Archive for October, 2013

Slow Man by J.M. Coetzee

Posted: October 31, 2013 in Book Reviews
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J.M. Coetzee is one of those great novelists whose written words carry through beautifully taking the reader on little journeys leaving a wonderful feeling of having read a good book. The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 Coetzee needs no introduction.

Having read his book ‘Disgrace’ which I found interesting I was persuaded to find and obtain ‘Slow Man’ . Curiosity got the better of me and soon enough came home with a copy from Blossom Book Store.

Coetzee was the first writer to twice be awarded the Booker Prize: first for Life and Times of Michael K in 1983, and again for Disgrace in 1999. He was also early favorite to win a third Booker Prize for Coetzee. Made it to the shortlist but lost out to Hilary Mantel.
Coetzee is known as reclusive and avoids publicity to such an extent that he did not collect either of his two Booker Prizes in person.

South African writer Rian Malan has said that:
Coetzee is a man of almost monkish self-discipline and dedication. He does not drink, smoke or eat meat. He cycles vast distances to keep fit and spends at least an hour at his writing-desk each morning, seven days a week. A colleague who has worked with him for more than a decade claims to have seen him laugh just once. An acquaintance has attended several dinner parties where Coetzee has uttered not a single word

“He lies stretched out,at peace. It is a glorious morning. The sun’s touch is kind. There are worse things than letting oneself go slack, waiting for one’s strength to return. In fact there might be worse things than having a quick nap. He closes his eyes: the world tilts beneath him, rotates: he goes absent.
Once briefly, he comes back. The body that had flown so lightly through the air has grown ponderous, so ponderous that for the life of him he cannot lift a finger. And there is someone looming over him, cutting off his air, a youngster with wiry hair and spots along his hairline…” ~ Slow Man

The book can be read as a metafictional discourse on the inter-relationship between the literary author and the characters, and with reality.

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Silence Speaks

Posted: October 31, 2013 in Poetry
Turn around, watch me slink
shine away I say, you run
tethered to me, fighting
for freedom…Bound to me, growing

releasing you then I feign

you are gone, crying

for liberty…

Cross-fires and silly dreams

parading you like I own you

watch it now, screaming

for re-birth…

Blackened long with dipping sun

serenading you like a lover’s song

cut the cord, freeing

for a reason…

Those shadows speak!

~S
Photo-Internet

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That Boat

Posted: October 29, 2013 in Poetry

Anchored sturdy close to shore
Swaying gently that little boat
In your memory stay afloat
Un-tether me not; let me tarry a while
No storm nor tide can reach me now
Set me to sail when the beacon light
Calls out to me here or there…

~S
Photo- taken in Mumbai

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At Peace

Posted: October 29, 2013 in Poetry

In your eyes I see distant skies
Swallowing pain and tempest too.
Behold a clinging leaf on your stern
Hanging in vain for sunny skies
Buds in waiting, sensing a storm
Shadowy clouds masking them all
How long will this journey last?
Searching you, then soothing words
The quest is over and am laying down
Hanging my pen and walking away
Never the same here or there
In your silence, is my end

A woman at peace and so be it …

~SS
Photo-Internet

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This book about Vincent Van Gogh was a revelation of sorts…gave an insight into the mind of a brilliant genius who was afflicted with a mental illness that was beyond his control.  He was a sensitive man misunderstood my several people with problems in his inter-personal relationships but brought forth the most beautiful paintings his mind could imagine…

‘The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh’ is a collection of letters arranged in chronological order written to his close confidant , his brother Theo. Collected and edited by historian Mark Roskill, this volume also includes a chronology, a short memoir by van Gogh’s sister-in-law that fills in many of the blanks in his life. His sensitive nature, intensity during his painting sessions and analysis of situations, nature and sufferings of people could not be understood by many.
“I have been ill, my mind was tired, my soul disillusioned and my body suffering. I whom God has endowed at least with moral energy and a strong instinct of affection, I fell in the abyss of the most bitter discouragement and I felt with horror how a deadly poison penetrated my stifled heart. I spent three months on the moors, you know that beautiful region where the soul retires within itself and enjoys a delicious rest where everything calm and peace…

So I passed my days of illness… and then in the evening! To be seated before the big fireplace with one’s feet in the ashes, one’s eyes fixed on a star that sends its ray through the opening in the chimney as if to call me, or absorbed in vague dreams too much to look at the fire, to see the flames rise, flicker, and supplant one another as desirous to lick the kettle with their tongues of fire, and to think that such is human life: to be born, to work, to love, to grow and to disappear”

~Van Gogh
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