Why do I sense a link between the speaker/voice of The Waste Land and the character Pink in the movie The Wall? Perhaps it is the feeling that the souWhy do I sense a link between the speaker/voice of The Waste Land and the character Pink in the movie The Wall? Perhaps it is the feeling that the soul is under seige from the powers that be, that we all are indeed robotic caricatures of ourselves because we are being manipulated to think and act in similar ways. We are indeed taught to be consumers, slaves to name brand products drummed into our brains from cradle to grave. I remember asking our 3rd grade why the history book said Columbus discovered America when there were already Native Americans living there, and why shouldn't we give them the credit for discovery. I was put in the corner of the room, facing the wall. The same wall as The Wall?
Back to The Waste Land. Here is the individual and the soul alienated in the post industrial London, but the setting could be in any modern city. The book is jammed with images and lines from previous works of art, such as Marvel's "To His Coy Mistress." The landscape of this massive poem is strewn with scattered thoughts and of poetic masterminds but they seem to add up to nothing because modern man can't connect the dots, can't put 2 and 2 together, can't understand that he is being bombarded by other images that distract him from purpose and meaning in life. The nonconformist, like the character Pink, is manipulated and destroyed through alienation.
footnote: does anyone hear Eliot in Sylvia Plath's work, especially her poem Berck-Plage?...more
We have a sort of companion book here to the coming of age novel PUNAHOU BLUES, with the same two brothers Jeff and Ben.
The setting is the rural, rougWe have a sort of companion book here to the coming of age novel PUNAHOU BLUES, with the same two brothers Jeff and Ben.
The setting is the rural, rough and tumble east end of the island. It is based on an actual location called Hale Kawaikapu, which I plan on visiting someday. What you have is a sort of Daliesque landscape on the beachfront of southeastern Moloka'i. Get this—the boys' paternal grandma lives in a shack overlooking the channel between Maui and Moloka'i. Nobody's around, except a pasture of horses and a tree so tall it reminds Jeff of the tree in Jack and the Beanstalk. Then a cast of colorful characters emerges from this seemingly barren landscape, including the grandmother's ex, who is pickling himself on a Hawaiian liquor drink made from the ti plant. The chapters are vignettes of these characters and it gives you a sense of the entire island, and is reminiscient of Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio." You end up caring for the island, its people, and of course the narrator and brother.
Wright has captured the essence of an island and its people and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to experience Old Hawaii.
ps. this book was called 'a first-rate novel' by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Wright 'the best fiction writer in Hawaii" by the Maui Weekly....more
I found this book @ the library quite by accident. And I'm glad to be reading it! It's actually a companion novel to the epic MOLOKA'I NUI AHINA. SameI found this book @ the library quite by accident. And I'm glad to be reading it! It's actually a companion novel to the epic MOLOKA'I NUI AHINA. Same brothers, family.
Be prepared to go on a multicultural journey to the secret side of Honolulu, via elementary school and high school life. There's this chapter "Killahaole Day" that teaches haole (white) students what it's like to be in the minority.
The fact that Presidential hopeful BARACK OBAMA attended the high school featured in this book is enough of a reason to read it. But there's so much more. What more? Well, how about the part-Hawaiian narrator catching flack from a Korean mama-san for asking her daughter to the high school prom? This book documents the then tricky matter of interracial dating, check it out.
And as for the drug culture in Hawaii, take a look at "The Drug Club" chapter, which takes place in the narrator's senior year. Mushrooms, pakalolo, hash oil, Thai Stick, need I say more?...more