sleeping-car. Among them Ivan Osokin, a young man about twenty six. Osokin is visibly agitated although he tries not to show it. Zinaida is talking to her brother. Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. Commentary by John Pentland. Although so deeply committed to writing that he often said, not altogether jokingly, that it was. But this evening, typing up my thoughts on P.D. Ouspensky’s Strange Life of Ivan Osokin (I’m not sure why there’s no definite article, but no.

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It is entirely possible that it uses the same translation as the first English edition, which was published in ; this might help explain the occasionally stilted and precious passages which hamper the text just a little.

Some, including his close pupil Rodney Collin, say that he finally gave up the system injust before his death, but his own recorded words on the subject “A Record of Meetings”, published posthumously do not clearly endorse this judgement, nor does Ouspensky’s emphasis on “you must make a new beginning” after confessing “I’ve left the system”.

He wrote this, his only novel, to give you a glimpse of what it takes to change, and a glimpse of the difference, perhaps, between free will and the lack of it, between embracing life actively as it is, or forever being a slave, whether to internal or external factors. Lumping them toward the end of the book as a lessons to learn list made me feel as though I was reading for a school course, though in truth it did directly state the author’s intent for writing the book.

The whole trick is, that nothing is done all at once; everything is done little by little. I feel like I was irritated for most of the book, as it’s just making the same point over and over.

He realizes that without help breaking his mechanical behavior, he may be doomed to repeat the same mistakes forever. Why can’t he change?

Contemporary writing with timeless truths, although the mysticism isn’t too well incorporated into the novella form. Jul 24, Tamas Czegeny rated it it was amazing Shelves: Moscow is waking up. The old man gives him some new adice about how to go on with life, which collides with the reoocurence principle described throughout the book.


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You are commenting using your Twitter account. Behind the vague and not really exceptional story of Osokin, who has to endure hardship and then experiences several osooin, which are generally unimportant for the plot, there is a second level of the book, attempting to be highly philosophical or even worse mystical.

The prose itself is less than average in comparison to the quality of work I generally read, in comparison to genre-fiction this would be better than averagehowever I found the little life lessons an enjoyable thing to consume this afternoon. The novel serves as a narrative platform for Nietzsche ‘s theory of eternal recurrence [ citation needed ]. Certainly does make the reader think about the monotony of vian, and how we really don’t have a choice, but it’s not something I’d live my life by.

It would also make this novel more accessible; I spent many years trying to track it down before finding it for a dollar at a clearance sale. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Image from Book Zoo in Oakland. As a whole I loved the writing, but I felt that the main character made the book so frustrating to read!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Church bells ring for the early mass. Life is not particularly pleasant for anyone But why, has anything especially disagreeable happened to you?

And she warns she won’t wait for him more than a couple of months. No trivia or quizzes yet. Porters sweep the cobbled streets, raising clouds of dust.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Aug 18, Emily rated it really liked it.


If this theory was to work, how could they suddenly do different things than they have done the first time when he met the magician? Worth a read for anyone familiar wit A mind-stretching story of recurrence – the concept that we continue to repeat the same life over and over again, not quite reincarnation, actually repeating the same life.


After three months, she stops writing back, and through a chance encounter with her brother, ksokin learns she is going to osokon another man. And I know it all by heart.

STRANGE LIFE OF IVAN OSOKIN Review – If You Want the Gravy…

Iva, I think osojin detracts from what is otherwise an excellent story. And if you’ve changed careers, or spouses, did you really freely choose these options, or were they simply ever constraining options rather than free choices? Worth a read for anyone osooin with the ideas of GI Gurdjieff, fans of Russian literature, or general spiritual oslkin who like to intake new info via fiction, not just holy books. When she finally becomes engaged to another, Osokin is suicidal; he pays a visit to a mystical man in town where he bemoans the fact that he can’t live his life over.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. I read this for class, and I was ultimately disappointed. I think this is the most awful thing of all. He was associated with ksokin ideas and practices originating with Gurdjieff from then on. Oct 31, David Harris rated it really liked it. Another edition with a cover graphic echoing the cyclical themes of the story. Return to Book Page.

When the protagonist realizes that he can recall having lived his life before, he decides to try to change it. Not a perfect edition of the novel, but I rather like the cover. Why do our supposed free choices often lead to suffering, and why can’t we freely choose to not suffer instead? Ivan Osokin bids the woman he loves, Zinaida Krutitsky, farewell; she is leaving on a trip to the Crimea and he is not coming, professing his own poverty and in spite of her own frustrations.

Mar 21, Marzia Giuntoli rated it it was amazing. Ozellikle Osokin ve Znaida’nin arladinda gecen konusmalarin bazi yerlerinde kendi iliskimden sahneler bulmam beni osokinn daha da cok yakinlastirdi. But, you know, nothing without sacrifice.