Wednesday, 28 July 2010

If on a Winter's Night A Traveller

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.
 ~ Henry Ward Beecher ~

I know I haven't blogged for quite a long time now, my apologies for that, coz Kevin came back. =)

Also coz of the fact that living a life of work, sleep, work, sleep, work, and sleep again, evidently does not help in keeping the blogging spirit up. 

Anyways. Now that I'm back from work feeling pretty guilty about not updating my blog for the longest time ever, I have decided to drop by while waiting for Kevin to come back from work so we can have dinner together and continue episode 4 of Flashforward.

You should watch it. Seriously.


I have recently finished another book - yay! *applause* - this time, it's about some dude (according to the book, that's supposed to be me, the Reader) who reads a book but finds a defect in it, goes back to the book store in exchange for a new one, but instead finds it to be a completely different story. As he tries harder and harder to track down the correct book, he instead finds himself in a confusing adventure of book hunting. On the way, he gets acquainted with the book store owner (which later on proves to be more than that when they have sex later on), who kinda helps him a little in his quest, but not quite. Anyways, she's also Me, the Other Reader.

Then again, I am neither, coz I'm supposed to be the one reading about them, or rather myself.

Confusing much? I suspect that's the whol point of the book.

Halfway through, I got so confused that I gave up trying to understand what the hell the Reader was doing or where he was going - trust me, he went places. Lots of them.

I pretty much just enjoyed the half-written stories he (as in, me, the Reader) read while reading through book after book to search for the correct one.

I think I must have read like over ten different stories with no endings. It wasn't that bad, except for the fact that every single time it gets interesting, the Reader gets cut off by some external event.

You'd think getting interrupted while reading a book in real life is annoying, it's more so even in the fictional world of literature. Especially when it occurs over and over again.

I did come across some interesting parts that I thought would be worth sharing, to feed the occasional reader's thirst for a good piece of fiction.

'...this elderly editor, whom at first glance you define as "a little man, shrunken and bent", not because h is more of a little man, more shrunken, more bent than so many others, or because the words "little man, shrunken and bent" are part of his way of expressing himself, but because he seems to have come from a world where they still - no: he seems to have emerged from a book where you still encounter - you've got it: he seems to have come from a world in which they still read books where you encounter "little men, shrunken and bent."'
-If on a Winter's Night A Traveller, Chapter 5-

*omg I didn't know this book was so famous; I typed the words "if on" and the auto-complete gave the complete book title on Google search.*

Here's another one:

'It is that time of day when droves of employees leave the overheated offices, button up their overcoats with their fake-fur collars, and pile into buses. I blink, and they have vanished: only some scattered passersby can be discerned, far off, in the deserted streets from which I have also scrupulously eliminated automobiles and trucks and buses. I like to see the surface of the street bare and smooth as a bowling alley.

Then I abolish barracks, guard houses, police stations: all people in uniform vanish as if they had never existed. Perhaps I've let things get out of hand; I realize that firemen have suffered the same fate, and postmen, municipal streetcleaners, and other categories that might deservedly have hoped for a different treatment; but what's done is done: no use splitting hairs. To avoid trouble, I quickly abolish fires, garbage, and also mail, which after all never brings anything but problems.
I check to make sure that hospitals, clinics, rest homes have not been left standing: to erase doctors, nurses, patients seems to me the only possible health. Then courts, with their complement of magistrates, lawyers, defendants and injured parties; prisons, with prisoners and guards inside. Then I erase the university with the entire faculty, the academy of sciences, letters, and arts, the museum, the library, monuments and curators, theaters, movies, televisions, newspapers. If they think respect for culture is going to stop me, they're wrong.

Then come the economic structures, which for too long a time have continued to enforce their outrageous claim to decide our lives. What do they think they are? One by one, I dissolve all shops, beginning with the ones selling prime necessities and ending with those selling superfluities, luxuries: first I clear the display windows of goods, then I erase the counters, shelves, salesgirls, cashiers, floorwalkers. The crowd of customers is momentarily bewildered, hands extended into the void, as shopping carts evaporate; then the customers themselves are also swallowed up by the vacuum. From consumer I work back to producer: I abolish all industry, light and heavy, I wipe out raw materials and sources of energy. What about agriculture? Away with that, too! And to keep anyone from saying I want to regress toward primitive societies, I also eliminate hunting and fishing.

Nature... Aha! Don't think I haven't caught on. This nature business is another fine fraud: kill it! A layer of the earth's crust is all that has to remain, solid enough underfoot, and everywhere else, nothingness.'
-If on a Winter's Night A Traveller, What story down there awaits its end?-

And another:

'There, at the end of that strip of nothing I continue to call the Prospect, I see a slender form advancing, in a pale fur jacket: it's Franziska! I recognize her stride in her high boots, and the way she keeps her arms hidden in her muff, and the long striped scarf flapping after her. The cold air and the cleared terrain guarantee good visibility, but I wave my arms in vain, trying to attract her attention: she can't recognize me, we're still too far apart. I advance, hastening my steps; at least I think I'm advancing, but I lack any reference points. Now, on the line between me and Franziska, some shadows can be discerned: they are men, men in overcoats and hats. They are waiting for me. Who can they be?'
 -If on a Winter's Night A Traveller, What story down there awaits its end?-

Right. I must stop myself here, lest I  continue with this foolishness of copying passages off a book until I have unknowingly copied the entire book here - which of course, as unlikely as it may seem, there always exists a possibility, however small it may be; analogous to the fact that as unlikely as I may die tomorrow, I am still unable to guarantee that I may still live -  and I may then bore the reader (in this context, I am referring to you, dear Reader, the one reading my blog) to the brink of death. Not that anyone in their right minds would read this far - I believe most of my acquaintances would much rather read about my real life than to read about me rambling on and on about some boring book. 

Unless, of course, you're an avid fan of exploring the different concepts of literature - sometimes to even believe that there may be a paralel universe within the pages that we flip - and if you are, I am pleased to be of your acquaintance as well. 

Last but not least, I do realise that I have been so much into the mood of literature and such that even my flair of transcribing thoughts into words have flourished beyond my expectations. Never mind that, I'll soon be back to normal.

Kevin is back. Flashforward + dinner time! =)

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