Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Wayward Attempt at Redemption


Forgive me dear reader for I have sinned, it has been more than a month since my last apology and it happens to be my first confession of the sort.

First, I am guilty of wrath. I find it infuriating that celebrities seem to have the birthright to churn out 'bestsellers' that are laden with errors and multiple instances of bad writing. I also find it annoying that books of substance don't get their share of recognition at the appropriate time.

Second, I am guilty of envy. I envy bloggers who get book deals, period.

Third, I am guilty of sloth. I don't invest enough thought and research into the books I'm reading and thus end up writing 'bloggish' book reviews.

Fourth, I am guilty of greed. I want unlimited domain space without having to shell out a dime. I only make apologetic entries so I may gain Karma points at the smallest drop of benevolence from a forgiving reader.

Fifth, I am guilty of pride. I am too proud to admit that my blog gets an average of 10 hits per day. I am also too proud to acknowledge my imperfection as a writer and a poet.

Sixth, I am guilty of lust. I cannot stop thinking of the work of D.H. Lawrence. It is my 'sloth' that prevents the thought from spilling in the direction of full blown obsession.

I do not stake claim to gluttony as I like eating as much as I like Dan Brown (do we see pride laced with a little envy?).

Forgive me dear reader. I will condemn myself to a week of penance and refrain from blogging till I have something worth writing about.

Friday, September 21, 2007

When Reading Becomes an Acquired Taste

The whole concept of acquiring the taste to read is bizzare with respect to the context of my blog; nevertheless I found out, the hard way, that sometimes one needs to acquire a certain taste to tackle an entry on the reading list. Ernest Hemmingway is and will always remain a celebrated Nobel Laureate as long as human memory persists. My mother warned me saying,'Hemmingway is an acquired taste, you may not like him'. I still went ahead and read 'For Whom the Bell Tolls', Hemmingway's ode to the Spanish civil war written in a moderate undertone. I predicted a more explosive and heartbreakingly tragic end to the book than the one Hemmingway put forth. Besides,diva that I am, I am not particularly fond of lucid undertones in literature.

I now understand people who dislike Marquez. A lot of readers feel 'cheated' after reading 'One Hundred Years of Solitude'. I wouldn't go far enough to accuse Hemmingway of 'cheating' but I will go far enough to say that I couldn't immerse myself in his work. If it takes time to get accustomed to wine then Hemmingway must be like Sherry, dry yet burning on the inside. I have decided to forgo my quest of discovering Hemmingway through his work. I am reading 'Sons and Lovers' by D.H. Lawrence for consolation.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

C'est Tres Embarrassant !

Even the average perfectionist likes to take an innocent pride in his or her work. I stake claim to the same when it comes to my blog. I am rarely satisfied with my entries when I click on 'publish post'; they are either too immature or bleak and incomplete. It takes a while before I can warm up to my work and say to myself, 'this is what I should do for a living'. It takes a few weeks or even months for this to happen, and when it does I feel my virgoan-ego bursting with an excess of self-acclaim. All of this is short lived till I come across an embarrassing ambiguity. My sentences tend to be long with an excessive use of punctuation (mostly at inappropriate places) and French . While I hurriedly correct the structural vilification, I hardly get respite from the French parts. I don't have localization enabled, hence I cannot use accented characters. I can only sweat and swear, 'C'est tres embarrassant'.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Kafka's Blog

Franz Kafka was an enigmatic microcosm. He still is an esoteric phenomenon thanks to the nature of his work. He writes of men who think they've become insects. He walks you through a stream of consciousness till you wake and struggle to grasp the fact that you exist. Writers like Kafka are rarer today than they were in his time. No struggling writer desirous of commercial success would dare 'pull a Kafka' on his or her readers. Bloggers with alternate sources of income (like yours truly who doesn't rake a dime from her blog) have other luxuries that leave enough room (and free domain space) for open introspection.

I imagine the 'Kafka blogspot' to be less egotistical and hardly flamboyant when compared to its counterparts. Kafka would have picked a template minimal and threadbare enough to make the average web designer cringe. I can imagine a site meter,hidden at some shameful corner, ticking away abysmally as the occasional smog of curiosity makes its way to the site. I don't know Kafka well enough to toy with the idea of a visual 'Kafka blog', it seems too presumptuous at the moment.

On a less cynical note, I imagine the 'Kafka blogspot' to be the most satisfying place on the web for those who take the trouble to analyze each and every syllable. I see great depth in terse sentences, typed out with haste so that ideas don't drift past the thinker. I see lines euphemistic enough to speak of human folly without the slightest intent of offense. I can imagine impatient readers casting away Kafka's work because it needs too much retrospection and demands excessive thought. Publishers would have had nothing but contempt for Kafka, the man whose brilliance just falls short of controversy.

Perhaps Kafka was ahead of his time and perhaps he is ahead of ours.It is some wonder that he was discovered when he was. I still could be wrong about his blogspot though.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

It Happens only in India: The use of Reincarnation to meet Freudian Ends

Sigmund Freud is fortunate enough to have died before the advent of the 21st century and well before the coming of 'The Great Indian Spiritual Renaissance' (as I like to call it). 'The Great Indian Spiritual Renaissance' relies heavily on the way Indian conscience plays truant with its owner. Most Indians are a tad guilty for neglecting their traditions and for completely disregarding their roots.Speaking of Freudian ends; Freud once hinted that all psychological afflictions can be traced back to seemingly innocuous incidents of the past(mostly those from an individual's childhood). A new Indian school of thought has extended the Freudian premise to hint that some psychological afflictions are deep seated enough to be traced to a previous life!

Irrespective of whether this is another feather in the cap for the proponents of feel good soul searching, or whether this is a publicity stunt gone embarrassingly wrong; people are lapping it up. The new global economy has not only helped a bunch of Indians to get vulgarly rich; it has also helped a few prodigal sheep to return to the mystical flock. Indians have rediscovered yoga, vaastu (the Indian counterpart of feng-shui), religion, alternative healing and now reincarnation. Even the new-age shrink has found a plethora of riches stashed away behind the 'eternity of the human soul'. It is said that the soul remembers all that it has been through, life after life, and it is conditioned by its memory. It has left denial seekers rumbling in ecstasy and the rest like me just reeling. Sadly the human spirit is made out to be less resilient than it really is.

Hence ,to explain my penchant for acting like a diva, my imaginary shrink would tell me this, 'You are not a diva because you imagine you are one. You are a diva because you were one in a past life!' (I think I just heard Freud screech in agony.) Don't take responsibility for your problems little ones, your poor little soul has taken a lot already!

ps: I sorely miss the good old days when people just blamed their genes for all their little quirks, I can barely handle all the filthy laundry from one life!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Speechless!

You know web 2.0 has gone too far when you find Virginia Woolf on MySpace. Voila ! Here she is with 'A Space of Her Own' . I'd like to acknowledge my source Blogging Woolf for the unexpected link.

Updates From the Reading Room

'For Whom the Bell Tolls' isn't your typical war-inspired novel. For starters, it is written by Ernest Hemmingway, thus it is written in an undertone without a hint of exaggeration. Probably Hemmingway's purpose wasn't to so much to chronicle the war as it was to bring out what war does to people. Hemmingway's characters, though underplayed, are rich in their own right. After reading a little more than 300 pages, I'm starting to wonder if Hemmingway liked to play metaphysical pranks on his readers by making his work so unbearably simple and excruciatingly slow.

The only thing that keeps me from dismissing the book as a a masterful literary dead end is Hemmingway's empathy towards his characters and his staunch belief in the cause of the anti-Franco republicans. It seems as though he might spring out from the dead any moment to say, 'I love these people, I know their suffering like I know my own'. What more can one expect from a man who supposedly gave an existential interpretation of bullfighting in 'Death in the Afternoon'(who knows I might read it someday).

Current reading status :-
Pages read:322
Pages left:168
Proposed date of completion: By the end of September.