Músienka, the lead character of Marina Tzvietáieva’s prose piece Devil, is a child when her sister calls her to come see the devil laying on her bed. The monstrous being soon becomes her ally, and she tells her parents of her newfound friendship. Their reaction is that of terror, and leads them to take her to the church where a priest asks her if she “devilizes” to which her answer is, “Always.”
It will take years before the protagonist comes to comprehend the horror of the people around her. Time has passed before she realizes that the truth was in her imagination: her sister is dead and the devil would step out of the books. Reading becomes Músienka’s best companion. It teaches her about the world around her, as well as about the dark places society does not want her to see.
An entire life dedicated to books leads Músienka to reach an expression of independence and made her overcome the society she lived in. We usually think that the only way to change ourselves is through thousands of pages. We believe that the accumulation of knowledge will slowly create a path that will give meaning to our existence. However, there are impressive works that in a few pages can create a before and after in our lives.
The following books, which you can read in a single day, are sure to reach your soul, given their ideals and philosophy. The concepts found in these works are completely transcendental.
Siddharta by Hermann Hesse
“But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect.”
This novel is perfect for anyone having trouble finding sense in their life. Herman Hesse’s work is a narration of one man’s spiritual journey to find himself.
On his path to enlightenment, Siddharta must experience earthly life lessons such as his relationship with his parents, romantic love, wealth, religion, and the unexplainable bond of having children. Each stage is an opportunity to reflect on the everyday mundane issues that affect us.
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
“..The torture of traveling, worrying about changing trains, eating miserable food at all hours, constantly seeing new faces, no relationships that last or get more intimate.”
The loss of a loved one, a broken heart, or even just a bad day can make us feel like it’s the end of the world. However, that is only an illusion. The sun will still rise in the East; birds will continue to sing, and we will all have to get up at the same time to continue with our daily routine. Franz Kafka turns this feeling on its head in Metamorphosis. Gregor Samsa wakes up to find he has transformed into a beetle and must learn to adapt to an environment that is the same as it was the day before. But it is he who is now different.
The story is a clear reference to the isolation that comes from excessive work. Despite it being written many years ago, the book is a great companion when trying to understand a world where technological advances and the day-to-day have imprisoned human beings.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
“He was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility. But he knew he had attained it and he knew it was not disgraceful and it carried no loss of true pride.”
We all reach crucial points in our lives that completely change our views and ideas on the world. For some this happens within the pages of a book, while others reach it through the influence of another person. But Santiago, the protagonist of the story, discovers this due to a swordfish that changes the course of his life.
Bravery, hardship, friendship, and loneliness make this novel by Hemingway a piece of prose that reflects on the different paths life can take us.
The devil would appear to Músienka whenever she looked at texts she could only read in secret. But you don’t need to hide for a book to change your life. In just a few hours, these books will leave you a changed person forever.