Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Whatever it is called!
Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is extremely fantastic! I don’t mean fantastic as in brilliant. I mean exactly what the word means. It’s fantasy. It’s nothing to connect with. May be John Milton’s paradise lost has been retold I do not know. But I do feel that it was a child’s version of Lord of the Ring, with the subtle knife being the ring.
Do all fantasies have a world of the dead/land of the dead/river of the dead?
Anyway it was a neat story. It was neatly set and nicely written. It had all the characters required: Lord Asriel with all this power and pride, Mrs. Coulter with all her beauty and cunningness, Irogek the huge bear, etc. Of course not to mention the righteous Will Parry and his wise father Shaman John Parry, and I could go on.
A few things that caught my attention (apart from all the worlds described):
Mrs. Coulter needs a better name. Anyone named Mrs. Coulter can’t both be charming and cunning. She needs to choose one.
Mr. Scoresby and his description made me feel like he was LaunchPad of Tales Spin. Of course I found it difficult to imagine when he so bravely fights off the Muscovites for John Parry.
Serafina Pekkala is too hilarious a name, especially her second name.
I found it extremely hilarious for Lyra to name the harpy in the word of the dead as ‘Gracious Wings’ with such seriousness and wisdom!
I loved Pan!
Most of all I loved the mulefa and Atal, and their ingenious idea of the wheel!
I was disappointed waiting for the entire trilogy for a twist in the end that would include Will’s mother. May be she could see the Dust, which is why she seeing invisible things! Or maybe she was a witch who lost her way in our world and her daemon is confused so she gets confused and speaks to her daemon which people in our world don’t understand.
PS: Please note that I have only read The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. I have not read The Golden Compass (Northern Lights is better; doesn't sound like a thing). I do wonder though why the three books are named after a material THING, which an added adjective that tries to sound mysterious and virtuous at the same time and fails miserably at both
Also note that the two previous posts containing gibberish arise from aftermath of reading the trilogy. Now sleep eludes me and I must be off. Bust fear not for I shall return with more words from my pensive mood. And that is a promise which I shall not break!
And now you know why I laugh J
It’s a weird feeling when you know that particular blog posts would get particular responses from particular people and you do not get them.
It’s a bit disappointing and a bit unsettling.
And after that if you find that the particular people have not been up in their own blog as well, it becomes increasing unsettling till it takes to a scare.
Unsettling is the perfect word for it.
Update: One of them is back on the blog; after a month's gap
I think ‘nostalgia’ came about people tried to name the strange nausea that arises out of memories that stay. Hmmm, in that case it should have been nostrangia. Now this just sounds like anger coming through nostrils.
Oh well! Nostalgia it is then. A stale stagnant nausea caused by memories. I call it stale because the memories are old (obviously), and stagnant because the memory (the fact) doesn’t change. Or at least we think it doesn’t. Only God should know how gracefully we bent and polish and smoothen and manipulate each fact in our memory to suit our whims and fancies.
I have some memories of my very early childhood. When I say very early it is about that of 2 years. Now that is not possible isn’t it? Well it isn’t. I realized as I grew up that I have a brilliant imagination and that I can draw a picture of almost every word I say or hear1. Hence, I created my own memories.
But there are some memories I have that are clear and accurate. And they are so real sometimes it hurts they aren’t really real. When I feel these memories fading away, even the tiniest detail, I panic and decide to memorize every inch of the picture (or video) in my mind’s eye so that I never forget that is dear to me. My dear memories!
But sometimes I wonder if only I didn’t have memories. You know like the exponential distribution. There would be not joy from the past, no pain of the past, no regrets, no vengeance, no learning of course. We could just live in the present and hope for a good future. And we would not be afraid because we never knew what it is to be afraid. We probably would not be so happy either. But we’ll be curious, which is a nice feeling.
But what if we became like goldfish? Aimless, memoryless, wandering…
We’d be just ‘lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after, year. Running around the same old ground, what have we found?’
And if we had memories, we’d say ‘wish you were here’2
1. This is needs a lot of creativity since an oral version of anything will only describe the main segments. The background has to be carefully colored to add to the picture. And mind you, every single detail in perfect in my pictures, including the pattern on the sari of a woman say or the type of birds in the sky)
2. The post sprung out of the thoughts from listening to Wish You Were Here3. This song always strings up to my memories and descends sadness upon me reminding me of people I miss, many and various in stages.
4. Am I allowed to have a superscript to explain within an explanation of a superscript? (This one goes one more tab to the right than the previous one, like a C program very everything within one curly bracket is maintained a particular tab spacing before the start of the line5)
5. I should have never read The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time. I picked up with digression from there. The book calls it digression. I call it voicing my flow of thought.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
On the first page of the book there is a description of ‘the class’ and ‘the teacher’. It was obviously written to attract any reader. But I found the description somewhat misleading. The description of ‘the class’ can be stated as grossly wrong. And if I were the author, I would feel hurt about such descriptions.
The publisher should have taken care of that. However much one would like to spice it up it must not be ‘wrong’.
I call it ‘curious’ because the dictionary defines the word curious as being strange or unexpected and the book is both strange and unexpected.
I call it ‘little’ because it is short and in big print and in easy language and from a boy’s point of view.
I call it ‘book’ because it was after printed in a book form even though it is a book like no other with chapters numbered with prime numbers instead of consecutive.
I articulate it with ‘the’ since it is a particular book that I m referring to and not any random book.
This particular book I m referring to is titled “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”, written by Mark Haddon.
It is written in a weird style from the point of view of a fifteen year old boy, Christopher who suffers from Asperger’s. I should probably not say ‘suffers’ because he doesn’t. He is happy with himself understanding numbers and dogs (since they have only four emotions), and not understanding human beings, disliking yellow and brown and crowded, noisy or strange places and people, and liking red.
I liked the book for the spirit in which it is written. The story itself isn’t that great but it is the writing. And of course for the fact that it has an extremely strange yet interesting appendix (it contains a problem and its solution from an A level math exam) J
I think after “The Alchemist” and “The Zahir” I would vote for “The Fifth Mountain” (though my mother would go about it in the reverse order). It was a grown up fairytale, beautifully written and inspiring.
At first I thought it was a retelling of a story so old. But Paulo Coelho’s style of writing is unique. The emphasis is on the truths of life rather than on the story. The can be really seen in the final chapter of the book where he describes the story quickly and finishes it off when I expected any other writer to describe it in detail. But for Coelho it is not required since he already conveyed the message he intended to when he started with this book.
But I believe this is the only book which is not really autobiographical (of course Veronika was not himself but yet it was a real woman called Veronika).
But now I must find “The Manual of the Warrior of Light” which is mentioned in this book.
I feel sad for leaving behind in Calcutta a few good books that I could do with right now.
Having undergone a surgery last Saturday (for correction of myopia; usually referred to as laser surgery; for all concerned, I m fine now) I was to stay away from TV and computer as much as I can and of course not go out too much to avoid dust for a few days. This led me to read books.
I have read three books and am reading my fourth. Hence I have 3 reviews (my sorta reviews I mean) pending.
But the books I have left with me now are not that attractive to me and I wish I brought India After Gandhi with me to Hyd because I can’t think of a better time to read it than now since it is very long and boring but worth the read and I would probably never get this kind of time to sit down and read.
Or maybe I should have brought with me “The Case of the Exploding Mangoes”.
It’s just that I m reading “The Subtle Knife” by Philip Pullman. It is the 2nd book in a trilogy. I have the 3rd book but not the 1st. It seems a little interesting but definitely childish!
A young man, who resents being stuck to selling hair oil made by his father with no hope of success, takes on a journey for the thirst of doing something new and going somewhere new.
Following a road on a truck which is an antique moving cinema he picks up on his way an irritating boy who used to work at a teashop and knows more about life than the man does, an elderly mechanic who has learnt to takes the hardships in life with a smile and an attractive gypsy woman. Together they encounter the police, the dacoits, a mela and finally, ‘finality’. All of them, the people and the incidents, teach him about life, to live and let live.
He returns just as he left, alone, but much wiser and happier. Just like any other road movie (a genre of film).
It was a thoroughly enjoyable film.
The part I liked the best is the title: Road, Movie