously boring subject and write beautiful sentences. I adore her writing, it is deep, intense and ambiguous. She dares to go places that her readers may not be able to follow, yet she fear not as she takes them there. Dreams and Stones is a balance between the mystical dream world and the harsh reality of life. Life is too real, dreams are too far gone. I could drool over this book, there are certain key sentences which I will share, that might as well be screaming "I CAN'T BELIEVE NO ONE HAS WRITTEN ME YET!!!!", but she does, and does it with ease and a tenderness that willingly ushers the reader into a new place.
In saying all that, I can come clean and say that a lot of her writing was very deep for me, or just too hard for me to grasp. I love strange and weird and unsettling, however I am not fully able to comprehend what was hard for me about this book. Tulli's writing is incredible, yet many times I just had no idea where she had taken me and what she was writing about. I felt as though it were poetry in form of prose, which would make sense because so much of poetry is how it speaks to the individual, therefore making poetry on the hard-to-understand side sometimes. Throughout the book I was rocked out of my seat with her writing, others I was only holding on by a molecule. It could be that it was too philosophical for me, I am not sure.
The writing, it is heaven though, here are two quotes from the book:
Eventually the day came when the sofas were chopped up for firewood; a stray shell released the letters from their drawers. Paper turned to ashes, windowpanes shattered, door frames and tiled stoves were smashed to pieces. But this too failed to stop the pain. For pain does not belong to those who experience it but rather they belong to it (p. 71).
But their brightness always arises from darkness and their beauty from horror. The tangle of dreams, untouched by pruning shears, fills the whole world; it can even be said that it is the world and that the inhabitants of the city - along with their houses, their beds, their blankets, their recollections and their unanswerable questions- are only necessary for the dreams to be dreamed.
Only for dreams to be dreamed? What about maintaining order in the world? What about polishing floors, making repairs? Surely the reason why people sleep at night is to gather strength for the labors of the day? (p. 78).