Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Time of Indifference

Browsing through the shelves of the school library, I came upon a thin volume of "The Time of Indifference" by Alberto Moravia.
Time of Indifference, what an incredible title. It is even more extraordinary if you know that the man who came up with it was only eighteen at the time of writing his first novel. Yes, he followed it with such titles as "Boredom", "Contempt", "The Conformist" but "The Time of Indifference" holds its ground.
It is often said that fifty or so years ago people matured much faster - this novel is a great illustration to it. It is so full of disillusions, so calmly unkind, so unusually indifferent to its own characters.
Everything what you see there isn't what it is; everyone say one thing and think another. Five characters bound together by genetics, lust, past, resentment, loneliness, and financial woos, exist in perpetual state of loud arguments, pulsating sexual desires and dramatic events but underlying emotion of their existance is indeed indifference. Like a surface of water regains its calm after the stone sank to the bottom; the high emotions in the novel remain just that passing feelings, failing to initiate real change.
This novel is often called the worst of Moravia's work, while in fact it shows how talented and observant he was even at the young age.

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