Mar. 1st, 2009 09:14 pm
spiderpig: (speed of light // hoshi no koe)

But on the other screen, viewers saw a Japanese man of Nakagawa's generation standing firm behind a podium in Israel, accepting that nation's highest literary award, and delivering a speech in eloquent, deeply felt English. He spoke about his vocation as a novelist ("telling skillful reveal the truth") and his opposition to any and all wars, his empathy with the weak and the dissident and his passion for the uniqueness of the human soul. Spoken with power and clarity, not to mention clear-eyed sobriety, this man's words blended the personal with the political and the metaphorical with the logical to make an eloquent argument for individual freedom and justice.

egg salad

Feb. 17th, 2009 12:34 pm
spiderpig: (Default)
I think most of Murakami's speech would be here.

"So I have come to Jerusalem. I have a come as a novelist, that is - a spinner of lies.

"Novelists aren't the only ones who tell lies - politicians do (sorry, Mr. President) - and diplomats, too. But something distinguishes the novelists from the others. We aren't prosecuted for our lies: we are praised. And the bigger the lie, the more praise we get.

"The difference between our lies and their lies is that our lies help bring out the truth. It's hard to grasp the truth in its entirety - so we transfer it to the fictional realm. But first, we have to clarify where the truth lies within ourselves.

"Today, I will tell the truth. There are only a few days a year when I do not engage in telling lies. Today is one of them."

This kind of made me tear. ;_;


spiderpig: (put me out of my misery! :: konata)
Ow. My shoulder and back are in pain from lugging my bag around today. Note to self, never ever attempt to carry Auden, 2 binders, Paradise Lost, one pencil box, waterbottle, wallet, planner and files in my bag along with the huge monster of a sociology textbook. I think it was easily 7 or 8kg - it felt more than a sackful of rice - and I don't really know how I survived the whole day.

So in a last bid attempt to give my poor shoulders some respite, I took a cab back from Armenian Street (more on that later) which cost me a hefty $18.60. Good God. The surcharge was crazy. Now I'm left wondering if that was worth the money. I don't think I could have handled public transport for the rest of the day though, what with the peak hour office crowds. I nearly died on the bus from NUS to Buona Vista MRT. Oh well. I'm going to try and redeem the $18.60 from my parents. I usually don't take the cab and technically my allowance is er, $10 a day so I definitely overspent. Hurhur.

Renaissance Lit was, well. It got a little interesting when everyone started debating about why Milton's God is such a horribly twisted fellow - I say irresponsible for refusing to claim any ounce of responsibility- to create mankind with the sufficiency to make choices. It got fairly... okay really bad in the end with people psychologizing the Archangels and one girl said something along the lines of "But Angels are good! They won't be so selfish to not sacrifice themselves for Adam and Eve! They're merely being modest!"

....Yes. I was much too WTF-ed and bemused to make any comments. (Note: Yet to speak up in Prof Lim's class. Darn. And Dr Roy's classes - which are frankly, impossible.)

Sociology was.... I don't know. There was a lot of forced sociologizing on very random things that I got a bit fed up in the end and just went "ROAR ROAR ROAR" at the class. I also said some rather blasphemous things about his Excellency LKY so maybe you'll see me in jail soon.

For reasons still unknown to myself, I decided to spend the rest o the day in Chatterbox studying and oh man, while I managed to study it was a rather traumatizing experience. But I have a feeling that it's rather quiet most of the time (most) so I'll still go there to study. I still have various pockets of quiet around the campus so it's not that bad. Coming home just makes me want to sleep amongst my nice fluffy blankets so that isn't very good.

Oh yes, Armenian Street! I will be honest, I have never set foot there and now I am just slightly sad that NUS isn't a city-campus like SMU and we don't have funky places to pop by between or after classes. I passed by a few nice looking cafes and lamented about how NUS should have more nicely decorated cafes for R&R. I'd love to have a bookstore there, or a little office.

Anyway, I went all the way down to grab a ticket for Dinner with Murakami. I was pretty worried that they might be sold out (I mean, it's Murakami!) so I called up the Substation box office at around 3pm to ask if I could reserve tickets. The guy on the line nearly burst out laughing when I was like "Um, it's for Dinner with Murakami..." and replied that I didn't have to worry at all because they only started selling the tickets today. How embarrassing. But still! It's alright being kiasu for Murakami! I would have thrown a hissy fit if the tickets were sold out and I couldn't get any. So er, yeah. I'll be watching yet another film by myself. LOL

I still have not bought Tristam Shandy or Olaquah Equiano and have yet to finish Betsy. Sobs.

Anyway, I shall go and sell my soul to the devil right now and finish watching the remain episodes of Gossip Girl before I eat my dinner and collapse into bed.
spiderpig: (moyashimon rabu)
A Girl, She's 100 Percent (Video embedding disabled)

VS another100% Girl video:


Dinner with Murakami (will be shown in 3SIDF, and I'm hoping to get tickets!)

(LOL, am I too much of a geek to recognize every single line that's being recited within the first line?)

But really, the trailer (and hopefully the documentary) has inspired me to do something titled "Seeing Murakami in Ang Mo Kio".
spiderpig: (STALKER GEEK // ariake koichi)
GSC's Ryogi Shiki Garannodou Ryogi Shiki Garannodou

"I have been told I've got a darkish personality. A few times."
Takahashi swings his trombone case from his right shoulder to his left. Then he says, "It's not as if our lives are divided simply into light and dark. There's shadowy middle ground. Recognizing and understanding the shadows is what a healthy intelligence does. And to acquire a healthy intelligence takes a certain amount of time and effort. I don't think you have a particularly dark character."
— Haruki Murakami (After Dark)

Why and how is he able to write like this. It's as though I can reach out and touch those words and feel them with my arms wrapped around them.
spiderpig: (mmmmm. // ariake koichi)

"A devastating absence hovered about my apartment. I stayed shut-in for six months. I never went out during the day, except to make the absolute minimum purchases necessary to survive. I'd venture into the city with the first gray of dawn and walk the deserted streets, and when the streets started to fill with people, I holed up back indoors to sleep.

Towards the evening I'd rise, fix something to eat, feed the cat. Then I'd sit on the floor and methodically go over the things that had happened to me, trying to make sense of them. Rearrange the order of events, list up all possible alternatives, consider the right or wrong of what I'd done. This went on until the dawn, when I'd go out and wander the streets again.

For half a year that was my daily routine. From January through June 1979, I didn't read one book. I didn't open one newspaper. I didn't watch TV, didn't listen to the radio. Never saw anyone, never talked to anyone. I hardly even drank; I wasn't in a drinking frame of mind. I had no idea what was going on in the world, who'd become famous, who'd died, nothing. It wasn't that I stubbornly resisted information, I simply had no desire to know anything. Even so, I knew things were happening. The world didn't stop....

I'd been damaged, badly I suppose. The damage was not petty. Blood had flowed, quietly."

Dance Dance Dance, Haruki Murakami
spiderpig: (speed of light // hoshi no koe)
Whenever I feel down, I pick up Norwegian Wood and everything becomes a little better.

"I really like you, Midori. A lot."

"How much is a lot?"

"Like a spring bear," I said.

"A spring bear?" Midori looked up again. "What's that all about? A spring bear."

"You're walking through a field all by yourself one day in spring, and this sweet little bear cub with velvet fur and shiny little eyes comes walking along. And he says to you, 'Hi, there, little lady. Want to tumble with me?' So you and the bear cub spend the whole day in each other's arms, tumbling down this clover-covered hill. Nice, huh?"

"Yeah, Really nice."

"That's how much I lke you."

spiderpig: (bookgeeking)
Some people diss my love for Murakami, others respect me for it.

All I know is that, I love reading his prose - all the good and bad of it.

Murakami was recently at Berkeley )

I wish I was there. What I wish even more, is to write and make people feel.
spiderpig: (achtung baby! :: klavier)

"I always feel like I'm struggling to become someone else. Like I'm trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a new personality. I guess it's part of growing up, yet it's also an attempt to reinvent myself. By becoming a different me, I could free myself of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself- as long as I made the effort. But I always hit a dead end. No matter where I go, I still end up me. What's missing never changes. The scenery may change, but I'm still the same old incomplete person. The same missing elements torture me with a hunger that I can never satisfy. I guess that lack itself is as close as I'll come to define myself. For your sake, I'd like to become a new person. It may not be easy, but if I give it my best shot, perhaps I can manage to change. The truth is, though, if put in the same situation again, I might very well do the same thing all over. I might very well hurt you all over again. I can't promise anything. That's what I meant when I said I had no right. I just don't have the confidence to win over that force in me."

South of the Border, West of the Sun - Murakami Haruki

Hello Murakami, you always know how to make my day a whole lot better.

(And I walked past Hemingyay just now. The small joys of life try to salvage my huge disappointments!)
spiderpig: (???)
Lists galore to celebrate the two new Konata icons. I want to grow up (lulz) to be like Konata!!! >D So anyway, I was cleaning my LJicons file and to my horror, I have over 200 Ouran icons because just the seven of them can capture every single emotion known to man. It's crazy. I so need a paid account for all these excess Ouran icons (I probably can rotate them on shifts =A=;;), my Bleach icons, and the new batch of Lucky Star (a.k.a Konata I love you) icons.

I am an icon whore.

things i planned to get yesterday and got in the end. )

library list! )

3 out of 8 are can be considered "cyber-punk" or at least, technocratic enough to be chucked to that genre. Why? Partially because P.K. Dick (PK-ing!!! lulz) is probably the numero uno on this genre, and because I need some stylistic reference for the upcoming cyber-punk short story I'm going to write. The plot and characters are more or less settled, but I need some guidelines. It'd be a little weird if I write something C++ with Murakami's Kafka-esque style. Very weird indeed.

But hey, that's an idea.

I probably just sent myself into library kami-kaze mode with all the books I have to finish within 2 weeks. The Simarillion (which I always remember as "The Simallarion" for no reason) alone will gut me. This is rightfully nuts. I'll never see the light of day now!

things i plan to get before school starts )

things i plan to do during the next few weeks )

In this terribly summarized fashion, I'm extremely excited to head back to school - wherever 'back' is. This shounds terribly dorky of me but I love school a lot. Even when I get yelled at, lose hours of sleep, go paranoid over whenever that girl in the second row looks at me because I think she thinks I'm a dumbass, get yelled at some more, I still love school. It's an unrealistic safety net where the real world cannot taint you. Sure it can touch you and leave with you with scabs all over, but at least somehow, just the pursuit of knowledge keeps everything else out.

But most people kind of dread returning to school. Frankly, I'm not looking forward to this whole socializing thing. I'm a loner and I like it that way. It's not that I don't treasure my friends, but a certain amout of indoctrination has led me to firmly belief that it's a dog-eat-dog world out there and it's devour or be devoured. I get irritated when people say that it's because I'm independent. Bull-shit. My soul is inextricably tied down to this body of mine and vice versa. I am not a sentient being in the ideal sense - so don't give me bull-shit about how I can survive by myself.

I think I read this in Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman - "it's not being alone that I fear, it's the loneliness" - or something to that effect, because my anti-literary brain cannot remember quotes properly. In a way, that line is painfully poignant and reminiscent of my situation (what situation you idiot, you have no situation. you're just 19. you have no situtuation to speak of!) but I feel adverse to it at the same time. I don't entirely fear being alone - and sometimes I'm not afraid of the loneliness. Like now. It's like a wave-effect. The crests and boughs (are they called that?) of the waves. Right now I'm at the bough.

N.H.K. ni Youkoso Episode 4 is like me in Akihabara. It's the whole Rajikan experience where you just go "ZOMGWTFNOMORELASERS PEW PEW" upon seeing blocks and blocks of anime merchandise and figua. Purupururin~ That kind of madness.

Darker than Black! Is! Awesome! Sorry for the limited vocab that centres around "kickass" and "awesome". I'm sure once school starts I'll start using SAT words again. At the moment, I'm still chugging through the episodes so no concrete, sane thoughts yet. Otherwise, Yoko Kanno does another spectacular job with the soundtrack again!


So anyway, I geeked out and went for the Transformers Gala Premiere yesterday! I liked it - precisesly because of the Michael Bay type of explosions and patriotism and oodles of explosions and fantastic machine vs machine (I'd say mano-a-mano) battles. The transformation scenes absolutely rocked. Especially Jazz's. If you're watching it for a good plot, please give it a miss. Otherwise, sit back relax and enjoy 2 hours of metal butt-kicking action. My main gripe is that there wasn't enough Transformers. It's more of a THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAM WITWICKY movie than Hi We're Robots in Disguise here to Save The Earth.

official ticket-holder! )

My Moo Cards arrived in teh mail )

'mkay. That's one hell of a LJ-post and I bid you goodbye!
spiderpig: (): emo)
Some people are puzzled over why Norwegian Wood is my favourite Murakami book when Kafka on the Shore and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World are so much more effective as books as whole. Noruwei no Mori is much too bland, too stagnant, when compared to the vivacious prose of the other two.

Yet it is in Norwegian Wood that I first truly enjoyed Murakami's gift for connecting words with a string. I had already read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles and Dance, Dance, Dance before I read Norwegian Wood and while those books were a delightful read in themselves, as a whole book, they didn't make me shiver inside. Norwegian Wood was the first book that did that.

"'Why?'!" she screamed. "Are you crazy? You know the English subjunctive, you understand trigonometry, you can read Marx, and you don't know the answer to something as simple as that? Why do you even have to ask? Why do you have to make a girl say something like this? I like you more than I like him, that's all. I wish I had fallen in love with somebody a little more handsome, of course. But I didn't. I fell in love with you!"

-Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Pierces through you don't you think?

'Waiting for the perfect love?'

'No, even I know betterthan that. I'm looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, sayI tell you I want to eat strawberry shortbread. And you stop everythingyou're doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out ofbreath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortbreadout to me. And I say I don't want it anymore and throw it out of thewindow. That's what I'm looking for.'

'I'm not sure that has anything to do with love,' I say with some amazement.

'It does,' she said. 'You just don't know it. There are times in a girl's life when things like that are incredibly important.'

'Things like throwing strawberry shortbread out of the window?'

'Exactly.And when I do that I want the man to apologize to me. 'What a fool I'vebeen, Midori! I should have known that you would lose your desire forstrawberry shortbread. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity as apiece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I'll go out and buy yousomething else. What would you like? Chocolate mousse? Cheesecake?'

'So then what?'

'So then I'd give him all the love he deserves for what he's done.'

'Sounds crazy to me.'

'Well,to me that's what love is. Not that anyone can understand me, though.'Midori gave her head a little shake against my shoulder. 'For a certainkind of person, love begins from something tiny or silly. Fromsomething like that or it doesn't begin at all.'

Norwegian Wood; Haruki Murakami.

Maybe it's because I'm a bland and boring person that this bland and comparatively boring book appeals to me. I mean frankly speaking, there isn't much of a traditional plot in this novel. It's more of an expository novel, to me. It explores the loose form of a story it has, using its characters more as propelling points rather than plot devices. The characters become stories within a story. To me, that's what's unique and compelling about this book.

And again, I'm a idealistic romantic and the whole tortured web of Toru, Naoko, Midori and Kizuki just renders something in me. Academic literature tries to concretize and materialise things too much. Sometimes a feeling is just a feeling and can't be described as anything else. When you get an unclassified feeling from reading, the last thing you want to do is to bind it down to the material world by forcing upon it descriptors that don't fit at all. Does the book really make you sad? Is that melancholy you're really feeling? Somethings are usually best left vague, otherwise the inherent mystery and joy of reading would be sucked out dry.

Returning back to the whole romantic idealist nature of the book. I admit, I'm looking for love. I don't know what kind of love I'm looking for, but I'm looking for something to put my heart and soul into, be it into a career, a person or even inanimate objects like food. I want to devote myself wholly to something and the conflicts presented in Norwegian Wood somehow speak to me. I like the incredulous nature of it.


Should I get a totally brand new iPod, or get a refurbished one?


Haha. I'm looking through old photos and photographs of my parents' trip around Europe. I knew that they had a huge trip when I was a baby but I didn't know that they really went around the whole of Europe! Up til now I only believed that they had gone to England, Germany and some other small places. Turns out they also went to Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Monaco, France... WTF!!
spiderpig: (kani-nabe)
Here I am, sitting in my blue swivel chair, with a cushion to my back, listening to the jazz masterpieces of Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald; book in hand and the reading line glowing noisily above me.

This is a picture of content, I tell myself.

I finished A Fine Balance - it depressed me. I have nothing for Mistry's writing style. It's effective, it gets his point across, I enjoyed the prose but it was sometimes too laboriously detailed. Overtly descriptive nearly bordering D. H. Lawrence. But I liked it. I have a penchant for post-colonial narratives and this one did not disappoint. I found it much better than The God of Small Things for numerous reasons. Firstly, the flow of the story is much smoother and seamless than The God of Small Things. Characters are much more fleshed out. I felt something for Omprakash, Ishvar, Maneck and Dina Dalal. I didn't feel anything for the characters in Arundhati Roy's novel. They were just symbols alone. Simply plot devices.

Then yesterday I started on Murakami's Kafka on the Shore and devoured it by 7pm today. First sign of a good book. Me not putting it down except for sleep and maybe a bath. Oh if only we could waterproof books. I still place Norweigian Wood as my ultimate favourite novel from Murakami. Kafka ties in with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle for second. It was almost a contender for first place, except that Norweigian Wood has a special place in my heart.

Reading Kafka on the Shore, I noticed how Murakami's style has progressed from the Rat Trilogy to this latest book of his. He's clearly much more at ease with prose, the way he nearly effortlessly weaves in three narratives to complete a novel as a whole. Everything was a symbol. Now that might seem tiresome, but really, it was quite an easy novel to absorb.

To absorb, I repeat.

I haven't completely understood it yet, it's much too complex to digest in one reading only.

Next up is an A.S. Byatt piece.

I haven't decided which one yet though.
spiderpig: (tamaki geeking)
As much as I'm relieved that the main bulk of my papers are over (insert awkward analogy here where I compare my relievement, wtf, to that of a dog finally being able to go outside and pee), when I read [ profile] tsu_'s lovely entries on Lit S, I just go D: and wibble all over the place.

Yay for fandom vocabulary!

hello mrs tan! just a random question. do you like haruki murakami very much? because i'm suddenly very fascinated by his stuff, and Alicia is dead certain that you do, since nearly all his major works can apparently be found in the school library. yes, i am studying for tuesday. see you at school!


HAHAHA. I am going to be like so screwed by JTan on Tuesday. Due to the lack of proper perfunctory (okay I don't really know how to use this word guffaw) capitalizations and whatnot which quite irk me. Y'know, in semi-formal situations and what not. Because all these little irritations don't bother me when I read blogs that lOoK LieKe DIs muUzaxkxxx.


In other news, I do feel that the world is too small for the safety of everyone on the planet. But zomg, I like reading about my friend's friend's stay in Singapore and then proceed to whine in dismay over my apparent apathy towards my own country.

I'm really quite patriotic you know! Samoga bahagia everyone!

As of now, I have this huge urge to pack my bags and just leave here - no not because I hate the place D: - rather, 'slike all the cool people I know are out there frolicking in either Japan or Meixo or England and they make me deflate whenever I think that I have to wait an effing 3 more months before I can even consider stepping into Malaysia.

:3 I stayed here when I visted Hakone ages ago. I love that inn - I wish I could go back there again, just that it's a little on the expensive side.

So what has happened? Uh, I got mindfucked by the history paper on Friday which wasn't too hard - I just blanked out and started creating nonsense like PUTERA and HEIHO were armies or something like that. I enjoyed the Literature paper though. I mean, I actually enjoyed misquoting Nietzsche and I actually liked writing the Blake essay! Gasp!

Anyway, it's mainly the PC paper and Econs for the homerun. Going off to do my tuition homework now.
spiderpig: (;__;)
"When I couldn't see you any more, I realised that it was as clear as if the planets all of a sudden lined up in a row for me. I really need you. You're a part of me I'm a part of you. You know somewhere - I think I cut something's throat. Sharpening my knife, my heart a stone. Symbolically, like making a gate in China. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

"I think so."
"Then come and get me."
- Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

Someone come and get me.
spiderpig: (Default)


Lets bring along lotsa people! :D

Yeah, my brein I mean brain is halfdad I mean halfdead after school and band.

In the mean time, something to make you, to all the yous in the world, feel better:

Her lips formed unspoken words. Where on earth did you go?

"I don't know," my voice issued from somewhere and blurred out in the distance like those echoing footsteps. I pulled a handkerchief from my pocket and slowly wiped the sweat from my brow. "I don't know."

Yuki squinted and reached out to touch my cheek. Her fingertips were soft and smooth. She sniffed the air around me, her tiny nostrils swelling slightly. She gave me another long look. "You saw something, didn't you?"

I nodded.

"But you can't say what. You can't put it into words. Can't explain, not to anyone. But I can see it." She leaned over and grazed her cheek against mine. "Poor thing," she said.

"How come?" I asked, laughing. There was no reason to laugh, but I couldn't laugh. "All things considered, I'm the most ordinary guy you could hope to find. So why do these weird things keep happening to me?"

"Yeah, why?" said Yuki. "Don't look at me. I'm just a kid. You're the adult here."

"True enough."

"But I understand how you feel."

"I don't."

"At times like these, adults need a drink."
Dance Dance Dance, Haruki Murakami

That part always gives me the shivers.

It's the not saying what, and the not putting into words but totally just understanding. Just know that I understand. I may not be able to articulate it as well as others may be able to, but I do understand - or at the very least, I try my best to.


May. 24th, 2006 11:28 pm
spiderpig: (tamaki geeking)
X3!!! 'tis a study-holiday tomorrow (in prep for the *gasp* GP exam on Friday) and I have a lovely number of 7 books to keep me company. The school library has been awfully kind in allowing us to borrow 10 books for the whole of the holidays.

SQUEE. BOOKS. <3<3<3<3

Yarh, and I should be revising and getting stressed on getting an A2 for GP lah. WTF. JTan makes me stressed and underperform.

So anyway, here's the 7 books I borrowed:
Silas Marner - George Eliot
A Wild Sheep Chase - Haruki Murakami
Dance Dance Dance - Haruki Murakami
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Demons - Fyodor Dostoevsky (why was there no Crime & Punishment in the library?!?!? i don't believe anyone else would have wanted to borrow it~~~~~~~~ >O )
War & Peace - Leo Tolstoy (AND ANNA KARENINA?!?!?!)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling

:DD:D:D:D: Finished Harry Potter already, considering that I've been mulling over it for weeks over 5 one-hour breaks during the school term. On to completing The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, also half-done in school, and then I don't know Silas Marner? O:



spiderpig: (Default)
A Tan

September 2011

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