The Birds

The Birds Set in the Norwegian countryside over the course of one summer The Birds tells the story of forty year old Mattis who has mental disabilities and lives in a small house near a lake with his sister H

  • Title: The Birds
  • Author: Tarjei Vesaas Torbjørn Støverud Michael Barnes
  • ISBN: 9780914671206
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Paperback
  • Set in the Norwegian countryside over the course of one summer, The Birds tells the story of forty year old Mattis, who has mental disabilities and lives in a small house near a lake with his sister Hege, who ekes out a modest living knitting sweaters From time to time Hege encourages her brother to find work to ease their financial burdens, but Mattis s attempts to workSet in the Norwegian countryside over the course of one summer, The Birds tells the story of forty year old Mattis, who has mental disabilities and lives in a small house near a lake with his sister Hege, who ekes out a modest living knitting sweaters From time to time Hege encourages her brother to find work to ease their financial burdens, but Mattis s attempts to work at the surrounding farms always end in failure and disgrace Mattis is keenly aware of the distance between himself and the world around him, which often feels hostile the villagers call him Simple Simon Profoundly sensitive to his surroundings, Mattis spends much of his time in the forest, reading its signs and symbols A woodcock begins a daily flight over their house, a beautiful bird is waiting for him on the path one day when he returns from the store, and one afternoon lighting strikes one of the two withered aspen trees outside the house trees known in the village as Mattis and Hege When Mattis decides to employ himself as a ferryman, the only passenger he manages to bring across the lake is a lumberjack, J rgen When J rgen and Hege become lovers, Mattis finds he cannot adjust to this new situation Wholly reliant on Hege and terrified of losing her, he clings to the familiar and does everything in his power to make J rgen leave Simultaneously, he struggles to find a place for himself in a world that does not seem to want him.With spare simplicity, Vesaas s straightforward prose subtly reveals Mattis s perspective and readers will find themselves shifting irrevocably from observers of his experience to participants in it Written by one of Norway s most celebrated and beloved authors, The Birds is a deeply nuanced examination of identity and responsibility, with abundant narrative suspense and hauntingly beautiful writing besides.

    One thought on “The Birds”

    1. Like a gentle ripple across calming waters, or a songbird taking flight in the early morning sunrise, Tarjei Vesaas writes a delicately structured story of two siblings living a serene existence in rural Norway. Mattis is a sweet natured simpleton who burns the days away drifting off into his own world, whilst older sister Hege knits sweaters in their cottage by the lake. On occasions Mattis wonders around the local farms looking for work, picking crops, or bailing hay, but he finds it difficult [...]

    2. “You are You, that was what was written.”For the past week, every time I stepped into my room, an inquisitive man bombarded me with string of questions I had no answers to. “What’s the use of having so many turnips?”, he asked as he lay gazing at the naked sky. A faint whiff of camphor emitted from his smile, as he repeated how he pompously waved to Anna and Inger from the pier with sheer happiness, the boiled sweets gently being tossed by his tongue. The songs of the bird have no regu [...]

    3. The world is a hostile place and, according to Mattis, people don’t mean what they say when they speak. A simpleton, a weirdo, a child imprisoned in the body of an adult man, Mattis muses over the factors that separate him from the rest of the small community of the nameless village lost somewhere in a rural area in Norway where he and his sister Hege subsist in a cottage by the lake.Condemned to be permanently out of work due to his slow-witted faculties and lack of social skills, Mattis is b [...]

    4. the flight of Woodcock with its wings spread widegives me hope and few tears in the eye - A Rebellious HaikuA harmonious union between a sublime array of words, a fateful conviction and the search for an imperceptible notion by a singular soul, brings forth a work of inspiring and substantial beauty - The Birds. The convergence of these elements is not incidental but requires a delicate balance of innate talent and pertinent learning, where the emergence of extraordinary within the lines of ordi [...]

    5. "Hush now, dont explainYou're my joy and pain"I've never been less inclined to dissect and explain what a book is all about than now. It feels like riding roughshod over something soft, and pure and true, something beyond words and meaning. To understand this book I need to learn the language of birds, of thunder, and of light over water. Tarjei Vesaas is the one who knows all these secret signs, and he offers them to us like a child holding out a treasure (a nest, a polished stone, a wildflower [...]

    6. Mattis is a man with the mind of a child. His elder sister Hege takes care of him, knits sweaters constantly in order to support the two of them.I can't say I liked this book, but it was interesting to see inside the mind of this man child. Often selfish in his needs, like children usually are, he finds solace and understanding in nature. Questions why he isn't like everyone else and is often awkward in his phrasing, not knowing what to say in different circumstances and is always naïvely innoc [...]

    7. She looked at him as at a grown-p now, and then she said something: 'You're lucky, seeing things the way you do. I don't, I can tell you.'She had stopped now, wasn't simply rushing off to her eight-petalled roses. Today once again she had heard a tone in his voice that made her pause.'How do you see things, then?' he asked, forgetting himself. Spoilt the moment completely. She gave a start, even though she was really to blame.The people who live near brother Mattis and his older sister Hege name [...]

    8. Mattis , a man with the mind of a child or maybe a boy trapped in the body of an adult male . Sensitive , still delighted with the surrounding world , childishly amazed and ready for a great change . Overflowed with unnamed desires , tangled thoughts , unspeakable words .Why are things the way they are ? Hege , his sister and a carer . With every day more and more tired and embittered . Her days go on knitting sweaters and difficult care for Mattis . Her hair starting to turn gray and she yet ha [...]

    9. 'We're coming, we're coming,' somebody said. ' You're ready, aren't you?'Vesaas's poetic words, as they flit and float within the currents of Mattis's uncomplicated mind, as he struggles to articulate them meaningfully, have proven that beauty of nature, nature's beings and the nature of one's being might simply be understood, less from the spoken word, if one would stop to quietly listen. Mattis, who exists naturally, with the emptiness many take several life cycles to achieve, is Vesaas's exam [...]

    10. The other day I was talking to a man who, impolitely, one might call ‘slow,’ and I felt myself getting annoyed and losing patience. He was easily confused; often repeated himself; and stuttered terribly. ‘I’ve had three strokes,’ he said, and I nodded, thinking this was merely an example of the strange compulsion people have to inform others of their problems or ailments. But then, a moment or two later, I realised that he was offering me this information as an excuse, as an explanatio [...]

    11. In moments of not quite sober reflection, I see myself a truffling pig, rooting through the pages of these books, looking for answers, not necessarily answers to Life's mysteries, but to the Why of the book itself. My snout bumps against some allegorical knob and I pause and raise a porcine eyebrow. Aha, I snort. I smile a satisfied pork smile, happy in my muck of certainty, or maybe just a pig's obstinacy.But with an old pig's sense, I do not interrupt an ongoing phone call to say, "Let me tell [...]

    12. hafif gerilimli lirik masalsı bir anlatımı var. Şiir gibiHege ve Mattis adlı iki kardeşin yaşamını anlatırken yaş olarak büyük ancak zeka olarak bir çocuğun aklına sahip Mattis i çok güzel anlatmış. Ona köyde deli deseler de bazen onun gibi düşünmenin ne kadar naif olduğunu düşünmeden edemiyor insan.

    13. Beklediğimden çok daha fazlasını bulduğum bir kitap oldu benim için kuşlar ve geriye dönüp baktığımda hep hatırlayacağım bir karakter hediye etti bana. Dünyaya çocuk gözleriyle bakan Mattis'in hikayesinin anlatılacak olması çekti beni ilk önce. Üç bölüme ayrılan kitapta birinci bölümü okurken tam da beklediklerimle karşılaştım. Ancak ikinci ve üçüncü bölümün sonunda hikaye öyle bir evrildi ki ben de bir yandan diğer yana savruldum durdum. Duyguların ev [...]

    14. Vesos je Ptice postavio vrlo jednostavno: na samo tri tačke koje su dovoljno stabilna podloga za teška pitanja koja će podići. Tu će stabilnost, uz uobičajenu severnjačku svedenost i mnogobrojne dijaloge iskorisi da anestezira čitaoca, kako bi lakše progutao gorke teme kojima se bavi, a nad kojima bi se svaki pristojan Francuz pošteno izridao u čipkasti brushalter neke kurtizane, a svaki bradati Rus napio pa usput i nešto zapalio.Bez obzira što je norveška priroda krasna i što pti [...]

    15. This is really a beautiful book - better than The Ice Palace, I think, or at least a better place to start, because warmer, more accessible, less alienating. Vesaas is in his element here: his understanding of the boy-man Mattis, his suggestion of all that Mattis doesn't understand, his love for his characters, for the setting and for the simple act of writing - all of this is deeply, deeply affecting. I know next to nothing about Tarjei Vesaas but the impression he gives here is of something li [...]

    16. A simple elegant study of a simple elegant character, a man who has difficulty understanding the human world around him and is supported by his sister, but who is extremely attuned tom the signals and portents of the natural world, the stirring of trees, the flights of birds. Vesaas' concise, spacious style is perfectly suited and the protagonist surprisingly engaging. No where near as beautiful and strange as Vesaas' next work The Ice Palace, though.

    17. bir başyapıt. yalın bir dil, baştan sona merak ve gerilimin eksilmediği bir hikaye ve kolay kolay unutulmayacak bir kahramanhayata çocuk gözleriyle bakan, kendinden başka herkesi bilge, güçlü ve güzel gören mattis'in düşüncelerini, hayallerini ve korkularını aktarmakla kalmıyor norveçli yazar, hissettiriyor. deliyse mattis, deliliğirveç ormanlarında ablasıyla birlikte yaşayan mattis'le hayatın hiçbir yerde, hiçbir şekilde basit ve kolay olmadığını, hiç kimsenin [...]

    18. Očekivao sam više. Previše mlako i jednostavno i prosto obično. Stil je fin, minimalan i ostavlja dosta prostora čitaocu da dopuni i sam sagradi centralni norveški pejzaž, da se i sam saplete o prirodu poput Matisa, ali ipak imam utisak kao da sam odgledao bar deset sličnih knjiga/filmova, ne toliko po priči (koja prati pomenutog i ne naročito bistrog Matisa, ali nažalost ni ne naročito dragog; mogla je ova knjiga da bude i bolja da mi je više tj. uopšte stalo do gl. lika) koliko p [...]

    19. This is a beautiful, sad and simple story about a woman around 40 and her younger, dim-witted brother Mattis, for whom she is sole caretaker. For the first 60-70 pages I wondered if I would make it through a book that required me to inhabit the inner workings of a mentally handicapped man – it seemed so tedious, even ridiculous. But slowly I warmed up, and Mattis became, if not lovable, at least very deserving of sympathy, so vulnerably human in his muddled thoughts and obsessions, neediness a [...]

    20. Tour de force.Is symbolism perceived by a half-wit more perspicacious than by a normal eye made indifferent to hidden meanings by the grind of life? Maybe. It is different at the very least, and any art will do well to bring this difference to light. 'Birds' does just that. Our third-person narrator is entwined with Mattis', the Simple Simon's, consciousness. His world is both wondrous and constricted, like a combination of a Kawabata character with one from Kafka. He is often fooled, even ultim [...]

    21. Право мало скандинавско ремек-дело! Заиста је штета што је нешто овако преведено са 50 година закашњења

    22. Spram Ledenog dvorca, Ptice su na mene ostavile daleko slabiji utisak i baš se jasno vidi kako je eksperiment (stilski, tematski) započet u Pticama u LD-u našao savršenu formu. Čini mi se da je LD kompleksniji, dublji, i Vesos je našao idealnu meru onoga što treba reći i prećutati. Ptice me malo podsećaju na Nastasijevića i Kod Večite slavine, premda kod Vesosa nije toliko očita mitološka podloga (iako je ima, posebno u opisima prirode).U svakom slučaju, mislim da oba dela vredi [...]

    23. Nakon dugo vremena, uživao sam u predgovoru koje je izdavač priredio prvom izdanju i prevodu, što je u današnjem turbo vremenu nažalost zaboravljena kategorija. U knjizi sam pak, i pored svog kultnog statusa koje zasluženo nosi, uživao nešto manje. Pionir najboljeg norveškog stila, onog u kom šamaraju jasne i kratke rečenice, bukvalni i ničim obojeni dijalozi, u kom priroda uzima tako važno mesto, u kom nema velike drame, u kom je junak naizgled umereno zaostali momak koji živi u [...]

    24. "- Non devi ridere! Che ne sai di quello che so io? Dell'uccello che passava qui sopra, così bello che tu neanche te lo sai immaginare. E passava proprio qui sopra. Ed era per Hege che passava."Sarò onesto: non mi aspettavo un libro così bello. È il primo romanzo scritto da un norvegese che mi piace veramente tanto, forse da finire addirittura tra i miei preferiti. Vesaas ci racconta una storia in cui sostanzialmente non accade nulla, dal punto di vista di un "idiota". Ma non c'è un momento [...]

    25. Enjoy the silence.Svedena, minimalistička isprepletenost tišine i krivice koja kao vir raste i jača skrivena pod mirnom površi reke. Svakim danom snažnija i smrtonosnija.Po rečima jednog kritičara: ' Opsesivna tragedija u bergmanovskom pejzažu', nije moglo biti preciznije.

    26. A very interesting story, and one with immense repercussions due to the inadequacies of language in the shortcomings of some who might matter in a world made or imagined in ways quite different than generally has been determined to be our own. But I would not call this work a masterpiece as some have suggested. But very well-worth the time it took for me to read it slowly.

    27. 'Tis a gift to be simple but sometimes, that gift can also be a burden. In this haunting book, Mattis – a slow-witted man in his late 30s – lives in a small village with his lonely older sister, Hege, who feeds and takes care of him. Their isolation is captured by two withered aspen trees that stand side-by-side, in among the green growing spruces, and referred to as Mattie-and-Hege by the villagers.Mattis connects to the natural order around him. When a woodcock starts flying over his house [...]

    28. Da jeg var ferdig med denne ville jeg helst gråte men så måtte jeg spise and til middag istedenfor Hehe ironisk eller hva??? Bra bok

    29. Cos'è, in sé, la wilderness? Cosa ha spinto il discorso romantico, legato alla tracotanza e alla sublimazione dell'osservazione della Natura, a permeare nei decenni, per giungere ad un'espressione ed una forma totalmente nuove, quali sono quelle adottate da Vesaas per questo capolavoro d'epoca post-bellica? Non mi soffermerò molto nell'elencare l'eccellenza dello stile e della trama, le crudezze lessicali e sintattiche, molto moderniste a mio parere, pur tuttavia riconoscendone il valore. Ci [...]

    30. The first time I read this book, I’d never heard of or read about Vesaas before, and I’ve seen him mentioned nowhere else since. I think this is quite a shame, because The Birds is a masterful, haunting novel that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.The novel is about a pair of siblings. Mattis, the younger brother, suffers from learning disabilities and finds it very difficult to interact with people, thus his sister, Hege, must look after him and provide everything he needs.The book is sub [...]

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