Friday, February 22, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Athos, Porthos, Aramis

Once inseparable friends who lived by the "all for one, one for all" motto, memories, experiences and years down the line, point where a one-time musketeer decides his life could do with some detoxification and decides to let go of one of the three.

It’s a very awkward place to be. That point between friends, when friendships, once sweet, goes sour, one friend needs to detox and realises some 'friends' have to go. Struggling to avoid taking a biased stand and be fair to both parties when one bashes the other to your hearing. It’s a difficult position, Porthos most of the time makes a case against Athos and takes offense when Aramis won’t take his side.

Photo credits: Google Images

Friday, February 8, 2013

Lit-Rally Speaking

“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. Those who do not do it, think of it as a cousin of stamp collecting, a sister of the trophy cabinet, bastard of a sound bank account and a weak mind.” 
                                                                                                                              ― Jeanette Winterson.

Literature is one of the ways I know to stay true and keep my inner child alive. It's my first love, first passion, first ambition and first sense of direction I ever had. As a child, I was sold; separating myself to handwrite books, magazines for kids my age and by the age of 10, I started my own reading club, gathering my classmates during recess. All this was before my mum told me I was smart enough to be a doctor and channeled my mindset and energy towards practising medicine. Few years down the line, I would wind up in the Sciences and eventually develop more than a liking, a degree and a career in Engineering. But through it all, I kept my 'Lit-thing' going.
Beyond new year's resolutions, I'm doing a lot more reading this year. I'm expanding the walls of my knowledge, my intellect, my library and my Amazon wishlist, waiting to be fulfilled hereYea, to (good Samaritans) whom it may concern :)
Only weeks ago, I picked up V.S. Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas and decided to read more works from Nobel Laureates. My style hasn't changed: good ol' paperbacks, hardcovers, and less of digital formats. It requires a level of discipline to give reviews of reading matter when done reading. I'm checking this list in no particular order and without an achieve-by date. In total, it's 106 ... and counting. If you have read all or any, have a review, I think it would be good to share.

Nobel Laureates in Literature
·         2012 - Mo Yan
·         2011 - Tomas Tranströmer
·         2010 - Mario Vargas Llosa
·         2009 - Herta Müller
·         2008 - Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
·         2007 - Doris Lessing
·         2006 - Orhan Pamuk
·         2005 - Harold Pinter
·         2004 - Elfriede Jelinek
·         2003 - J. M. Coetzee
·         2002 - Imre Kertész
·         2001 - V. S. Naipaul
·         2000 - Gao Xingjian
·         1999 - Günter Grass
·         1998 - José Saramago
·         1997 - Dario Fo
·         1996 - Wislawa Szymborska
·         1995 - Seamus Heaney
·         1994 - Kenzaburo Oe
·         1993 - Toni Morrison
·         1992 - Derek Walcott
·         1991 - Nadine Gordimer
·         1990 - Octavio Paz
·         1989 - Camilo José Cela
·         1988 - Naguib Mahfouz
·         1987 - Joseph Brodsky
·         1986 - Wole Soyinka
·         1985 - Claude Simon
·         1984 - Jaroslav Seifert
·         1983 - William Golding
·         1982 - Gabriel García Márquez
·         1981 - Elias Canetti
·         1980 - Czeslaw Milosz
·         1979 - Odysseus Elytis
·         1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
·         1977 - Vicente Aleixandre
·         1976 - Saul Bellow
·         1975 - Eugenio Montale
·         1974 - Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson
·         1973 - Patrick White
·         1972 - Heinrich Böll
·         1971 - Pablo Neruda
·         1970 - Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
·         1969 - Samuel Beckett
·         1968 - Yasunari Kawabata
·         1967 - Miguel Angel Asturias
·         1966 - Shmuel Agnon, Nelly Sachs
·         1965 - Mikhail Sholokhov
·         1964 - Jean-Paul Sartre
·         1963 - Giorgos Seferis
·         1962 - John Steinbeck
·         1961 - Ivo Andric
·         1960 - Saint-John Perse
·         1959 - Salvatore Quasimodo
·         1958 - Boris Pasternak
·         1957 - Albert Camus
·         1956 - Juan Ramón Jiménez
·         1955 - Halldór Laxness
·         1954 - Ernest Hemingway
·         1953 - Winston Churchill
·         1952 - François Mauriac
·         1951 - Pär Lagerkvist
·         1950 - Bertrand Russell
·         1949 - William Faulkner
·         1948 - T.S. Eliot
·         1947 - André Gide
·         1946 - Hermann Hesse
·         1945 - Gabriela Mistral
·         1944 - Johannes V. Jensen
·         1943 - 1940: No Nobel Prize awarded this period
·         1939 - Frans Eemil Sillanpää
·         1938 - Pearl Buck
·         1937 - Roger Martin du Gard
·         1936 - Eugene O'Neill
·         1935 - No Nobel Prize awarded this period
·         1934 - Luigi Pirandello
·         1933 - Ivan Bunin
·         1932 - John Galsworthy
·         1931 - Erik Axel Karlfeldt
·         1930 - Sinclair Lewis
·         1929 - Thomas Mann
·         1928 - Sigrid Undset
·         1927 - Henri Bergson
·         1926 - Grazia Deledda
·         1925 - George Bernard Shaw
·         1924 - Wladyslaw Reymont
·         1923 - William Butler Yeats
·         1922 - Jacinto Benavente
·         1921 - Anatole France
·         1920 - Knut Hamsun
·         1919 - Carl Spitteler
·         1918 - No Nobel Prize awarded this year
·         1917 - Karl Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan
·         1916 - Verner von Heidenstam
·         1915 - Romain Rolland
·         1914 - No Nobel Prize awarded this year
·         1913 - Rabindranath Tagore
·         1912 - Gerhart Hauptmann
·         1911 - Maurice Maeterlinck
·         1910 - Paul Heyse
·         1909 - Selma Lagerlöf
·         1908 - Rudolf Eucken
·         1907 - Rudyard Kipling
·         1906 - Giosuè Carducci
·         1905 - Henryk Sienkiewicz
·         1904 - Frédéric Mistral, José Echegaray
·         1903 - Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
·         1902 - Theodor Mommsen
·        1901 - Sully Prudhomme

List culled from The Nobel Prize website

Oriah: The Invitation


It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. 
I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be there. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah.

I wish I wrote this.