Thursday, 9 July 2009
Thursday, 2 July 2009
A tree stood on a hill
You kept on wishing you could fly
But remained quite still
You did believe that you would die
Sometime not far from now
So you just stood there, you did not lie
Wishing it was not now
Beneath you life was passing by
Nobody seemed to care
About the boy that would soon die
Simply…due to a dare
What exactly does it mean for us to label or fill the shoes of something or should I better say someone that has already existed? If we take into consideration Barthe’s idea on toys and the myth that hides within them, we will with no doubt find the fact that since our early childhood we are raised to simply fill in the shoes of a certain user of this world, one that uses the life-less machines around him to re-create what has already existed! We are raped from our ability to create, we can not be creators, since something new might be produced, and something new means something not tested with time which in turns means that it might be dangerous. So in order to escape this fate we are given miniature objects of the real adult world “toys” and from our very early stages in life are raised to become and believe as well as accept our fate of filling the place of factory workers, construction workers, doctors and even stylists.
The most shocking of these is most probably the miniature dishes, spoons, irons, and life-like baby dolls that keep the young girls focused on their socially chosen path of life, and that is of motherhood and the upbringing of a family.
Heavenly bastard in the sky forbid if a young girl chooses to play with a toy airplane or a gun! That should not be heard of! A girl should be raised with meek and coy characteristics, and as an introvert! She is raised with the ideas that she is both physically and mentally inferior to the sex with some extra di-use piece of meat! Our patriarchal society places so much effort and advertising on a masculine image, that anyone who can’t grind cheese on their abs is simply not good enough for the role of man-kind representation if creatures from outer space ever decide to drop by for a visit. SAD isn’t it?
S - arcastically
A - bhorrently
D – isgusting
This only goes to show us that the illusion of decentering the patriarchy in our society is as vain as attempting to maintain the youthful complexion on the faces of the elderly. This need to maintain the order of things will constantly prevent the social changes that our society is in grave need of. Just like the ongoing revolution of removing the center of things and throwing the signified away from the signifiers, thoughts of balancing the manly dominated and womanly struggling shadows is still far away from becoming a reality. The image of this reality has slowly worked itself into the media, and although the screen has attempted to transcend the illusionary reality of the powerful woman, the behind the screen truly in power male executives are the running horses that are pulling this on-screen wagon of shameful trickery.
On top of the social pressure to clone every individual into another robot-like machine programmed by the illusions that are transmitted via the pixels from the all knowing and promising box of the lies, Barthe brings to our attention the idea that the struggle between the poor and the proletariat is also brought forth with utmost artistic realism through the work of Charlie Chaplin. The poor Charlie-Man approaches the idealism of proletariat with his portrayal of the poor man who does not politically deal with the issue at hand. It is also interesting that the idea of “poor” is portrayed with the oversized sandwiches and rivers of milk that flow, but there is still no woman in the picture. This idea of the poor man not being in the position of being able to get a woman sheds light on the struggle of the insignificance of the poor man in the wealth dominated world of romance.
Saturday, 9 May 2009
“Even though she was good-looking, nobody dared to court her because it was clear that Misshepeshu, the water man, the monster, wanted her for himself. He’s a devil, that one, hungry with desire and maddened for the touch of young girls, the strong and daring especially, the ones like Fleur”(p.11), with such strong accusations and beliefs of the Native Indian Americans it is easy for me as a reader to see the magical fascination which frightens as much as attracts the men of the novel and the readers alike to Fleur. Like almost every society with some sort of organized belief system, the devil always has and will be an identity that is both feared and respected. And the idea that it is the devil himself who wishes to have Fleur in his possession only further fuels the intrigue and need to understand not only her character but the element which draws all the gossip and common fascination of the natives towards her. But despite all this a brave soul is introduced to the readers, Eli. Despite all the rumors that circulate around Fleur, Eli is willing to pursue her and is not afraid to love her despite the fates of the other men who have been associated with Fleur. This does not only show the magnetic force that she posses but the power she holds over men. The novel progresses with constant reminders of the supernatural state of Fleur, which remains a mystery. Was Fleur really a being with elements from another world, a world beyond the reach of the commons, or is it simply the Native way to dwell in these thoughts? With references to Fleur’s daughter Lulu, such questions remain unanswered as is portrayed with phrases such as the following: “To our minds, Lulu’s eyes blazed bright as his. Yet she had the Kashpaws’ unmistakable nose, too wide and squashed on the tip. She was good-looking. She had Fleur’s coarse, quick-growing hair. Sheer black” (p.70). This characterization of Lulu not only gives her physical features but also suggests that perhaps Misshepeshu is the girl’s father when Pauline says that her eyes were like his. But then she goes on to say that her nose was obviously the nose of a Kashpaw.
But the supernatural and the unexplained does not only circulate around Fleur, Pauline, whose narrative is not very reliable since her character is portrayed with many insecurities and flaws also embodies the strange happenings common to the lives and beliefs of the Natives. “They say, or Bernadette does, that when they found me in the tree later that morning, everyone was shot with fear at the way I hung, precarious, above the ground. They were amazed I could climb there, as the trunk was smooth for seven feet and there were no hand- or footholds of any sort. But I remembered everything, and wasn’t in the least surprised. I knew that after I circled, studied, saw all, I touched down on my favorite branch and tucked my head beneath the shelter of my wing” (p. 68-69). It seems perfectly natural to Pauline that she turned into an owl and flew to the top of this tree. She felt at peace doing this because she had just found her calling, watching people dying and harvesting souls. This is a dark characterization of Pauline; she finds comfort and pleasure in watching people die and dealing with their dead bodies.
In conclusion I would like to say that Louis Erdrich successfully captured the essence and the magic which she presented in a unique way, not only to fascinate the readers but to open their eyes to the struggle and pain that any minority faces in our modern world of taming the unknown, claiming the rights to things which are not of possession and the political struggle for power, a never-ending game of the power holders of the world.
The heroine of the story depicts clearly and harshly the experience an immigrant faces in the new and alien place. “First, you don’t exist. Then you’re invisible. Then you’re funny. Then you’re disgusting.”(p. 26), quotations such as this one attacks with clarity the feelings that most keep locked inside and which even more people feel but are unable to turn into words. Her direct and honest, humane and merciless narration pinpoints the difficulties. But she is not the victim, quiet the opposite, the protagonist is an identity, that fights, that faces the reality and strikes back. We notice that Mukherjee’s story revolves and is fully narrated by a woman, who is not dependant on a man, in fact, the protagonist’s husband is the one who depends fully and in a sarcastically child-like manner needs and begs for her. This idea is clearly shown in the line on page 33 : “Tell me you need me. Panna, please tell me again.”
We notice that it is not only Panna’s husband who is placed beneath the critical microscope of a woman in the modern city, but other men are depicted as the women have been for so many years in literature. “Like many men in this country, he seems to me a displaced child, or even a woman, looking for something that passed him by, or for something that he can never have.”(p. 30). Quotations such as this one further prove the point that the male-dominating and constantly restated idea is one that should be looked at more closely, and after doing just that, Mukherjee proves to the readers that in fact it is the men who seem helpless and lost, unaware due to their egos of the state in which they are, parading their masculinity in an attempt to hide their insecurities and pain.
Despite all the qualities and strengths that Mukherjee gives her protagonist, we notice that Panna still is not completely comfortable in her shoes. The many echoes of the memory and nostalgia for the past plays a significant role in the story. To me personally, this is not a weakness, but a strength. At the end of the day, Panna is a woman, and her sentimental and feminine qualities must be present to complete her identity. By allowing the readers to see this side of Panna, Mukherjee places her on a pedestal of a complete woman in the big city, not fully conforming to the needs of the city, but battling all the opposing forces without having to let go of her true self. This was one the things that I found to be especially rewarding and worth of praise.
In conclusion, I would like to state that after completing this piece, not only have I found an incredibly interesting author whose works I will definitely make sure to look forward to reading in the near future, but also allowed me as a student of literature and a firm believer in the equality of the sexes to notice that there are some very strong and capable, witty and assertive literary activist, proving to the world that change happens only when we stay true to ourselves and take all the action we want to see into our own two hands and make it happen.
The fact that the colored heroine of the story is not even given a name was not a surprise. A name gives one an identity, a privilege which can not be bestowed on a lower class working local cashier girl. Through out the entire story, we notice the author dealing with the female heroine as an object: “Her eyes went over everything in the flat although her body tried to conceal its senses of being out of place by remaining as still as possible, holding its contours in the chair offered her as a stranger’s coat is set aside and remains exactly as left until the owner takes it up to go.”(p. 1935). I don’t think that this is degrading or offensive, this is the Gordimer’s way of showing the uneasiness and the reluctance of allowing the development of feelings towards the lower class worker in a country where you, yourself is a stranger, constantly under the close inspection of the local authorities.
Even though the story takes place over a certain period of time, precisely how long the reader tends to figure out but with no certainty, events are thrown in with absolutely no warning sign. In one paragraph our heroine visits the apartment carrying the groceries and leaving with a box of chocolate, and in the next we find her making the bed after she has slept in it. This to me personally was a remarkable technique. It felt alive. This is how life is in my opinion, one day you meet a person and it seems that this encounter took place just yesterday, but you are finding yourself in the same bed with this person on the next. I would like to draw attention to the futility of language and conversation that I believe Gordimer wanted to point out. The heroine speaks English in its most simple and often grammatically incorrect way. But this does not stop the feelings and the mutual interest growth. Even the love-making act which is an act usually portrayed filled with passion and fore-warned by endless talk of, happens in muteness: “He made his way into her body without speaking; she made him welcome without a word.”(p.1937).
The melancholic and cold feeling that never leaves the reader I believe to have the purpose to foreshadow the end. This relationship is doomed from the start. The lies, the hiding and the guilt-trips as well as the inability to understand the traditions and customs of the locals by the foreign further hints at an ending that won’t place a smile on our face. There is no “bad” character; there is no scapegoat or anyone to take the blame. The characters are real, and in each of them a mixture of wrong and right equates to them being themselves. Their attempt to make things work although proven futile at the end, leave them not in a position to place blame but in the reality of acknowledging that the trial and the attempt is much more rewarding than the outcome. They tried, and they tried the best they could, it just didn’t happen, it ended. The humility that the heroine faces in the conclusion and the little aid that the Dr. provides with the hiring of the attorney is mere human interaction, nothing more and nothing less.
In conclusion, although racial, economic and class issues are brought with solid force to the reader, I find the style to be of extremely emotionally filled higher ranking since the reader finds him/herself not judging or taking sides but living with the characters throughout the entire story in notion that reality is never judgmental, it simply is the way it is, and we each cope with it the best way we can.
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Mind-blowing stares and glimpses
Soul-ripping confessions of betrayal
Self-loathing nights of solitude
Our decaying senses
Lost to Tube Villain
Twisting truths of past
Written in bold signs
Comforting self-help guides
Queues to webcam melodramas
Should I write to live or live to write? If I write to live I’ve failed in achieving the true goal of an ideal writer, yet I have achieved a place in our material world. If I live to write it’s vice versa! So where do I stand?
I have been alive for twenty two years now. I have learned things, and I have succeeded in some tings, and failed in others. I have been loved, and loved in return. I have learnt of loyalty, and I have seen deceit. I was naïve, and I have matured. I was lost, but then found things that made me feel complete. I have cried and I have laughed. I had doubted, and I have blindly trusted. I know hunger, and I know satisfaction as well as poverty and wealth. I am healthy, and I am able to walk to the seashore and see the water hitting hard against the rocks, or carefully and smoothly stay as still as oil in a plate. I have clear eye sight, and I can see. I have good hearing, and I can hear things. I have a body that can feel physical pain, and I have a mouth which can taste things sweet and bitter. But what about those that do not have what I do. Paralyzed at birth, losing eyesight, the ability to hear or the sense of touch! Can they experience what I can? Can the blind see the sea? Or the distant views of mountains? Can they live in far away places of our galaxies, or in the magical worlds of faeries and elves? Words! And the power they hold! If one was to read a simple sentence such as: He knelt on one knee, at the early hours at the airport, and opened his arms, allowing his only son, whom he hasn’t seen in 4 years, run into them. What is it that happens to one after such a simple and seemingly marginalized and of little importance sentence? Can the person see in his mind the picture of joy? Feel the tender feeling of parental love, and taste the tears of joy that slowly make their way down the father’s cheeks as he embraces his son? This is the power of writing! It can take you anywhere! It has the power to show you, make you feel and taste things that are not in your possession. There are as many different writers and books as there are people on our planet. Some write to live and others live to write. What about me? Which path will I walk down? There are temptations on both sides? So how does one choose?
In order to choose, one should at first hand, thoroughly and with a clear mind look at the two options before him. I will talk of my options as the left, and the right path, one may follow. Now, off course the right will be the path of an ideal writer, a writer that lives to write and the left of the writer who writes to live. As with any options we face in our life there are virtues and vices in each one of these options, and I may say here that it all comes back to the essence, and the character of the person standing on this fork road, and his beliefs and ideals are the forces that will take the final decision. It is clear that very few out of many writers who chose the right path, have enjoyed a life of acceptance, material wealth, and worldly admiration. Is it not the case of the left path writers who find themselves and their works to be the bestsellers and the social icons of their age and time? I personally believe it to be true. A writer that lives to write, does he care for fame and wealth? Does he care to appear on the covers of magazines holding his published work with pride, smiling for the commercial ads that will add to his already growing sales? Is not his reason to write, simply in order to enlighten and share his views with those few in the world who still believe that a book, on the essence of truth and the mysteries of life to be of higher value than one depicting the adventures of a made up character? A character, which shoots his way through dark alleys filled with enemies, in order to rescue the love of his life and at the end save the world. I believe it to be so. On the other hand, the left path writers, after gaining a fairly good reputation will publish as many as two or three books per month, when in fact it takes longer then that in order to write them! It is the case with many known left path writers, that it is in fact not them who write their own books, but a whole team of people working for them who develop their idea trying to stick to the same style as the one book that shot their name to the very top!
So let us first discuss the right path, or the path of the writer who lives to write. I believe that in order for a writer to live to writer, it first takes patience, and talent! One cannot afford to dedicate his life to writing, simply to write when one knows that what they write is a worthless composition of words and sentences. In order for a person to write, with no intention of gaining fame and fortune, one must truly and wholly love writing. One must believe in the moral and ideal aspects of writing. A writer who can spend, up to a decade, if not his entire life in order to write one book is in my opinion a writer who truly and honestly writes simply in order to write. And off course it is the case with the majority of such writers, that their fame and glory, is always spawned after the writer has withered in his or her grave, with no knowledge of the glory their work has reached. How many great writers, who lived to write, were published only after they have long ago died? I believe there is something enormously fascinating how great art is only accepted and critically applauded after the death of its creator! Another important belief in my mind of the right path writers is that they do not look for fame or glory, the only sign they see at the end of the mountaintop, is getting their thoughts, beliefs and views on a concrete piece of paper that will outlast them and maybe one day find the proper glory it deserves. There is little wealth in the right hand writers’ world. Since they are not published as easily, or as often as they might want to be, they often have other jobs to pay their rent, provide food on the table, and afford the medicine they need to survive, hopingly long enough to view the rays of glory of their offspring. They spend hours on a sentence, choosing just the right words to get their feelings and emotions onto the paper! They at times feel the evil temptations to end it all and sell out; make a quick buck by writing some novel on any popular theme of their time, and get on the escalator instead of climbing the ladder they are on. But somehow they manage to stick to their beliefs; they stay true to themselves and all they believe in. They suffer! Yes! They hurt and ache! But since when has our world been known to be kind to the weak? Yes, weak! Isn’t that what the left path writers call the right ones? I can picture a twenty-four-year-old-bestseller novelist driving his Ferrari, and talking to his publishing house, mocking his teacher at the university who has been working there all his life, and taught him all he knows, (without taking into consideration how much he actually learnt), for spending the last twenty years, writing a book of a certain philosophical height that has been re-written with minor variations more than ten times, and is still not accepted by any major publishing house, (except the publishing house of the university), thinking that it is a risk, knowing that a thriller, a silly romance or a science fiction novel with nothing new to offer, will sell much more, (obviously this is due to a much larger consumer number who rather purchase a book that needs no pondering but is simply an easy exciting read).
This is in my opinion the harsh yet very true reality of the right path writer? Do I want that? Do I want to spend my years trying to publish something I have put so much effort into, knowing that it is a very long shot? I think I should first discuss the left path writers and their side, before taking a decision.
The left path writers are numerous. They publish a romance, million of heart broken girls relate to the novel, which offers absolutely nothing new, and the numbers rise up. The publishing house is happy. Write another one they say. You have two weeks! The book must hit the stands before the Christmas holidays! Your pay check is triple of what it was the last time. You manage to outnumber your last selling novel, and we sign with you a contract that will allow you to publish these series on monthly basis! Now with such high demand and the authors’ name known by millions, it is obvious his or hers life is comfort guaranteed. After all, the money the publishing house pays the author is marginal to the profit it makes! So the author sits and writes, but his aim is not to write, but to simple finish a novel before the deadline, cash his check, and get the new car and that house in the Hampton area. After all, how hard can it be to write a novel of a teen love, where the plot has been known for ages? A rich boy meets a lower class girl, cheats on her, lives her pregnant! She goes through pain and suffering only to raise the child all by herself, making a career for her and ending up to meet her first love miserable due to drugs or something like that! It’s true that these novels give hope to many, and many relate to them. But seriously, all that differs from one of these novels to the others is the Cover of the book and the minimal changes of the plot! These novels have been around for centuries, and are no longer shocking! They have been digested by simple minds for centuries! But can we blame the left path writers? They write, they publish, get paid, get a reputation and are able to provide for themselves and their families the best of the material things in our world. They are globally recognized, they are the pop icons of their age and time! Hundreds of even more famous people praise them to those sitting on the other side of the television screen, or to those reading about it in their morning papers. Making them believe that if they miss out on this new book of this best selling author, they are missing out on everything the entire society will be talking about until the next book will be published! But doesn’t the life of the left path writer sounds so much more easy and fun, providing and successful (in the most typical material sense of success) and off course so much more glamorous and enticing! It does! Who wants fame and glory that will only come after death! Doesn’t a person want to enjoy the fruits of his labor while he is alive? Doesn’t one want to be able to provide for his or her family and loved ones the best of the material things? They do! And I do too!
In conclusion, after writing the truth about the modern day literary world, and being honest to myself, I’m afraid I will disappoint you! I will not lie neither to myself nor to you and tell you that I’m different, and I would rather live to write than write to live! Because I simply don’t. I want to rise up in this socially material kaleidoscope of pretense lies and false ambitions and ideals! I want to be able to have what my parents were not able to give me! I want the fast sports car! I want the mansion with a pool! I want to have my name written on the guest list of every major event! I was born into a material world! And I am material at heart! Who knows, maybe after having achieved financial and social heights, I can then write a piece of moral ideals, and have it published after my death. I will surprise my readers, showing them that there was more to me than novels of minimal food for the mind! Show them, that I could have been the ideal writer of highly philosophical standards! But had I been that writer, I would have stayed anonymous to everyone! They would have never read about the characters that they have grown to love! Those characters, even though were nothing new, offered the people, my readers, an escape from the material world into a world that was in one way or another, safer, more fun, and exciting from the reality that they dealt with everyday!
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Was she the tormented one that stole the night?
Was she the evil of which we dare not speak?
The soul that cursed the men of yore
The little maiden with the heart of poison and no soul
The maiden whose beauty was unmatched
A marvelous creation of the god unknown
Blistering beneath the moon of vice
No man withstood her trial of survival
Meeting their doom after one glance into her eyes
Drowning in insanity, for her angelic posture was beyond comparison to anything of mortal race
A figure trapping the lads in their imagination
Their fascination and belief to make her of their own
But what cruelty was it that all had failed
And none have won her love
Her love that echoed agony and misfortune with it bound
I was not different from all the rest
Enchanted by her marble chest and velvet skin
Her flowing silken hair
That softly touched the crimson gown
And her mystifying emerald-green eyes
Filled me, with enchanting wonder
We met beneath that same old maiden we called moon
And blessed were by the spirits of the night
Embraced each other and left no place for reason
Drunk on emotions and desires to join our souls for ever more
We stood for what seemed an eternity or more
Bound by our senseless love
Guarded by wolves and creatures I never before seen
Covered by mother-nature with her quilt of snow
In me she found compassion, innocence and fear
In her I sought danger, power and the lust
Trading the missing pieces of life’s puzzle
We reached a sense divine and love prior unmatched
Now what’s this feeling in my heart?
Ripping sensation I have never sensed
And what’s that falling from her eyes?
Liquid diamonds sparkling in moonlight
We cannot be each others comfort
Our blood must never mix
Virtue and Vice a pair won’t be
Neither will death embrace the living
Her scent on me is present still
Scent of empowerment and lust
To hold in memory forever
As her presence still haunts all mankind
What form will she embody in the future?
A mild, and meek creature of the night?
Waving her beauty as a status of divinity
That will destroy her prey to dust
Her presence necessary always will be
Since light without shadows holds no sense
And all the good will lose its value
Without the battling evil that she casts
Mankind cannot live in harmony among each other
It needs a constant fiend to battle
And it is she who always will remain the target
Of mankind, present future and the past
Still screams haunt my sleep
But poisoned nectar within me stirs
So I may never again sing
For beauty is always cruel, unkind and unforgiving!
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Try to find out what lies deep beneath
Beneath the pretty complexion of this make-up world
Beneath the pretense and the mind games that we play
Will you choose to display the truth for all to see?
Or join me in this game of hide, disguise and lies?
Perhaps it’s better to live in the abstract thoughts of others
Or maybe create a world all of our own
A little piece of heaven here on earth
You’ll be the Eve and Adam I
Surprise me with the apple
And tear us down from the clouds onto the floor
And as we fall with no regret
Laughing out of pride and out of boredom
We had the chance
We didn’t last
So what will follow us in time to come?
Will we build another paradise for just us two?
Or get the tickets to the one around the corner?
It’s always easier to blame others for the failure that we’ll face
It’s always much more appealing and amusing
To have a scapegoat in our sight
A little being to throw up for the sacrifice
And buy ourselves the time we’ll need to find another
Another image of a perfect life
Until the day that someone breaks in with the torchlight
And sheds the light unto the shadows that dwell there in the corners
Revealing to our eyes what is already buried in our mind
In my eyes a sight divine
An angel with wings on fire
A tiny fairy high on love
A troll asphyxiating
An elf with open wrists
My own forest of beliefs
A little place inside my aching head
An evil witch with rotten teeth
A princess locked away for life
A king with swollen lungs
A queen with a plastic heart
And a prince who fancies boys
My own creation
My own labyrinth of myths
A dog that eats no meat
And a cat who shaves her tail
A bird that cannot fly
And a dragon who has puffed himself to death
A place where my imagination runs wild
A place where everything can happen
A kingdom I called VOID
Where I drug myself to point of no return
Where I can see the future clear
Where is spent much of my precious time
From where I come back broken yet relieved
A place where you can join me
And be whatever you desire
Only to wake up next to me in bed
With bruises, cuts and a feeling of disgust
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Since I know I have the ideas that Bataille depicts inside of my head, these ideas are my parasites feeding on my outward appearance which the society puts together forming a presentable and approvable host! But the parasites are there….At the same time…My parasite body is devouring the host which is my brain for bringing out the parasitical thoughts….The parasites are killing the parasites inside the host, which makes the parasite infected host nothing more but a parasite in disguise….