Rabu, 26 Februari 2020

The Puppeteer


Jakop Jacobsen is named. An ordinary man with an ordinary life. His closest friend is Pelle Skrindo, a pirate who likes to come and go as he pleases. His hobby is attending funerals, and his dear pen pal is Agnes. To Agnes, he related the various burials he participated in, as well as impressions about the families of the deceased.

Jakop lives alone. He likes to share stories. Unfortunately, he only had Pelle as a sharing friend. However, Pelle disputed it more often than listened to it. Because of this, Jakop likes to attend funerals, share momentary emotions with grieving families, even though he has to fabricate lies about how he knows the deceased. But finally, he found the stone. Agnes's presence when he attended a funeral made him no longer able to fabricate lies. In order to maintain a connection with Agnes, Jakop had to uncover who he really was. Can Jakop?

The Puppeteer, Jostein Gaarder's latest work, invites readers to reflect on solitude, friendship, and about finding a place and destination in life in this world. Heartwarming and arousing empathy.


Note: Maybe it will be spoilers, because I don't know what to write besides Jakop's heartbreaking sadness (and that includes the possible spoilers in this story).

Jakop is a man who can be said to be lonely. In his loneliness, he has a friend named Pelle. He also has a unique habit of following the funeral procession. The habit originated from fun activities to attend the funeral that was announced in the newspaper. How he enjoyed the atmosphere of a large family gathering at the time of death. People who will remember the deceased, many came to pay their respects. All that was not obtained by Jakop in his life. He was born and raised by a mother, with a father who only comes occasionally. The talk of the people in his village lasted a long time. Not only about his father and his mother's unclear marital status. As a child, Jakop used to be a monologue with Pelle, who was a hand puppet. With Pelle, Jakob can express his heart which cannot be spoken by himself. As a teenager, two girls caught him talking with a doll, and the news was so widespread that Jakop had to refrain from attempting to bully him.

However, Jakop lived by proving that he would be successful. He became a teacher with a great interest in kinship between words from various languages. His interest developed in line with his research on the people who were judged by him. Jakop needs to associate himself with the deceased, so he needs to have a relationship that he can fabricate towards that person. He also makes documentation or some kind of personal archive about the people he visits, which he gets from newspaper advertisements. Jakop put the piece of newspaper in the cigar box which he kept in the bedroom closet.

Solitude can feel lonely for people who live it. But in my opinion, it's better than living in the future. If a person lives alone, at least he can do whatever he wants. I imagine that freedom is easier to live in a large family than in a narrow marriage. --- page 188

Jakop was married, only the marriage did not last long. The wife cannot accept Jakop's unusual behavior. In the end, Jakop returned alone and went through his usual dialogue with Pelle and attended the funeral. Jakop had prepared an argument if anyone had asked about his relationship with the deceased. It's just that the squirrels are jumping, sometimes slipping too. Jakop was forced to swallow the bitter pill of his lies when Agnes, the youngest brother of one of the dead people, was told to expose the lie. There is one fact that escapes Jakop's attention that cannot be avoided from his fictional story.

To Agnes, Jakop wrote a long letter about his life story, his dark secrets, and Jakop's unique habits when attending funerals for funerals in his life.

"Now I understand. I can no longer imagine being an uninvited guest in someone else's life." --- page 316


As is typical of Gaarder's writings, here I find the concept of a letter as it appears in several previous novel titles, such as in the Bibbi Bokken Magic Library or the Orange Girl. I also still feel Gaarder's deep concern about environmental damage, which still appears despite the glimpse of this book. (Gaarder's theme concerns the novel entitled Anna World which tells about global warming, also to Maya .)

It was fun, following Gaarder's writings across time, from reading his novel that was set in 1998 (before the millennium era), to the present where his character uses Instagram. Listen to the beautiful philosophical tale from the Orange Girl to The Puppeteer. I am pleased with his book, composing a lot of new meaning and knowledge. Intriguing instincts, not infrequently changing the way of outlook and perception. Moreover, in this book, the theme is about a "puppeteer", or "mover" story. A theme that is very close to me personally. The last few years, I was a Puppet Master, aka the activator of a character in the world of role-playing .

I never doubted that Pelle himself would talk when we talked. He just had to borrow my voice. --- page 153

Although different from the game played by Jakop and Pelle Skrindo, the essence of the role-playing world remains the same. Someone (in the real world) gives his soul, mind and heart to a non-living thing. Not infrequently, the fictional character undermines and even destroys the real life of the mastermind or the mobilizer. It's just that, in his heartbreaking solitude, Jakop lapsed into a world he composed too deep, so he even sacrificed his real life. In one book, this affected me.

Why not five stars like most other Gaarder books? There was a bit of confusion in understanding Jakop's game and his passion for associating "family" with the meaning of a word, which, perhaps, would be great if I could understand it in Gaarder's mother tongue. I take my hat off with the translator's ability to translate this text. It must be difficult, considering the content in my opinion is not "friendly" with the local language or language that is the translation. However, despite the difficulties and confusion, I can still grasp the meaning and purpose of what Gaarder conveyed to his character.

Continue to be healthy, Opa, in order to continue working. I look forward to the next Gaarder books.

Title: The PuppeteerAuthor: Jostein Gaarder
Publisher: Mizan
Book Thickness: 352 Pages
First edition, September 2017
(original language version, first published March 2016)
ISBN: 9786024410247
Rating: 4 out of 5

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