Joe's Books

Quest For Fire by J.-H. Rosny aine

Hi !

I hope everyone is doing fine on this wonderful Saturday afternoon wherever you might be. The sun is shinning and it is relatively cool  here in Yokohama so I can’t really complain.

The book and film for today is one that I think, is an all time great. It is called “Quest For Fire” (“La Guerre du Feu” – “The War of Fire”) by the Belgian writer  J.-H. Rosny aine (a pseudonym for Joseph Henri Honore Boex 1856-1940). The book was published in France in 1911 and has remained a favorite of many since then.  I first read this classic story when I was a student and it made a lasting impact on me. It concerns something we take for granted, something we rarely give a second thought to as we go about our lives in the modern world of today. It concerns fire.

Our story takes place 80,000 to100,000 years ago. A prehistoric world where man is still in his infancy and thoughts of tomorrow are simple and limited, where fire means life, warmth and protection. Those who have it intend to keep it for it sets them apart from the creatures who lack it and jealously crave its mysterious power.  All is well with one small tribe until their fire is taken from them. With no idea on how to create the magic flame, a warrior called Naoh leaves his people and leading a small band, travels into dangerous and unfamiliar lands in order to somehow capture that which his people so desperately need.

This really is a classic adventure tale where our hero faces and overcomes a number of problems to fulfill his quest and in doing so changes himself. It gives us a glimpse into our own early beginnings as well as betterment for our possible future.

The movie came out in 1981 and was directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. It starred Everett McGill, Rae Dawn Chong, Ron Perlman and Nameer El-Hadi. The locations for the picture are wild and beautiful and the camera work is fantastic. There isn’t really any intelligent speech throughout the movie but gestures and situations make the communication readily understandable.

Both the book and film are good and I recommend both.

Well, that’s all for today. Wherever you are be thankful for what you have because there is always someone who is worse off than you.  Be generous when you can and  if someone has wronged you do your best to forgive that person, not so much to soothe their soul, but your own.  There are so many wonderful things in life that to allow feelings of pettiness to cloud such things really isn’t worth it.

Until next time!!

Joe

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