Wednesday, 12 May 2010

On reading.


What is literature? Where does its unique appeal lie? Human beings constantly struggle to overcome the reality (call it truth if you will) of death. So they tell stories. We enjoy tea, alcohol, nicotine, chocolate, marijuana-each to his/her own- and we build relationships. We read philosophy, we read tabloids, we read palms even. All a futile search for meaning, for constructing ourselves and others. Then one day, someone realizes the bare minimum. He questions the very nature of our paltry existences, and this questioning is often termed "modern", we learn to see ourselves and the world differently.

And then you read one book of 110 pages, and realize that there is something just beyond our grasp, and one hasn't changed the slightest bit after a period of many years. Still, questioning, thinking, fable-making, as one did at the age of 10 after reading The Little Prince.

Why? Because at the end of the day, what else is there to confront (even if one does not fly as a pilot in the 1930s) other than the wind, sand and stars? We're all building stories, futile sandcastles on an endless beach or an eternal desert, until the moment of death. We are our own living, pulsating, laughing, crying, throbbing, dying literatures. Fiction-in-endless-making. Then Kaput!

8 comments:

Anushka said...

'one understands what language is capable of'

And this, I think is why I read. For the sheer aesthetic, emotional and psychological experience it puts my mind through. It can deal with the paltry, the grand, the sordid, the embalming. But if the use of language is skillful enough, any subject becomes material for a new world quivering with stimuli. They don't demand an explanation as much as they inspire love.

Sure Literature makes me confront devils and ask important questions, but more than anything it lets me love art and life by looking at each through the other's eyes. The love can be oblique, it can rise from my nerves being torn to shreds, but the very intensity of the experience justifies itself, it becomes a form of love.

Baudolino said...

Boi-taa de, ekkhuni.

Elendil said...

This is probably the simplest and yet the most profound thing you've ever written. I feel *exactly* the same way about life, literature, death.

Confronted with death first hand when I was young, I turned to myth making, and I discovered what a comfort it can be.

Course we're gonna die. So lets drink and be merry now baby.

Anurima. said...

We are our own living, pulsating, laughing, crying, throbbing, dying literatures.



Wonderful post. :)

storyteller said...

I want book.Also,why do you write so well?

LeeO_Capetillo淑屏 said...

三分之一的人生,可以決定另外三分之二的人生!!共勉哦!.............................................

Madhuri Ramachandran said...

Or else, we are an ocean wave, one single wisp of cloud that passed, a few drops of magic rain that rushed by, we are the forever we seek, who can tell really?

To me, literature is recognition, deja vu

HaydeeG_Mccra鈺苓 said...

How are you~.................................................................