Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Celebration of Reading

Milan Kundera, Ayn Rand, Joseph Heller, Carols Fuentes, Fernando Pessoa, Carlos Castaneda, Edward W. Said, Stephenie Meyer, and James Patterson are all not related with each other in their thematic unity. Except Edward W. Said, all the others are related, but not in their themes. What relates them is the form of artistic expression they have managed to survive in: the novel.

I had a “carnal” urge to read. So I had all of these writers borrowed from my university library; something unusual, because I finished my Masters there and there were no more chances to take books from the library officially, and as many of the faculty and my class mates thought there were restrictions in any of the unofficial interactions they may make with the university. But I saw possibilities. And I saw, indeed, a lot of them. I could work somewhere and gain some money to support my life and I did not have to worry about the class hours or syllabus any more. But borrowing books from the library would be a bit difficult if you did not have any connections, and I had managed to have some, in the Library Department.

The real issue was how I was going to finish all these bookswithin one month? (I had to return them or at least renew them within one month’s time and at present I did not remember the renewal dates of many of the books. So the fine might be soaring!) Milan Kundera’s Testaments Betrayed, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Carlos Fuentes’ Happy Families, Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet, Carlos Castaneda’s The Eagle’s Gift, Edward W. Said’s The World the Text and the Critic (literary and cultural criticism), Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, and James Patterson’s Double Cross, are all with me in printed version, now, and I am reading each of them, too. Each book is designated for each day. Other than these books, there is a PDF version of Paulo Coelho’s The Winner Stands Alone that I am in the process of perusing. But my attempts to prepare a rigid time table for each of these reading endeavours failed many times. So I decided not to be specific about the time table. Whenever I felt like reading Coelho, I read one chapter from the PDF book. I felt reading Meyer, there went one chapter from Twilight, another day. So it became a random reading endeavour utilising the opportunities that I came across due to the completion of my post graduation. (M.A. in English Literature) Well, more than a random reading it could be called a celebration of reading. There was literature from Europe to Latin America, from the USA to Britain, and from Literary and Cultural Criticism to vampire romance and new age philosophy in my ‘package’; a carnival of literature.
 
One book, among of them all exists even behind my closed eyelids, in my dreams and in my soul: Twilight. There is a story backing this interest. I will tell you some other time. 




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