Literature about literature
Literature about literature about literature
Lit of my life, fire of my lores!
My thing, my thought.
america, books, charles dickens, christmas, cinema, culture, england, family, film, food, harry potter, history, holidays, j. k. rowling, life, memory, movie, music, nostalgia, pop culture, reading, television
I am Chinese, my family is small and we are not religious. We don’t do gifts and parties, nor do we transform our home into a tricolour tinsel and cedar wonderland. I never even believed in Santa, thanks to my mother’s casual ‘Santa and magic and stuff are not real, it’s all made up’ when I was very young.
For Christians, Christmas is the birth of Jesus. For the non-religious, it is about Santa, reindeers, and snow. For us, it is a time to eat together: we mark the day celebrated by many with food and family, the pillars of Chinese culture, and I would not have it any other way.
But Christmas itself—be your take on it Christian or capitalist—is not Chinese, no matter how I celebrate it. Christmas in my mind is a kaleidoscope of Anglo-American sights and sounds. Continue reading
How beautiful and sad that was! How beautiful the words were when they said BURY ME IN THE OLD CHURCHYARD! A tremor passed over his body. How sad and how beautiful! He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music. The bell! The bell! Farewell! O Farewell!
Reader, whenever I post a quote, know that it is because I found the words profoundly beautiful; know that I was saddened to find that their sadness echoed my own; know, if you can, how words on a page move me so.
Passage, beautiful, inky temptress, I pressed my fingertips on your imprint hoping you’d seep inside and stay.
The following quote has been attributed to you but I’m not sure if you actually said it as there’s some debate online regarding its origin.
Am I in love? Absolutely. I’m in love with ancient philosophers, foreign painters, classic authors, and musicians who have died long ago. I’m a passionate lover. I fawn over these people. I have given them my heart and my soul. The trouble is, I’m unable to love anyone tangible. I have sacrificed a physical bond, for a metaphysical relationship. I am the ultimate idealistic lover.
For the sake of this letter and my sanity I’m going to assume that those words did spring from that solitary, sensitive soul of yours, because Continue reading
* With reverent apologies to: C. S. Lewis; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Leo Tolstoy; William Shakespeare; Henry James; Vladimir Nabokov; Oscar Wilde; J. K. Rowling; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Sylvia Plath.
Architects design buildings, which are then built and maintained by builders, plumbers, and electricians. These buildings provide necessary living and working spaces for residents and professionals who, in turn, contribute to their society and economy. Politicians govern, lawyers defend, doctors save lives, businesses of all shapes and sizes provide essential goods and services. Scientists, physicists, engineers, and astronomers brought humanity to the moon. The world as we know it will not cease to exist without art and its practitioners but without moonage daydreamers, boy wizards, star-crossed lovers and those whose passion or profession it is to observe, think, analyse, and create, Earth is merely that which orbits the Sun, a celestial body where the passage of time is marked by births, deaths, and unexamined lives.
So here’s to poems about nature and beauty, songs about love, books that changed the world, and paintings that bewitch with their illusions of light and movement; here’s to films that enchant and inspire, to great teachers and their scholars, to thinkers, poets, writers, artists, composers, musicians, directors—to anyone who immortalised their human experience in art form.
‘Sorry,’ I said to the cashier at the art store because I took too long to grab my bags, of which I was carrying four. And I was sorry. ‘Sorry,’ I said again on my way out, because the shop was crowded with shelves and people and I was carrying one too many bags. I did not bump into anyone or knock anything off but still I was sorry for the time and space I took when exiting. And I was sorry many times before then because the aisles were narrow and I had to get through or somebody else had to get through, either way I was sorry I troubled the other shoppers. I went to a thrift shop next and I was sorry there too, sorry for the fact that the shirt I tried on did not suit me, sorry that I did not make a purchase and they have to put it back. ‘Sorry, that’s okay, thank you so much,’ I managed, this time at the music store, because the clerk could not locate the vinyl I wanted. I was sorry that he tried for me and wasted his time when he could be doing something else. Then I was sorry I was sorry because I had started to feel real bad for myself, because the only reason I kept apologising was this—this idea that I was unworthy of their services, someone who did not deserve their products or anything for that matter. And Uber—the convenience of it all and the patience of that particular driver—had me sorry too, four times if I remember it correctly: twice for having too many bags and twice more for being confused as to where he was parked; and he did not know this but I was sorry for seating at the back too, I would have ridden shot gun had I fewer bags to carry but he probably thought I was protecting myself from him. I was sorriest when I got home and looked at all that I had bought because I thought I did not deserve them. But later that night when I was well-rested and the boulder of existence lifted from my chest new copies of Hemingway, Pushkin and Yeats were read and felt and understood and I was not sorry anymore, I was soaring.
Sitting at the corner of my mind is a sprawling metropolis of abandoned ideas and incomplete drafts, all of them feverishly conceived. Some are penned in haste and barely legible, others the result of fingers tap dancing on screen. Continue reading