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Hav
Hav | Jan Morris
14 posts | 6 read | 17 to read
A New York Review Books Original Hav is like no place on earth. Rumored to be the site of Troy, captured during the crusades and recaptured by Saladin, visited by Tolstoy, Hitler, Grace Kelly, and Princess Diana, this Mediterranean city-state is home to several architectural marvels and an annual rooftop race that is a feat of athleticism and insanity. As Jan Morris guides us through the corridors and quarters of Hav, we hear the mingling of Italian, Russian, and Arabic in its markets, delight in its famous snow raspberries, and meet the denizens of its casinos and cafs. When Morris published Last Letters from Hav in 1985, it was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Here it is joined by Hav of the Myrmidons, a sequel that brings the story up-to-date. Twenty-first-century Hav is nearly unrecognizable. Sanitized and monetized, it is ruled by a group of fanatics who have rewritten its history to reflect their own blinkered view of the past. Morris's only novel is dazzlingly sui-generis, part erudite travel memoir, part speculative fiction, part cautionary political tale. It transports the reader to an extraordinary place that never was, but could well be.
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Mogoeg
Hav | Jan Morris
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Pickpick

I loved this book but it made me melancholy. Morris describes it as an allegory & it is, but it is also a meditation on the nature of place & of cities in particular - their geography, their history - how they endure & how they don't. The second part, published in 2005, is a wistful, recognizable , portrayal of our post-modern, hyper-capitalist, post-9/11 world. Hav was always imaginary, but it becomes pure simulacra after 'The Intervention.'

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Mogoeg
Hav | Jan Morris
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“or like the dark calculating looks that cats sometimes give you...“

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Mogoeg
Hav | Jan Morris
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About halfway through Hav - written by the great Jan Morris. Her only work of fiction, it‘s not so much a novel as a travelogue of a fully realized imaginary place. I love the world building- in other hands it would be tedious but here it is masterfully done.

TCLinrow This sounds like an awesome book 🙂 welcome to litsy 🎉 3mo
Mogoeg Thank you!🦋 3mo
rather_be_reading welcome to litsy 📚☕📚 @LitsyWelcomeWagon 2mo
5 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Petroglyph
Hav | Jan Morris
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I'm loving Morris' fake travelogue "Hav": it must have been so much fun to write. It feels like it was written especially for people like me: nerdy about Mediterranean history *and* non-existent literary countries (Ruritania, Orsinia, Invisible Cities).

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Kathrin
Hav | Jan Morris
Mehso-so

1. part was originally published in 1985 and 2. part in 2006. I was dragging my feet through the first part, because I just didn't get the point of a fictional travel account, that seems so normal and without a plot line. The second part, I basically gobbled up, because now there was a story!

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Kathrin
Hav | Jan Morris
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Reading a fictional travel account while drinking coffee from a nonfictional travel souvenir.

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Kathrin
Hav | Jan Morris
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Geez... I have a hard time with this book... I almost think I am not smart enough to get it, even though I consider myself as pretty smart... 😱

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I hate when that happens. Maybe take a break and try again later, or see if the library has the audiobook and switch to that for awhile. 3y
Kathrin @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I already checked and not much luck... I have high hopes for the 2nd part based on the description... Only 60 more pages or so to get there... 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Kathrin only 60 more pages! You can do it! 3y
See All 6 Comments
shawnmooney I'm a big believer in bailing on books I'm not enjoying. This is a recent and huge change in my reading habits, and incredibly liberating. That said, I'm interested in this book and want to try it someday! :-) 3y
Kathrin @shawnmooney Same here... It certainly doesn't eat me up to bail on a book... In this case, I am holding out for the 2nd part... 3y
EliseWhitmore @shawnmooney It took me many unsatisfying reads to start bailing on books I wasn't enjoying. It felt like I had failed as a reader if I gave up 😦 But now? 💩 3y
8 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Kathrin
Hav | Jan Morris
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I was completely unaware of the adjective "quixotic" and have now stumbled over it in two books in a three week period... Have to practice it in a sentence, so that I can use it in conversation! ?

kedupre Bonus points for "quixotry!" ? 3y
Kathrin @kedupre His quixotry in business matters was unprecedented! 😬 3y
kedupre @Kathrin ooh, nice use of quixotism! (I don't think that's right but it's as close as I'm going to get!) 3y
Kathrin @kedupre 👍🏻 3y
8 likes4 comments
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Kathrin
Hav | Jan Morris
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If there is one thing I have learnt from Hav, it is the uselessness of revenge. To be alive is punishment enough for the old ogre.

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Kathrin
Hav | Jan Morris
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Karma has no appreciation for Hav, she had a rough day and needs her beauty sleep... I am 10% in and interested how the story will progress!

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Chelsey
Hav | Jan Morris

"We are intellectuals you see... There is no subject that we cannot discuss, and all subjects make us angry." ??

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Chelsey
Hav | Jan Morris

Goodness gracious! I have a pretty decent vocabulary. Better than most of the people I know as a matter of fact. This book is amazing! It sent me to the dictionary 11 times in 5 1/2 pages! Such a happy lil logophile!

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Chelsey
Hav | Jan Morris
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Reading this to satisfy several* of my Read Harder challenges. Is anyone else doing Read Harder?
*8. Read a book originally published in the decade you were born, 12. Read a book by or about a person that identifies as transgender, and maybe 13. Read a book that is set in the Middle East

Chelsey 13 might be pushing it though because Hav is a fictional land and I'm not entirely sure where it's supposed to be yet. We'll see. I still have time to read another book for that challenge if need be. 3y
brendanmleonard I just started Read Harder! 3y
Chelsey I'm annoyed that Ursula Le Guin is listed as the first author. She just wrote the introduction! The author is Jan Morris. 3y
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Chelsey Well, I noticed it's incorrect and think it should be fixed. So not annoyed exactly 😉 3y
Chelsey @brendanmleonard How do you like it? What are you finding challenging/fun/etc? Are you including audiobooks? Trying to only do one book per challenge or covering as many as possible with each book? 3y
brendanmleonard @Chelsey I like it. I'm just doing it for fun, my goal for 2016 was to read more women/POC/LGBT so this was just an added bonus. I don't really do audiobooks generally but have been thinking about it. I do double up but I'm also trying to do 1 a category. 3y
Chelsey Hey! They fixed the author! Thanks @Litsy , you guys rock!! 3y
11 likes7 comments
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shawnmooney
Hav | Jan Morris
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Just heard Alexander Chee recommend this on the So Many Damned Books podcast: a sci-fi novel that reads like a travel memoir – two novels, actually, now combined into one volume – by the preeminent, transgendered travel writer, Jan Morris. Introduced by LeGuin but she is NOT the author.

Liberty Great book. 3y
SusanInTiburon Love Jan Morris. 3y
34 likes14 stack adds2 comments