Welcome to your distant future. This is where I live, in a third-world nation full of egoistic businessmen and capitalist moguls. This i...moreDear Ayn Rand,
Welcome to your distant future. This is where I live, in a third-world nation full of egoistic businessmen and capitalist moguls. This is where your Unspeakable word came into life. Leaders seem to forget the essence of equality and fraternity and they converted it into crony . Commonality is dead here. There is a huge gap between the rich and the poor and some ordinary individuals wished to have a systen of communism - a day where the rich people (via passive income aka corruption) will experience long queues in a slowly decaying public train called MRT.
Your philosophy is good, but I don't buy it in here. I'm selling my current situation for you to see the downsides of your belief. So there. I hope I can see you in person and share some sentiments with you.
It was an American classic, a short story written in 1930's. I love how the prose became poetic, and how the author switched Mitty from an ordinary hu...moreIt was an American classic, a short story written in 1930's. I love how the prose became poetic, and how the author switched Mitty from an ordinary husband doing a weekly chore to become a surgeon. And a hero - inscrutable to the last.
There is something about onomatopoeia that made the short story appealing. It adds up to the reader imagining how Mitty quickly triggers a daydream. At one moment he is an assassin. And then he became a surgeon.
The thing with this short story is it leaves you a sort of a plot hang-over. He just waited. Stood there. And just like death via firing squad, he stayed motionless. Yet proud.
I guess this is what the author wanted to impart to the reader. Once the pen stopped he became still. And he was proud of his creation.
"I am the exception that proves no rules, the limits of your control, the condiment in the dish of life."
The book is pretty straight-forward and simp...more
"I am the exception that proves no rules, the limits of your control, the condiment in the dish of life."
The book is pretty straight-forward and simple, arching the idea of Alcohol abuse as the central theme of the three following short stories: Babylon Revisited, Cut-glass Bowl, and The Lost Decade. The first short story is inspired by the author's true story of gaining custody of her daughter over the latter's aunt. After reading the collections did I know that Fitzgerald suffered this kind of episode at one point of his life.
In addition, this also seen the bitter reality of the year where the Great Depression started. It may lack development, or the transition from the Golden Years, but the stories, no matter how concise, depicted the frustrations of its people suffering from this hardship, emanating the sentiments of how fast The American Boom went by.
Try these short reads - you will know why F. Scott Fitzgerald is considered a classic, and a required read to American students. (less)
This is very much different from the erotic fiction I have read this year. This is fun and weird and left me hanging, no closure was provided and left...moreThis is very much different from the erotic fiction I have read this year. This is fun and weird and left me hanging, no closure was provided and left me haunted for the next five minutes. Hahaha
The panels showed the aged and the lost luster of the Three Musketeers, together with D'Artagnan. I thought this story will have a happy ending but it...moreThe panels showed the aged and the lost luster of the Three Musketeers, together with D'Artagnan. I thought this story will have a happy ending but it showed the otherwise. With the quality of the colors and the art, I liked it, highlighting the 1600s France. But I was saddened by the ending. Just that.(less)
It stands and walks on its own, living and breathing and throbbing and shaking me to the roots of my being.
What Toru explored in the two-year timeline of the novel is how to deal with grander things - idealism, romance, death... and life, as the amalgam of these smaller bits of other life lessons.
There is nothing special in Murakami's 1987 novel. No disappearing act, no lesbian love, no explosions, no historical event. Even the 1969 Zenkaguren and Zenkyoto (The Japanese Red Army) is not being brought into foreground. The english translation is simple too, most of the statements are in active voice and in subject-verb-direct object pattern. The plot is straightforward flashback, no non-linearity, no other points-of view but of the main's, no gimmicks or signs to where you look at.
But what makes this novel is so simple is that it makes you pay attention of the rain, of snow, and of mountains... of the train stations, suburbs, Shinjuku hostels... mediocre bookstores, medical facilities, and music stores.
Becuase at one point that you are alone, you immerse in the eyes of Toru, who dealt with Death as an innate part of life, not an opposite of it.(less)
After the First World War, a period of economic recession persisted for more than a year. Nations encountered an economic deflation as their recuperation, suffering a period of depression. People having their wages earned from the war are not enough, and as returnees, the unemployment from the civil labor force rose up. Such is the adjustment from the wartime to the peacetime economy.
Then the breaking year came. Economists believed that there is a necessity for the economic adjustment to give way to economic progression. Like the cycle of life, the start of 1922 is a start of a change for the economic lifestyle of the Americans, and liberalization of the economic policies. Roaring twenties became a decade of widespread prosperity – Government growth policies, booming construction as industry and the rapid growth of automobiles. This is also the year where American people are reintroduced to consumerism – since one has adequate fund sources, you are encouraged to spend it in consumer goods.
These golden years also influenced the American Society, having the radio as the most expensive medium, and influencing the societal breakthrough. Many people are being engaged in music, particularly the Jazz as musical genre. Not only had that, but also of the influences brought about by modernization and urbanization, having increased liberal views of sex, alcohol, drugs and homosexuality. The isolationist theory gave way to enhancement of the White Supremacy idealism, having xenophobic tendencies towards the minorities and the foreign.
I may not be an American, and this novel may not be my required read, but in the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, no matter how short the novella is, American situation in the roaring years have been reflected in the sceneries and the characters of The Great Gatsby. Known as a required read for American schools, the story is about Jay Gatsby and his escapades, businesses, and engagements, as told by Nick Carraway, his friend from the World War. Gatsby loves to hold large parties, as he enjoys the intimacy of it, and hoping that one day this will be known to his loved-one named Daisy Fay-Buchanan, who by the way, is married with Tom. It also includes side stories of Tom’s mistress named Myrtle Wilson who is married with George, and Daisy’s friend named Jordan Baker who later became Nick’s girlfriend; and Gatsby’s long-time friend named Meyer Wolfshiem.
Readers may find this classic appealing since it has a love story element and action delivered in a language that is easy to understand. It may be very much different from other classics (like Tolstoy and the Bronte sisters), but for me, this novel best described the American dream, the social politics and human aspiration, and the excesses of the rich and recklessness of the people. I shall not dwell much into detailing the story since an upcoming movie adaptation is coming soon in Manila theatres.
But if one is really curious, the green light is the poetic delivery of the author describing the character's resolve and his aspirations for greater heights - reaching the American dream. One having this scene being written in words that are in form of tall tales is very much remarkable.
citations from chapter 1: “…he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward – and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away…”
Come and have a shot of Chivas (sorry, I don't have any Russian rum right here) with me, and...moreReview posted in my blog Markings Of A Dreamer
Come and have a shot of Chivas (sorry, I don't have any Russian rum right here) with me, and let's do the Love talk. Let me gather my thoughts before I use them in this review. What I can say in the meantime is this:
Leo, you really are frustrated.
Yes, I do understand your sentiment, which is why in this novella of yours, the first time it was released; it was censored by the Russian Authorities. You dare to open their eyes wide open through the sharing of Pozdnyshev’s life story with Proshchayte (which the former says it as prostite). And this era of mine, I was able to understand what you want to say to them. Maybe because in your time debauchery was very rampant; and the society is slowly going sinful out of these immoralities brought about by the supposed changing times.
I wish to cite some of the quotes/statements and give my opinions about them:
“True Love… if true love exists between a man and a woman, then marriage too, is possible.”
–yes, it may not be apparent in your place before, but this is true in our place. People wed out of true love, not out of carnal love. If they see each other as their partner in life, then marriage will come as beautiful as it can be. There are cases when one is being betrothed to another, but if they learn to love each other truly, then marriage will be sweet. Marriage is a big thing both to a man and woman, since they have to work together through it. And yes, I do agree that “there can be love that’s founded on shared ideal – on spiritual affinity”. It is through faith that marriages work.
Pozdnyshev says that he felt terribly sad because of his first time to enter the world of debauchery
– it would feel like your innocence is stolen by a wisdom thief, and will never ever be restored. You have that impression on everything and anything like it. For example, if one is a rape victim, the victim will forever be doubted on a man, if he has clear intentions with her or not. No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot remove the stigma.
“It’s really quite remarkable how complete the illusion is that beauty is the same as goodness. A pretty woman may say the most stupid things, yet you listen, and you don’t notice the stupidities, it all sounds so intelligent.”
– can I make a rebuttal on this? Women, not only in your time, but in ours do not do these always out of whimsical wishes; we do this because she feels that she has no right. Right, in a sense that she feels that she is under a man’s authority or she is the object of man’s sexuality, thus she is looking for a weakness, most of time identified as men’s sexual desires. I remember reading this in another book – “Look as if you are hanging on to his every word, even if it is just a lot of blah; and you will have him following you like a puppy”.
“Imagine if God created human beings in order to achieve a certain goal and had created them either mortal, but without the sex instinct, or immoral.”
– At times, I do reflect on these. If people are immortal, then what is the use for us experiencing carpe diem or even taking risks, or having opportunities that come once in a lifetime..? Immortality means dullness, there will come a time that development is not a school of thought no more, since stagnancy is the best way to outlive. If on the other hand, sexual instinct is absent – or everyone practices sexual abstinence – then where the natural order of things will be placed? I follow the meaning that we need to procreate in order to survive. And yes, I do concur that the society is slowly misleading the true meaning due to the lust that one feels, like you mentioned all those anti-pregnancy pills. It is not because of sexual protection, it is because men wanted to address their sexual desire out of wedlock. But notice this – aren’t we both being conservative?
I shall stop here, for this is spoiling the future readers already.
As you, my dearest, explained everything in your afterword; mine were simply reiterations of it. I am echoing this for the future readers to understand that the times of prostitution and immoral values are evolving. But yet again, you have mentioned, that these are deeply rooted in our society. Is it because that we are living our humanity – being sinful at best?
...Or simply because we have ideals – too high for everyone to reach for it?
My Chivas is always open, Ella
PS: Let’s try riding the train together and understand your government. I shall read your next creation, Anna Karenina.(less)
Told in a kid's perspective, everything is in fast-paced. The victorian-ala-gothic drama was lacking in the story book, but I enjoyed the drawings and...moreTold in a kid's perspective, everything is in fast-paced. The victorian-ala-gothic drama was lacking in the story book, but I enjoyed the drawings and the love element. Simply nice.
I hope I have the luxury of time to reread this as it was written by Charles Dickens himself. :)(less)
"Perhaps then, there is something to his advice that I should cease looking back so much, that I should adopt a more postive outlook and try to make t...more"Perhaps then, there is something to his advice that I should cease looking back so much, that I should adopt a more postive outlook and try to make the best of what remains of my day."
I felt betrayed. I trusted Ishiguro for him to give me an entertaining read. Now what's left me is life questions that I believe I should know the answers by now. Why Ishiguro, WHY BOMBARD ME WITH SELF-REFLECTIONS?
IT ALL STARTED on a book discussion. We are to read this great work that won the Booker Prize. Since this is my first book by Ishiguro (I watched Never Let Me Go and the film is amazing - the subtlety, the mood, the sadness and seriousness of filmography; but I haven't had the chance to read it), I have little expectations. Little, considering that the plot is about an English Butler named Stevens with an American master named Mr. Farraday, the owner of the Darlington Hall - asking him to do a motoring job and visit his old colleague Miss Kenton, since her letter told him of her past experiences and her sentiments in her years of service to the old manor.
AND SO IT GOES.
I consider this one of the most precious reads in my list. It may not bring tears to my eyes (as a part of long list of matronic reads); it may not entertain and bring my dream-man into life (duh, the character is, I daresay, way beyond my league) but it reflects some of the paradoxes in life and of the crossroads that we face, however young we are, both in our mind and in our spirit.
In turning points of our lives, there are things to give up and things to hold on to. But do we have to compromise? Why do we have to let go of those things - some that may not be precious to us in one point, but will be in a future time. Why can't we achieve the best of both worlds? Does a compromise have to be that sacrificial?
My mum and dad told me that at one point in our lives, we are building our own persona, and we may or may not need reinforcements, the full discretion of the grander design is to each his own.
I am young. And I am at the crossroads. I may have "over-friendliness" and "high-assertiveness" issues, but this is who I am, and this is how I use my "skills" to win people, or lose some. In this turning point, you can mock me or give me tidbits of advice, but this doesn't stop me for molding into someone I really learn to love. After all, you are just an audience, and I am the master of my own.
And that, my friend, is how I deal with the remaining days of my 25th year in this earth - aka the quarter-life-crisis.
(Written days before my 26th birthday, 12 nov 2012 11:15PM MLA)(less)
Having this book bought at Php10 is AWESOME! I just can't believe I bought a goodread at a cheap price.
Just to share something: The setting of the sto...moreHaving this book bought at Php10 is AWESOME! I just can't believe I bought a goodread at a cheap price.
Just to share something: The setting of the story is 30-40 miles outside the Oxford University centre. I went to the University, yes, but not outside of it. And if you are a typical tourist that doesn't regularly see a majestic palace, this is the postcard view:
A Weekend at Blenheim is the first novel by JP Morrissey that touches an episode in the lives of the Churchills in their grandiose estate of Blenheim Palace. A statehome located in Woostock, Oxfordshire, It was the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.
An Ewardian novel, the story is about an American draftsman named John Vanbrugh employed by the Duchess of Marlborough, Consuelo Vanderbilt, to renovate her quarters at the Blenheim estate. John, having the same name as the original architect and a playwright who designed the mansion, is the main decision he was tasked to design and further encouraged by his English wife, Margaret Barton-Vanbrugh.
John and Margaret stayed at Blenheim with other guests: the Duke of Marlborough, his cousin Winston Churchill, the painter Sargent, and the Duchess' friend Ms. Deacon. It was pleasant until one night, the servant maid to Margaret was killed and buried in the crypt of the Palace Chapel.
Considered as a gothic mystery, the novel is established on a historical imprint with picturesque descriptions of the setting. Told at the first person perspective, the reader is easily immersed in the depicting terms of the manor's architype, as it is to the events happening around the place. A remarkable addition to the plot is the conversations and philosophies exchange between the guests and the conception of weaknesses, strengths and intrigues of male and female sexes. In this enthralling and atmospheric tale of murder, revenge, and redemption, it can give the same chill and curiosity from reading Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, the latter being set in the Tudor era.
This is not as amazing as the other victorian classics, but this can be used as a material for creating a movie about the Churchills. After all, I have not seen any fictitious controversy in Winston Churchill flicks (maybe because I haven't seen any movie about that politician).(less)
This is the first time I've read this novel and I was moved. I thought kidism is not a good vehicle to tell the grown ups some life...moreCan I just cry? T_T
This is the first time I've read this novel and I was moved. I thought kidism is not a good vehicle to tell the grown ups some life lessons but here is Exupery, exploring stars, boa constrictors, tale of the rose and taming the fox.
I cannot give a comprehensive review for everyone but if you haven't read this book, do not let yourself grow old and be too mature to critic the novel before you read for you cannot see the magic.
And learn to read this again not for the sake of accomplishing things and for the pride of a job well done, you read this again if you are lost in yourself - and simply wants to find a way back home.(less)